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How to Take an Ordinary Space and Turn it Into a Functioning Office

I recently took over a space that had been used over the years for many different purposes: faculty room, office, storage supplies, etc.  While the size of the office was more than sufficient, it felt bland and sterile so here's what I've done to turn it into a truly functioning workspace:

  • Reorient the desk: instead of a desk facing the door and credenza behind it, I created and "L" shape.  This saves my back (computer was in a tough spot before) and allows more privacy for my computer.

  • Eliminate clutter: I went through the file cabinet, drawers, and closet and pitched as much as I could.

  • Label files: With a label-creator in hand, I went through each file and drawer and either threw things out or found a new home for them.

  • Introduce 'soft' items: A few plants go a long way as do some personal photos and prints.

  • Allow for empty spaces: Each wall doesn't have to be plastered with memorabilia or nick-nacks.  Keep it simple.

  • Desklamps: If you're like me then the fluorescent overhead lights wear on you as the day goes on.  I brought in some smaller lamps which add depth and save my eyes from the overheads. 

What I've found through all of this is that it doesn't take much money or a professional degree to turn an ordinary space into a truly functioning office.  Instead of putting up with a layout or office items that were purchased for you, make a decision today to evaluate your space and then do something about it. 

Resources for the Road
How to Organize Your Desk
Organizing Your Workspace
Real Simple: Maximizing Your Home Office Space

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