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messy deskMessy desks plague most home office - for those of you who are able to confine office type mess to the office. People with no time to tidy up, who end up spending more time looking for things then actually being productive. I think this is a particular problem for DIY types because we see potential in everything. My desk is full of interesting paper scraps that I'm sure I'll find a use for later. I have old magazines and shoe boxes just waiting to be re-purposed. In all of this chaos, my important papers remain unfilled and the backs of them scribbled with little notes, random phone numbers and endless 'to do' items.

When you consider that all this mess is affecting productivity it is time to make a change. This article encourages you to think about what you want from your space. Contemplating the characteristics of your ideal workspace will go a long way in helping you get there. Walking you trough this work space check-up you'll think about the relevance of various things you're keeping around and evaluate the most appropriate place for them.

I feel fresher and more motivated when I am happy with my workspace. I'll share some of my own suggestions after the jump.

Taking back your workspace isn't easy. The home office often becomes a place to dump boxes of out-grown baby clothes, ancient computer parts and even random junk that's lying around when company is on their way over. Here are a few tips to help you feel good in your workspace.

  1. Once you've decided how the room will be used, only have relevant things in the room
    Find another place for old baby clothes. If your house is really short on space and you need to use the office, find a way to separate storage area from work area. This could be as simple as a hanging curtain, or confining Rubbermaid bins to the closet. This will keep your workspace as a dedicated area even if the room is serving two purposes.
  2. File papers right away
    Filing papers as soon as they come into the house is far less work than filing a huge pile at once (and even less work than looking for something come tax time!). If you find that files get too messy, you might like to use binders instead. Keep a three hole punch handy and put important papers in a binder as they come in. These are easy to flip through when you need to find something later. Organize them neatly on a shelf with labels facing outward.
  3. Don't be afraid to throw things out
    Most of us keep papers way too long. Not necessarily because we think we need them, but because they once got filed and forgotten. Go through your papers and get rid of old things giving yourself a fresh start. Here is a handy list that outlines what to keep and for how long.
  4. Add some style
    We have nice art in the living room, fresh flowers in the kitchen and the office sits without style. Add a little personality to your work space. Maybe this could be the room where you allow posters or prints that you like but wouldn't dare display in the living room (dogs playing poker anyone?!).

Are your DIY treasures stacked on your desk and piled high in the office corner or have you found a way to keep things organized? Share your thoughts in the comments.



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