Thursday, January 08, 2009

Eco-Organizing Your Office/Workspace

January is a great time to reorganize and refresh your workspace, whether it is a home office, or your office away from home. Sometimes, being away from the space and then coming back to it gives you fresh ideas for organizing. You might not have even realized how much clutter you had accumulated during the year, or how much trouble you have finding even the most basic items...where is that stapler again?

I'm a firm believe in clutter removal, and that we are all much more productive when we have our supplies, in-box, resource materials, and to do lists organized. So I recently reorganized to make sure that:
1. my supplies were close at hand
2. all my TO DO projects were in one folder, and that I had another folder for more long-term or future tasks
3. I posted items I needed to refer to often, like phone numbers and other reference info, on a small bulletin board I keep by my desk

I have also enjoyed reusing common household items that would otherwise be disgarded. For example:
1. Hold onto egg cartons! As pictured in the photo above, 2-3 cartons can be assembled and strung together to make a handy bulletin board. (Thank you to Thriftyfun.com for this cool idea.) I find them handy for storing and separating coins, and also for small office supplies like paper clips and rubber bands. This also works well with plastic egg cartons, but try to buy the paper ones.
2. I noticed that my replacement printer cartridges kept disappearing. Well, not really, but I kept them in a supply drawer and they got lost with other items. So I held onto an Oregon Chai tea box I had gotten over the holidays and found the cartridges fit perfectly, and now I always have them handy on my shelf.
3. I always enjoy fresh flowers for decoration, but of course they only last a few weeks and have to be tended to. So I found some great paper flower arrangements at a consignment shop recently, that were only a few dollars each, and I arranged them on my shelves to break up the space nicely and add color.
4. Who has extra books and not much room? Me! Instead of buying extra shelves for the books, I used the books themselves to hold other items for display, such as photos, notebooks, cd's, and other items.
5. One last tip- hold onto any pill containers you might have on hand from past medications you are done with. Just take the label off, clean and rinse, and they make great containers for smaller items like staples and stamps. You can also use them in the kitchen for spices, or sugar and salt refills.

Have any great re-use ideas? Let me know and I'll publish them here!

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