A study or work area should be kept as organized and clutter-free as possible to prevent distraction, missed deadlines, and generally creating a mess. While others think that relying on the services of a professional interior designer is the answer, many who are on a budget can still organize their work area, DIY-style. Below are some ways to do the latter.
Keep an in-tray for things that need to be done.
To free up the surface of your desk or work table in order to maximize its use for writing, keep an in-tray on top of it and mark it with “To Do”. It can help organize stuff better for you. You can pile the work you need to do according to deadline, so you can just pick them up one by one from the in-tray and file them in another tray marked “Done”. Doing this makes the flow of work smoother and better controlled.
Steer clear of purely ornamental items.
Souvenir items, frames, toys, and other knick-knacks are called “dust-catchers”, and with good reason. They create clutter, need constant cleaning, and have no place in a study area.
An inspiration board is one thing, but other items of no real use for studying should be kept in another area of the home such as in the living room or bedroom. If you really need something to sort of lighten the mood while working, settle on a couple of “must-have” items such as a favorite poster or something that is both functional and ornamental, like a whimsical pen-holder.
Put pens, pencils, and other stationery items in appropriate containers.
Paperwork can pile up without you noticing it, and much-needed stationery items can get lost among folders, envelops, books, and other things that need to be sorted out. You don’t need a fancy desk organizer for this. Mugs and cans can make nifty pencil holders, and flat tin cans for cigars and chocolate can hold fancier pens. Glue, erasers, Post-its, sticky tape, and other study and work necessities can be kept in one clear shoe box or case for easy access.
Invest in a shelving system for books and other reference materials.
It can be as simple as a couple of sturdy book ends or as complicated as a floor-to-ceiling system, but shelving your books is a must in order to be organized in your study area. You can arrange the books by title, subject, or any way that allows you the fastest way to search for them. Keeping books piled on top of your desk will not only result in a mess, but can also do damage to the books. Keep the spines facing outward so you can easily pick out titles and put the books back in after use.
Come up with a cable organization system.
Computer cables, some swear, breed and multiply behind your back. While there is no scientific evidence to back this up, the way cables create a mess and clutter up your desk can make you swear by it, too! In this case, twist ties and adhesive hooks are your friend. You can twist-tie cables together if you don’t move your electronic gadgets around a lot. If you do, you can use adhesive hooks at the back or sides of your desk to hang the cables with and keep them from getting tangled up.
Maria is an avid guest writer whose articles can be seen on design and home improvement sites all over the Web. She also works for In Style Modern. Check out their newest ghost chairs, tulip tables and other modern reproduction furniture.