Ever wonder where the inspiration for my blog begins? If you’ve pictured my workspace as a clean, zen-like area which helps to get my creative juices flowing, I’m about to out myself. Specifically, I’m about to out my home office.
It’s a dump.
The room is nice enough; a 10 x 10-feet fourth bedroom that we use as a study for obvious reasons (er, we only have two children). But it’s also a place where I hoard useless papers and junk mail; random blogging artifacts that I meant to review six months ago; a pile of coffee cups that is normally cleared by my husband once a day, and a plethora of arts and crafts paraphernalia from my scrapbooking addiction circa 2008.
Not. Very. Inspiring.
And now… I can’t believe I’m doing this… here’s a picture of the shambles that I work in. (Sorry, Mom – it’s true, I haven’t dusted my desk in oh, never.) Yes, there’s clutter everywhere – especially in places that should have been cleaned weeks ago. On the bright side – I just found the USB cable I was looking for – apparently, it was under my desk and by my feet the whole time.
Okay, time for a closer inspection. Now you can tell that my office chair has seen better days, but truth be told, my faithful “executive” chair held up pretty well until last year, when it took a turn for the worse. My husband has been after me for months to find a replacement, but since I always believed that a ratty chair did not impact my ability to produce blog posts, I’ve always rebuked him. However, I could be wrong - A recent survey commissioned by Staples Canada and AIR MILES revealed that an overwhelming 83% of Canadians agree that a cluttered or disorganized workspace negatively affects levels of productivity. Despite this fact, 26% of Canadians describe their own desk as cluttered. Is your workspace a dump too? Join the club!
Well, speaking of clutter, have I offended you with the makeshift IKEA table that I call a desk? It’s pretty much covered with useless stuff. The boys will come in and drop off a toy car – it stays there until they take it away. Papers, pens, personal effects – why is there a garbage pail on top of my desk? Oh right – it was to keep it away from the boys. I think. I’m staring at it as I type this right now… contemplating putting it back on the floor. Huh.
Wires and cords galore, my study has “fire hazard” written all over it. Of course, they’re needed to keep my dinosaur Dell desktop computer going… baby, it’s been a great 7 years, but it’s time to go wireless. If I have to untangle one more computer cord, I swear I will implode.
So the thing is, I own a shredder… but I also own a lot of useless paper junk that could use a good shredding. I’ve got a green bin filled with cables and plugs for electronic gadgets I’ve long since misplaced. How long has that Snoopy stuffed animal been in my office? I swear I’m just noticing it for the first time. (In related news, my kid owns a Snoopy stuffed animal?)
Peek-a-boo! I see you! I was looking for my Ultrabook – found it under a couple of colouring sheets. Good thing, too – I was beginning to think I lost it. Turns out it has been sitting on top of my desk right beside me… every day for at least 5 weeks. Right!
So it’s pretty obvious I need help… and it’s Staples Canada to the rescue! To celebrate their NEW National Partnership with The AIR MILES Reward Program – and their De-Clutter and Prosper Campaign – Staples Canada is giving my workspace a makeover. Yes! You heard it here first – I shall no longer blog from a cluttered wreck. I spent the weekend picking out a new desk, a new chair (obviously!) and some gorgeous Martha Stewart Home Office products. Now, I can’t wait to see if a new, streamlined office space makes for a more productive Lena. Fingers crossed!
Stay tuned for my big redo – and a sweet contest for my readers too! Trust me, you won’t want to miss it. In the meantime, here are simple tips from Organizational Expert and Interior Designer Lucie Pitt for maximizing your workspace without breaking the bank:
1. Clear Out! – Clearing space on your desk will send calming messages to your brain and help you work more efficiently. When faced with heaps of files, start with a desk-top solution like a Martha Stewart Stack + Fit Desk Organizer, found exclusively at Staples. The various components are easy to customize to meet your needs. And, wall-mounted message boards and calendars now come in fun and funky styles, so deadlines and reminders can be front and centre. Wall Pops Message Boards and Calendars are convenient options that cling – no hammer required!
2. From the Desk to the Floor – A floor lamp not only saves space on your desk, but provides a nice homey feel to your office environment with soft lighting. Staples has a variety of floor lamps that still mean business while shedding light on the new, organized you.
3. Get Your Technology in Order – Adding a monitor riser is an easy way to gain extra space and help your body too. Elevating the monitor helps to improve posture while creating a handy little spot to tuck away small items. And consider a sleek charging station for all your gadgets, like the Belken Conserve Valet. It offers multiple docks, so in addition to being fully charged, your gadgets will be neatly organized and easy-to-find.
4. File or Shred. Don’t Pile and Dread – Invest in a small, two drawer filing cabinet on wheels and tuck it away when not in use. And if you don’t need to file something… don’t! Have a shredder on hand to get rid of sensitive documents or use Staples in-store shredding service available in their Copy and Print Centre.
5. Save Space for Your Personality – “A tidy desk doesn’t have to be devoid of personality,” says Pitt. “The easiest way to bring a bit of yourself to your space is through photographs in clear frames to keep the lines clean.” You can also spruce up your space with funky file folders, available in a variety of patterns and colours.
Do you work in a cluttered space? Is it time to De-Clutter and Prosper? Stay tuned for my big reveal!