A Teacher Office Makeover & “Shaking Off the Sleepies”

A couple things happening around the web I wanted to share with you all…

Teacher Office Makeover

This summer I had an incredible opportunity to work on a project with Portland Family Magazine.  I worked with a teacher on his office.  It was a great time, and the job turned out beautifully!  Continue reading “A Teacher Office Makeover & “Shaking Off the Sleepies””

Not your ordinary storage and office supplies…..

Ok, so I get positively weak in the knees when I see stylish storage and office supplies. It may be a sickness, but I’m willing to admit that there is something about a useful and eye-catching product that makes me swoon! So, I thought I would share some with you, so you could revel in them as well!

seejanework.com : What’s not to love about a company that sells stylish products for the woman on the go. Out with the black and brown leather man-ish products and in with the colorful and fresh!

getbuttonedup.com : Sometimes you just want a product that is straightforward and simple! Just make it useful, make it easy and make it cute! If you’re moving, getting a handle on your life, tracking your valuables or just trying to get some stuff done – this may be a good product for you!

wishingfish.com : So, have you ever walked out to your car and had to climb in the sunroof, because the car next to you had blatant disregard for the parking lines? How about giving them a parking ticket? Or, you’re out at the park and there is no soap anywhere around, but you have got to wash your hands? Try Paper Soap! Or you love french press coffee? Try a press for one! You can find all these things, and some other outlandishly brash and entertaining products here. Ok, and they have some organizing stuff too…..

russell+hazel : Stylish and functional, what’s not to love? Their “Audrey” line is breathtaking and worthy of the red carpet!

OFFICE : Located in Portland, Oregon, this quirky and style-conscious “office supply” store has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens! The owners are fun and the brick and mortar location has a fabulous vintage feel. Their website is well stocked and full of innovative products. Go check it out!

What’s YOUR favorite office supply or storage resource?

5 Unexpected Upgrades For Your Home Office That Actually Pay Off

Image source: pexels.com

If you ask me, it is time to think outside the box, and beyond those sterile cubicles that corporations call offices. A home office can and should be a place where it is a joy to work in. It is your space after all, and you are free to do anything that helps you summon the work mood to nail your tasks. Now, home office remodeling is not associated with a particularly high ROI, but if you play it smart, there is a way to take your efficiency to the next level and avoid blowing the budget.

Personal statement

Personalizing the space is something that makes an impact on your mood and psyche. The good news is that there are many DIY projects that go easy on your budget and are not labor-intensive. Some home offices also double as hobby and craft room spaces, so do not hesitate to display your passion. Quirky accents, vintage accessories, and handmade crafts do miracles for an overall appeal of the space. At the very least, you can download, enlarge, and frame striking photos you find online. Give your office an instant facelift and this will pay off as sure as eggs.

Matters of functionality

It is also possible to boost the functionality, another hallmark feature, without overspending. Storage space is paramount as it allows you to come up with an uncluttered, clean space. Again, the DIY approach proves to be fruitful. For example, you can save precious desk space by assembling DIY wall storage. Vintage tins, coffee cans, and similar items do the trick just fine: You just need to strip off the label and add magnets. Feel free to go an extra mile and create a work desk out of solid-core wooden door. Just make sure it has appropriate storage compartments and ample space for your equipment.

A fresh start

The importance of fresh air and natural light in work environments cannot be stressed enough. First off, you can do yourself a favor and position your desk next to a window. It also helps to have a nice view, a soothing backdrop that is always there when you need it. But, some offices do not even feature a window, or it is strangely placed. In that case, make a difference with air fresheners and purifiers. Studies have found that nice smells make work errors less likely to occur, so fill the air with rejuvenating presence. Also, you can bring the outdoors in with potted plants and feel the comforting nature’s embrace.

Extra amenities

In case your budget allows it, you should consider bigger projects and remodels. After all, a retreat tailored to good work habits can hold various amenities. Some of them can be close by, outside the core workplace. This saves much time and lets you get back to work ASAP. One good example is a tiny kitchen: You may be able to do things such as listening to educational videos and tutorials while making a launch. You would need proper appliances, storage, as well as plumbing and electrical systems. See what you can do yourself, and contact the local plumbers, designers and electricians for pro results.

Productivity on board

Finally, we present another frugal and simple addition that improves the ambiance and functionality. Namely, a simple whiteboard can bring about a significant boost in productivity. This dry-erase-friendly space for your scratch-work serves a multiple of purposes. You may also go for a chalkboard if that is your cup of tea. Chalkboard spray paint is used in kids’ rooms and kitchens, but there is no need to limit its application to those spaces. It may be messier, but it is also more stylish and enables you to take quick notes. Also, it can deliver a decorative touch to the space and make infuse it with a distinctive character.

Above and beyond

A physical environment has a profound effect on our work habits. Thus, a home office design should not be an afterthought, on the contrary. A dedicated work area can ignite your creativity and productivity, provided that you invest time, money and effort first. Use each square foot to its maximum capacity and look beyond conventional, commercial offices. You can spruce up your workspace even without spending a truckload of money. Treat yourself with a home office that captures your imagination, speaks to your sense of taste, and enables peak performance.

Progress, Not Perfection

One question I am asked when meeting someone new is “So, what do you do?”.   More often than not, when I tell them I am an Organization Consultant, they ask a handful of questions such as: “Oh, you’re one of those people with all your spices alphabetized?” (This one happens to be true.)  Or “I would love to see your house.  I bet it’s perfect!”  *insert awkward silence here*

Perfection, Shmerfection. Continue reading “Progress, Not Perfection”

I’m Hardly Ever On Time

photo by Caitlinator on flickr.com

I’ll admit, I hate trying to be on time.  It’s hard to do, and most times it’s downright impossible.  Now, before you get all up in arms, let me explain with I mean.

Getting there on time is overrated.

Let’s say you have a 3pm appointment.  So, you know it takes 30 minutes to get there.  You are prudent and build in a little time cushion, and you get in your car 45 minutes before the meeting, AKA 2:15.  Then, you hit a traffic backup, you get a flat tire or you get a hang nail… whatever.  Something gets in your way, and alas, you are late and definitely not on time.

Don’t be on time, be super-early.

Let’s take that 3:00 meeting again.  Instead of trying to stroll into that meeting at the stroke of 3:00, trying being there really, really early.  I do this whenever possible.  Here’s that I do:

  • Be prepared. Take a bag, throw in a notebook, something to write with, a project or two, a book and the laptop.  You have work to do anyway, and if you work from home, I’ll bet it doesn’t matter much where you are when you do it.
  • Are you going to work online or offline? That will determine where to go: the actual meeting location OR a nearby wifi hotspot.
  • Set out 2 or 3 times earlier than when the meeting starts. For a 3:00 meeting, I’d shoot for being there about 1-2 hours early.
  • Oh, look at that, I’m already here. Then, when the meeting starts, you’re already there.  No stress, and you even get some things done.

How about you?  Are you on time or early?


photo by Caitlinator on flickr.com

“How Do I Organize My Spouse?”

Question: How do I organize my spouse?

Answer:  You don’t.

This is a question I get a lot!  It’s difficult when taking on a project in the home or office when your spouse is less than lukewarm to the idea.  How do you get them on board?

Here’s an honest suggestion:  You work on yourself. I imagine you are looking at the screen now with a puzzled look on your face.  Not the answer you were expecting?  You’re not alone.

Organizing is a personal choice.

Organizing is a funny thing – it’s very personal.  You might think that sorting through your stuff and figuring out where it all goes wouldn’t make people uncomfortable – but for many it does (even if it doesn’t bother you). If you’ve decided you want to take on an organizing project in your home office, go for it!  But realize that you are doing it for yourself.  Get your spouse (and/or children) on board by politely requesting that they use the system you put in place.  Take small steps and don’t expect everyone to change because you are on fire about it.  It’s really like anything else in life… take small steps and you’ll make positive changes.  Just remember, it’s a personal choice.

Home Office Organization Series on StartupNation.com!

StartupNationHave you seen my home office organization series on StartupNation.com?  Here’s a rundown of the articles:

Home Office Organization: A Good Investment

Get Your Home Office Paperwork Under Control

Organize Your Stacks of Business Cards: 5 Simple Tips

Balance, Shmalance: It’s Really About Choices

If you’re a community member, be sure to chime in on the conversation!

Easy Ways To Dispose the Old Rubbish and Junk From Your Office

It has never been easy to get rid of junk and unwanted bulk items from your office. Everyone has to deal with office clutter, but some people just deal with it more successfully thanks to their own personal tolerance for disarray or by teaching themselves good habits to keep everything around them organized. If your office is in disarray right now, it does not mean that you are a bad or terminally disorganized person. It means that you simply haven’t taken some time to learn new habits that will help keep your office as organized as it should be. Continue reading “Easy Ways To Dispose the Old Rubbish and Junk From Your Office”

Curtains or blinds – Which are best suited for your home office?

When it comes to choosing window treatments for the home office, many people have issues deciding whether curtains or blinds are a better option. Truth be told, both of these options are great. However, if your room doesn’t get enough natural light, blinds are more suitable because they feature lighter colors and the materials are thinner. Curtains on the other hand, are thicker and are more appropriate in large, tall rooms. Before making any choices, let’s have a closer look at the following tips. Then you can decide which of these – curtains or blinds – you’d like to have installed in your home office.

Some rights reserved by Jeremy Levine Design
Home office with shelving and built in organization Some rights reserved by Jeremy Levine Design

Curtains and blinds – how do we decide?

In general, blinds refer to window treatments made of hard materials, such as vanes or slats. These are easy to adjust by remote control, manual pull cord, or wand. What we like most about blinds is that they adjust to our needs pretty well. In case you need more light into the office you can easily open them up or pull them up entirely. There are all kinds of blinds available in the marketplace – horizontal, vertical, striped, blinds with thicker or thinner slats and more. It’s up to you to decide whether these can fit into the décor of your home office or not.

As far as curtains are concerned, these are made of fabric – cotton, damask, silk, etc. They feature all kinds of patterns and colors, and they’re usually meant to keep too much light at bay. If you’re office is positioned by the window and the intense light doesn’t let you work, then a nice set of curtains will bring things back to normal. Quality materials are the best because they don’t shred; furthermore, when buying curtains make sure they fit the width and length of your window.

Some would say that curtains are more suitable for a home office because they fill up a room, making it seem chic and modern. Others on the other hand, are fond of the old-fashioned sense of style. Blinds have a vintage-like allure that many homeowners like. They’re more convenient than curtains, easy to fold and quite alluring when matched with a suitable décor. Curtains are not encouraged if you have a home office that’s small with small windows. Rather than cover everything up, you need to create structure with blinds by shaping only the windows, without “cutting” from the walls as well.

Some rights reserved by BettaLivingUK
Modern home office design Some rights reserved by BettaLivingUK

Blinds make rooms feel “naked”

In some case, this can be true. Because they don’t cover the walls and don’t touch the ground, blinds might make your office seem rather dull and empty. But then again, if you don’t want to overcrowd your space and leave it looking spacious, then stick to blinds. However, ditch neutral shades and go for livelier variants of baby blue with golden accents, burgundy and yellow, or purple with lilac. Place flower pots by the windows to make them look less “naked”, and make sure there’s an additional plant on the floor as well. It will fill up the places too, and your office won’t seem boring anymore.

Curtains or blinds, or both?

If you can’t make up your mind and choose between blinds and curtains, then you should do both. However, to create balance and not make the windows seem overly crowded, your need to rethink your options. In this case, light blinds in hues of beige, white and pastel pink are advised; that’s because we need a stronger color for the curtains. To maximize privacy and not overload the windows, you might want to go for cellular shades. These are opaque and they’re ideal in home offices where you don’t want to have a lot of sun. As for curtains, it’s always best to stick to simpler models and patterns. To add height, striped curtains might seem like the best choices; and for some width, curtains with thick, horizontal stripes can instantly widen your space and make it feel more breathable and fresh.

Home office with clean look; Some rights reserved by highmarkb
Home office with clean look; Some rights reserved by highmarkb

Whatever you choose – curtains, blinds, or both – just make sure to use your creativity as well to make the home office your own. The web is filled with DIY projects and tutorials. Use them and transform your personal space into a productive work nook.

By Charles Goodwin and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!

Make More Room in Your Office With an Overhaul

Your guide to an office overall2Businesses can end up as cluttered as the home so when you have some down time why not get to work and have a good sort out. Offices, workshops and businesses can get as messy and untidy as a home and there will likely be a lot of items that you no longer use. Offices create a lot of waste and if you are a big commercial business then it is likely you already deal with professional office clearance service for commercial clearance purposes. If however you are looking to cut costs why not look at some cheaper ways to reducing your rubbish and making more space for a brighter environment to work for you and those around you.

For a fast and efficient rubbish clearance

There is no doubt that if you want rid of your waste and rubbish quickly you need to hire a professional clearance company. All you will need to do is keep aside what you are keeping and let the experts take the remaining rubbish. These companies are fully experienced and will recycle almost all of the waste properly. It is a stress free solution and sometimes the best choice when you are relocating a business rather than just a clear out.

Your guide to an office overallTake time to sort through and work out what to save

Having a sort out will take some time so better done when the office is closed for a holiday or weekend at least. Spend time looking at what is useful and worth keeping, and what is broken or not working to its full potential. As you come across rubbish and waste that needs dumping put it aside in one pile. If it is in good working order and maybe old or just not used anymore you could give it away or sell it. Advertise in local papers, attend car boot sales, or use online selling sites such as eBay. It is a good way to get some money back from your unwanted items.

Decide what to do with the rubbish

If you have a lot of waste to remove it might be worth contemplating hiring a clearance company to call, load and take it all away to the proper environmentalist centers. Or you could get use the useful skip hire service and place all of the junk and rubbish together in the one place. Ask other local businesses if they would like to share the costs.

Alternative and cheaper ways to a rubbish removal

Some of your rubbish may be in reasonable condition; it may be worth holding a clearance sale and offer other businesses the opportunity to buy second hand equipment and furniture. All businesses struggle and your older maybe outdated desks and chairs may be a great help to a newcomer in the business world. It is a good way of recycling reusing your unwanted things, and stops them filling up valuable landfill sites.

Feeling more positive

When you have had a good tidy up it will make more room. You will likely have everything neat and tidy and well organized. This will help make the office more productive when you are free of clutter. An office clearance will make the place look better and make you feel better. Though it can be daunting at first going through desks, drawers and cupboards, it is certainly worth attempting from time to time. But, a better idea is not to let the rubbish build up next time or it can be costly hiring clearance companies!