Whether you’re dedicating a corner of your living room to a home office, or if you’ve hired more people than can fit in your current office, finding the space to work can involve cramped conditions. Figuring out how to set up your working area and your file storage can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of a small work space, so you can keep being productive.
The first thing that you should do when trying to maximize your small office space is get rid of everything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Purge any unnecessary clutter, extra supplies, and old or outdated books and files. Anything that isn’t necessary to have in the space is just going to serve as a distraction and take up valuable working areas.
Once you’ve got all the unnecessary bits out of the way, take a good look at what you have left. Begin by sorting things according to how often you use them; items you use all day long should go on your desk. Items you might use once or twice a day should be on a nearby shelf. Things you only use a few times a week can be stored on a shelf further away. This will help maximize your time, so you aren’t always having to get up and go look for the things you frequently use, and the things you use less often are out of the way.
Anything that you need to keep for legal reasons or documentation, but that you shouldn’t need to access otherwise should be moved to storage. Invest in some banker’s boxes and move anything that you have to keep, but don’t need, into storage. You can find inexpensive storage spaces of all sizes on sharing sites like spacer, so you don’t have to pay for more than you need.
Use Wall Space
Look into some shelving options that don’t take up any of your valuable floor space. You can find shelving units that mount freely to the wall. Put them up at eye level; people don’t usually walk or stand right next to the wall, so it helps make the space feel bigger than it is. Hanging wall files are a great way to sort and organize paperwork without taking up desk space or needing to keep a large filing cabinet.
If you have good natural lighting, take advantage of it. Just make sure that any computer screens are facing away from the window, so you don’t deal with too much glare. If you don’t have good natural lighting, consider investing in overhead lighting or wall-mounted lighting so that you don’t need to take up any needed space for floor or table-top lamps.
Commit the Space
This is especially important if you’re working out of a home office. You don’t want your home space to bleed into your office space, and you don’t want your office space to distract you after hours when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Stick to a “no eating at the desk” policy, so you actually have to get up and go to the kitchen on your lunch hour. If you’re going to relax by watching a movie with your laptop after work, move to the couch.
Keep it Clean
Once you have your small office space set up and running, it’s important to keep the space organized and free of encroaching clutter. Dedicate 10 minutes each day to a quick clean-up before you end your work-day to make sure that you’re maintaining the space, everything goes back in it’s place, and all projects are put away so that they don’t pull you back in when you’re supposed to be off the clock.
There are plenty of creative ideas for elevated storage and other space-saving features if you take the time to look for them. Following these tips should help you to maintain a productive work routine in your small work space.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.