Downsizing has become the trend du jour in both home and office settings. Data compiled by Trulia in 2017 found that 60% of homeowners living in houses 2,000 square feet or larger said they will find a smaller house if/when they move from the current dwelling. Small business owners are downsizing their office spaces as well not only to save money on rental and energy costs, but also to accommodate the concurrent trend of more workers telecommuting.
The digital marketplace means less paper, boxes, and other office items that accumulate over time. But paper, boxes, and office supplies are not extinct. Here are some storage and organization ideas for both your personal workstation and overall office space.
The reason cities like New York build upwards and not outwards is simple - there is no more space to build new homes and skyscrapers. Property owners in the Big Apple are typically more aware of their air rights - the right to the air space above their property - than people in other cities for this very reason. The same concept should be applied to small office spaces.
The simplest way to create more space is adding storage cabinets. Large cabinets with four or five shelves are perfect for storing manuals, office supplies, and even personal files for employees and managers. Floating shelves above desks, cubicles, and around office walls create space for books, photos, trinkets, and work-related documents.
The mouse, the charger for your laptop, charger for your phone, keyboard, other USB devices…the list goes on-and-on as it relates to all the devices used on a daily basis in the office. A simple, efficient way to keep them all from getting tangled up is by clipping binder clips on the edge of your desk. Thread your individual power cords through the clips for easy access at all times. If the cords are long enough to reach the device and power outlet, use a rubber band to wrap them all up underneath your desk to keep them nice and neat.
All you need for this is a piece of plywood and two small bookshelves, with perhaps two or three shelves each. Facing outward, set the bookshelves parallel to one another and place the plywood on top of them. The shelves provide a bunch of new storage space right in your work area. Get creative and used an old tabletop instead of plywood for added style. An old door would work as well.
The proverbial junk drawer does not have to be a complete mess inside. Cut down empty cereal boxes so they are the same height as the drawer and place them inside. This creates separate sections for your storage needs. Shoeboxes can also be partitioned into sections and repurposed as drawer dividers. Muffin tins are also great for organizing and separating drawer contents.
There are never enough places in the office to sit, relax, work, or just unwind. Storage benches not only address this need, but also provide another source of inconspicuous storage. You can store nonperishable foods in the break room, magazines in the lounge, and office supplies in common areas.
Every 21st century office should have a station with a computer, printer and scanner readily-available for anyone to use. All mail, memos, and other paper communications should be immediately scanned and stored in the respective folder. Back up the scan station with an external hard drive to ensure nothing is ever lost, unless of course you are a fan of cloud storage. A scan station eliminates unnecessary clutter and keep everything more organized.