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6 Questions to Ask to Determine If You Need a Blueprint Storage Systems

blueprint storage systems

You are up to your eyes in clutter. There is paperwork, folders, and blueprints stuffed in cabinets and spilling out over your desk. You are running to office meetings late becuase you can’t find that project, binder or drawing.

And, coworkers and even your boss seem to be avoiding you because of your cluttered office—which, after months (and even years?) could cost you that promotion, raise, and sense of accomplishment at the office.

How do you prevent your clutter from controling your life and dictating office sociability? When do you need to install a blueprint storage systems? Here are several questions you need to ask about your clutter habits and, from there, determine if a blueprint storage systems is the right choice for you.

1. On a scale o 1-10, how cluttered is your office?

One is no clutter. And 10 means your office is swimming in piles of paper.

If your Office is 1-3

 

If you just have to put up with the occasional cluttered office—a few papers here, a couple disheveled folders there—most likely your office is a one (or even a three). You may just want a blueprint storage systems on the off chance that you are in the middle of an important project and can’t give much time to organization.

If Your Office is 4-7

Yes, you have some clutter. Depending on what project you are involved in and how close you are to deadlines, your desk may see more than your usual amount of lose leaf paper and stickies. However, you make it a point to sort through papers, documents, and blueprints on a weekly basis, and feel like you have clutter (for the most part) under some control.

Of course, you could do better. Basically, your office is a 1-3 during the first two weeks of the month and an 8-10 during the last two. You’d like to get your office to a 1-3 throughout the entire month, which is why you are considering that blueprint storage systems.

If Your Office is 8-10

On the other hand, if your office is a 10, it means you cannot thrive, much less survive with the level of clutter on your desk, on top of your computer, and in your desk drawers and filing cabinets. It is that pervasive that even if you got another filing cabinet, you still would not be able to manage the overwhelming amount of lose papers and FEMA and OSHA folders, let alone your current projects and client documents.

If you are spending an hour plus searching through your office for that one important document, you need to install a blueprints storage systems as soon as possible. And get a head start on sorting through and getting to the bottom of the clutter.

2. How late are you staying at the office?

Do you find yourself occasionally, sometimes, or mostly spending late evenings at the office? (And, this has nothing to do with starting your workday later.)

If you are often working at the office late during the week—and even the weekends—clutter may have to do with it. In general, if you are spending at least 10 minutes of the workday searching through cabinets and digging through drawers for that one document or contract, you could use a blueprint storage systems.

Blueprint storage systems can hold hundreds of oversized folders, documents, lose leaf papers, blueprints, drawings, and even artwork. Spend you last long day at the office sorting through your clutter and organize and hang up your papers on your bluepring storage hangers for easy access. Those long days staying at the office will be gone and you’ll be home sooner than you know it.

3. Are your coworkers and boss avoiding you?

It probably isn’t you that they are avoiding but your messy desk. As we have mentioned in previous articles, clutter is stressful for the brain because you are taking in so much: papers underneath the desk, office supplies crammed next to your computer, folders stuffed in boxes on the floor, you name it.

The simple truth is, most people don’t want to spend time in an office that screams messy and is packed to the brim in clutter. Which is most likely why your coworkers and boss are happy to talk with you in their offices but seem to disappear when you are working at your own.

Concerned about how much time you are spending at the office and seeing the amount of mess piling up in your workspace, your boss could have even pulled you aside to talk with you about the clutter.

You’ve tried to clean out your desk not once but several times, only to have it return to its orginal messy state at best weeks later, at worst only a couple of days.

You see, it might be that your organizational system is wrong. Installing a blueprint storge rack may be all you need to rid yourself of your messy workspace and create a friendly, inviting office.

4. Are meetings with clients held at the opposite end of the floor, farthest away from your office?

Again, this may not be a personal offense to your office space. But it could be a sign that your boss and coworkers do not want to take prospective and current clients pass your messy workspace.

Because, let’s face it, messy and disorganized communicates to clients that you may not be able to handle the account and it could literally and figuratively get lost in the clutter of all of the other accounts.

To create a client-friendly space, you may want to switch out your bursting filing cabinet with a blueprint filing rack. That way, coworkers and your boss will feel proud (or at least not self conscious) when they walk clients pass your office. And, who knows? Maybe you will now schedule a few more clients to your now clean and organized office space.

5. Are your stress levels through the roof?

Yes, work can get stressful at times. But not like this and not all of the time. With your current messy workspace, you are stressed on a daily basis. As we have mentioned earlier, you are spending hours digging through your cabinets and drawers, looking for that meeting memo.

You can’t seem to get to the conference on time because you are stuck wrestling papers. And, let’s not forget the hundreds of loose leaf papers pinned up on your bulletin board. At one time, it seemed to help. But those days have long past.

To sum it up, you are stressed out from always trying to find that document—and then only to lose it again when you do find it (somtimes hours later).

To prevent your stress levels from increasing even more and cause serious health issues (i.e. depression, panic attacks, high blood pressure), consider getting a blueprint storage systems. That way, you can go in and out of the office feeling at peace.

6. Are you tired all of the time?

If so, this may be because you are spending all of your evenings at the office, throwing off your work-life balance. Or, because you are so stressed from the clutter, you aren’t getting work done, which causes you to stay up at night in a stress-induced frenzy.

Either way, consistently not getting those necessary 7-8 hours you need each night can wreak havoc on your immune system, not to mention your mental and emotional health.

If you don’t stay proactive about your clutter and install a blueprints storage systm, you could eventually lash out at coworkers or even an annoyed client. Prevent this from happening by getting that blueprint storage rack for your office.

Final Thoughts: Blueprint Storage Systems is a Step in the Right Direction

Getting a blueprint storage systems will not only help you stay on top of clutter, but organize your workday, which will then positively pour into your personal life.

If you were nodding yes to any of these questions, it may be in your best interst to take a look at blueprint storage racks and see about installing one in your office.

Doing so could be the difference between heading to work in a fog of stress and having your work (and life) under control. What have been your personal experiences with a blueprint storage systems? How has it impacted your work and personal life? Be sure to comment below.

Summary

  • If your office is a 1-3, you could use the blueprint storage systems for the occassional mess; 4-7 means you need it to keep clutter to a minimum; 8-10 means you are in dire need of this in order to tame clutter and get your life under control
  • You stay late at the office because you spend so much time looking for documents and folders
  • Your coworkers and boss are avoiding you and taking clients the long way to their offices to avoid the mess sight of your workspace
  • Your stress levels are through the roof and you are tired all the time because you can’t seem to get (and stay) on top of work
  • If you are nodding your head to these statements, you may benefit from a blueprint storage rack.

For more information about blueprint storage systems and blueprint storage racks, contact Big Blueprint Hanger!

7 Ways You Know You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack

blueprint storage rack

No matter how often you clean your desk, do you always seem to have stacks of papers and folders sprawled out? What about filing cabinets that never close because of documents spilling over the drawers?

The truth is, you don’t have to work in a constant mess; using a blueprint storage rack can save you the time and trouble in searching for those cluttered documents. This is but one way you know it’s time to get a blueprint storage rack.

With a blueprint storage rack, you can easily thumb through oversized files, artwork, blueprints, documents, and more.

That being said, read on to find out when you need to use one in your office!

1. You Continue to Ask Questions

Where’s your son’s drawing he made you in first grade? You’re not sure when was the last time you saw your company policy folder—you know you’ll need to bring that to your annual meeting. What about that report you were about to submit?

Questions about next steps for your project, brainstorming ways to improve the company culture—these are questions you don’t need to be worrying about.

It is when you starting asking questions like the above when you know you may need to get your office more organized.

Especially if you find yourself constantly asking questions about documents, it may be time to get a blueprint storage rack.

That way, you can quickly hang up your son’s first-grade drawing, company policy folder, and report. Within a couple of minutes, you’ve found the report you need to turn in. And, when that annual meeting comes, you’ll know exactly where your company policy folder is.

2. It Takes You More Than 10 Minutes to Find Documents

(This is along the lines of #1.) Not only are you asking yourself questions about where you last put insert-document-name but it is taking you 10 minutes and longer to find what you’re looking for.

According to Daily Mail, we lose roughly 9 items in a single day, which adds up to 198,743 throughout your life.[1]

As you might not be surprised, paperwork stands at the fourth most frequently lost item (with your cell phone and keys taking first and second place). [2]

In the end, it takes about ten minutes to find our misplaced items. What this shows is that you’re not alone when you misplaced your binder at the office or need a minute or two (or ten) to search for your keys.

However, just because this is normal doesn’t mean you have to waste 10 minutes (or more) looking for something when you don’t have to. This is when a blueprint storage rack comes into play.

Why not take note of the most common items you misplace and make sure you hang those up on the rack? That way, your blueprint storage rack can be the first place you go to should you not be able to find something. And, if you stick to this rule, most likely you’ll find what you’re looking for in nothing flat.

3. You May Have Been Passed for a Promotion

You’ve worked at the company for yours; let’s face it, you’ve put in your time. But when push comes to shove, you are passed up for that promotion repeatedly.

While there may be several reasons why this is the case, interestingly enough, your messy desk may be holding you back.

As the OC Register states, a survey shows revealed that 28% of bosses were not as likely to promote someone whose desk was disorganized.[3]

Meanwhile, more than 38% stated that a stack of papers negatively affected their perception of the employee.[4]

What this shows is that if you want that promotion, you may need to make more of a consistent effort in being more organized. In which case, the blueprint storage rack can help.

4. Co-Workers Judge You

Speaking of company culture, your co-workers may make judgment calls based on your disorganization.

Similar to your boss’ perception, a study polling 1,000 workers indicated that more than half (57%) judged their coworker based on the cleanliness (or dirtiness) of his or her desk.[5]

Nearly 50% of employees considered a very messy desk appalling and thought the coworker was lazy.[6]

If you see coworkers scowling or walking quickly by your desk, this may be the case. (However, it could very well be something else.)

In this sense, judgment or not, it may be time to utilize the blueprint storage desk to get that clutter under control.

5. You are Stressed

Yes, other factors other than a messy desk may be a reason for why you are stressed at work. Upcoming deadlines and that conference call next week could be two of them.

However, a messy workspace does not help. In fact, it can add to the stress. The reason being, it takes your brain longer to process the clutter versus if the items were neat and organized.

(Speaking of which, consider reading “The Power of the Organized Workspace (and How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps)”).

So, in order to give your brain a break, tidy up your desk and incorporate that blueprint storage rack into your office to get those papers organized and off the ground.

6. You Stay at Work Longer

Again, there could be a number of reasons why you are clocking out late. However, messiness may be an unforeseen reason why this keeps happening.

Remember when we told you it takes ten minutes to locate misplaced items? Well, that time that could have gone into that report was spent looking for your project folder. Which meant that you had to stay longer in order to finish it.

You may want to grab that blueprint storage rack to help you with those lost items and, because of this, you’ll spend less time at your office and more time at home.

This can help solidify a consistent routine and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

7. You are Tempted to Toss Semi-Important Documents Out

While it is up to you what you want to toss and keep, there is another solution than spending a day sorting through paperwork.

Why not use a blueprint storage rack, which can hold hundreds of blueprints, artwork, oversized files, documents, and more.

That way, you don’t have to decide which important document is less important. And, should that day come where you need to use that one folder you seldom open, you’ll be glad you saved it instead of discarding it—along with the rest of the not so relevant documents.

Final Thoughts: Blueprint Storage Rack is One Step in the Right Direction

A blueprint storage rack can help you get clutter off of your desk. In doing so, you may just get that promotion, co-working may think you’re not lazy (which we already know), you won’t have to deal with mess-related stress, or toss documents away you may not have wanted to. This and more.

What other signs are there that it’s time to get a blueprint storage rack? How has your storage system decluttered your office space? Please be sure to comment in the comments section.

Summary

  • Continue to ask the “where is…” questions could be a sign you need some organization in your life
  • If it takes you 10 minutes or more to locate misplaced items, rest assured, you’re not alone; it may, however, be a good idea to solve this by using a blueprint storage rack
  • According to research you may have passed for a promotion and co-workers may (falsely) assume you are lazy because of your messy desk
  • In order to change these assumptions, you may want to clean your workspace
  • Continual stress and working after hours could be signs of disorganization—all of which a blueprint storage rack can solve
  • Tempted to throw out documents for the sake of cleaning out the clutter? You may not have to; blueprint storage racks can store hundreds of blueprints, oversized folders, documents, and artwork, to name a few
  • What this means is that folder you may or may not use in the future can be stored safely among other documents in your new organizational system
  • Should a day come when you need it, you know where to find it—and will spend 10 less minutes searching for it!
  • Overall, a blueprint storage rack is a step in the right direction
  • It can alleviate mess-related stress, change your coworkers’ perceptions of you, and possibly even get you a promotion and, who knows, maybe even a pay raise

Considering a blueprint storage rack? Contact Big Blueprint Hanger to learn more about it. And, while you’re at it, be sure to check out our other organizational products and informative articles.

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[1] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

[2] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

[3] The Orange County Register: Messy desk could cost you a promotion

[4] The Orange County Register: Messy desk could cost you a promotion

[5] Forbes: The Dangers of a Messy Desk

[6] Forbes: The Dangers of a Messy Desk

7 Questions Creatives Need to Ask Themselves (Blueprint Storage Systems is #3)

blueprint storage systems

Contrary to popular belief, creativity and organization are not on polar ends of the spectrum.

Many creatives do not excel at their craft when their environment is extremely messy and unorganized. Instead, there needs to be some constraint in order for it to flourish. In other words, complete freedom—freedom without constraints—may be stifled.[1]

To ensure this does not happen, read on to learn how creatives can create organization that will enhance their creativity (#3 includes blueprint storage systems).

But First, Who Are Creatives?

And, by creatives, we do not just mean artists, writers, and performers. Scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, and marketers are creatives too. As Forbes contributor, Steven Kotler says “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing.

It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination.”[2] This could mean designing an experiment that appropriately tests a hypothesis.[3] Or, creating a new curriculum for the start of the semester.

How is Creativity in the Office Stifled?

Creativity in the office gets stifled when managers are more focused on producing the “perfect” report or “perfect” process.

With perfectionism being the goal—not producing something original being a great customer service experience, new product or service—creativity is starved.[4]

So, it takes a balance between organization and perfectionism for creativity to come out.

Questions for Creatives to Ask Themselves

What can creatives do so that their creativity flourishes? How can they incorporate organization into their lives? Read on to find out!

1. What Do I Want to Accomplish Today?

Pick three tasks you want to accomplish a day. These are your priorities. While you may not have gotten to other to-dos, it is for certain that you did check these off when you walk away from the office. When choosing your top three, make sure you are realistic.

If you have a meeting with a client that you know will run at least an hour, perhaps choose smaller top threes you can do in a half hour or hour?

Creative Tip

According to the Huffington Post, creativity can be boosted when the creative has intrinsic motives to do an activity.[5]

That said, if you are not feeling like doing a task or feel as if your creativity is lacking, come up with intrinsic reasons why you should do the task. This may not only get you up and moving but the task may be done more creatively than it would have.

2. How Much Time Do I Have Left?

Damien, a well sought-after designer, puts his own constraints so that he can get the most out of his creativity. He will normally go with his gut instinct because, in order to meet the short deadline, he does not have enough time to second-guess.[6]

Whether you are a graphic designer or librarian, you can make the most of your creativity by either setting a timer, using the Pomodoro Technique or simply seeing how much time you have left to finish that project or wrap up for the day.

3. What Does My Work Space Look Like?

Interestingly enough, creativity and organization do not entirely go hand in hand. According to a study, those who were in a messy room compared to a tidy room were able to come up with more creative uses for ping pong balls.[7]

Nonetheless, tidier rooms were linked to higher expectations and healthier choices. At the end of the day, if you want to be more creative, perhaps it is time to let the clutter pile a little?[8]

At the same time, clutter is also associated with stress. This is where a blueprint storage system can come into play. Since each hanger can hold up to 60 prints, which makes it easier to quickly hang up oversized folders, blueprints, graphics, etc. in a couple of minutes.

Creatives then have enough freedom (while having a time constraint) and a messy desk to work on their project and then quickly stash the clutter away in the blueprint storage system.

4. Am I Asking the Right Questions?

To get more creative responses, reframe the question. In doing that, your brain pulls from your memory in order to help you answer them.[9]

In a nutshell, the more difficult the question is, the more creative the response will be.[10]

If you are a kinesthetic learner, it may help if you list your questions on paper—physically writing them down. For visual learners, imagine the question. And, more auditory learners, ask the questions out loud.

You could even organize a time in your workday where you brainstorm (and problem-solve) that upcoming report or project.

5. What Does My Organization Space (and Process) Look Like?

While this may be contrary to #3, everyone’s organizational spaces can look different. In fact, Joan Rivers created an intricate filing system to catalog her jokes.

You may not be a professional comedian but do whatever helps you maintain some sense of organization. That may mean having the stereotypical bulletin board up in your office with an assortment of colored sticky notes. Whatever it is, if it works, stick to it.

6. Do I have a Consistent Routine in Place?

Creatives are not routine phobic. In fact, novelist, Haruki Murakami mentioned that his routine consists of writing in the morning for five to six hours, then a 10-km run or 1500 m swim. And, during the evenings, reading and listening to music.[11]

Even if you are not a novelist, you can create a routine (and stick to it) that enhances your creative energy. This could be getting coffee in the morning, reading the news online, and then hitting emails for an hour before starting on your project for the day (or your top three priorities).

7. Am I Working More in the Mornings?

If you do stereotypical creative work, research shows it may best to do it in the mornings. According to Psychology Today, 72% of creative people did their work in the mornings compared to those who routinely did it at night (15%).[12]

So, you may benefit from being an early riser and hitting the work hour before 7.

Final Thoughts: That Blueprint Storage Systems May Come in Handy

No matter what creative work you do—be it in science, mathematics, teaching, marketing, or dance—it is important that organization plays a role in your day.

This can be organizing your office space (but keeping some clutter) by using the blueprint storage system. And, create a consistent routine (that you stick to); in fact, 88% of stereotypically creative people have (and follow) a strict routine.[13]

Nonetheless, you want to make sure that your organization works for you, and that you have enough constraints in place to allow your creativity to flourish.

How else can you boost your creativity in the workplace? Be sure to leave a comment!

Summary

  • Overall, creativity and organization are not on opposite ends; one needs the other
  • Creatives come in many different forms: scientists, teachers, marketers, writers, artists, etc.
  • Creativity is simply making something from nothing
  • For instance, scientists are creative because they can come up and design an experiment that adequately answers their hypothesis
  • To boost your creativity, counterintuitively, you need organization to provide constraint
  • You also will need to organize your space (enough) while keeping some clutter (although studies do show that clutter contributes to stress?)
  • This is where the blueprint storage system works well; with its hangers holding up to 60 documents, you are able to quickly pick up your workspace on the way out
  • List three top priorities; if you are in need of a creative tip, come up with intrinsic reasons why you should complete these tasks
  • Create (and stick to) a routine, which can be an anchor (and a constraint?), which will allow your creativity to flourish
  • Ask the right questions by reframing them; that way, you draw more and more creative answers
  • If you do stereotypical creative work, research shows that morning may be the best time of the day to get work done (while nights were seen as the least)
  • Give some constraint to your day; this could be in the form of deadlines, or pushing a timer or using the Pomodoro Technique
  • Creativity is stifled by focusing on the perfection of the process—in other words, micromanaging

For more information on blueprint storage systems and blueprint storage racks, contact Big Blueprint Hanger.

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[1] Inc.: Is Organization the Enemy of Creativity?

[2] Huffington Post: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

[3] Psychology Today: The Creativity of Scientists

[4] Inc.: Is Organization the Enemy of Creativity?

[5] Huffington Post: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

[6] Fast Company: Proof That Constraints Can Actually Make You More Creative

[7] Huffington Post: Messy Work Space Spur Creativity, While Tidy Environments Linked With Healthy Choices

[8] Huffington Post: Messy Work Space Spur Creativity, While Tidy Environments Linked With Healthy Choices

[9] Fast Company: 3 Ways to Train Yourself to Be More Creative

[10] Fast Company: 3 Ways to Train Yourself to Be More Creative

[11] 99U: How Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic

[12] Psychology Today: Daily Routines of Creative People

[13] Psychology Today: Daily Routines of Creative People

12 Tips Parents Can Use to Help their Children Improve their Executive Functions (Includes Using a Blueprint Storage Rack!)

blueprint storage rack

According to Understood, children who misplace items, frequently lose track of time, don’t finish tasks, and procrastinate until the last minute may have issues with executive functions.[1]

These executive functions, WebMD states, are a variety of mental skills, which are controlled by the frontal lobe.[2] The article goes on to state that the brain continues to develop and that children who may once have had trouble with executive functions—such as time management and organization—may not face these same problems nearly as bad in adulthood. That is, of course, dependent on the child’s experiences as he or she grows up.

To help your child gain more control and strengthen his or her executive functions, read on to learn what tips you can incorporate into their daily life so that they can thrive (#11 includes the blueprint storage rack.)

Signs Your Child May Need Some Help Strengthening Their Executive Functions

Your child may not be able to estimate with time. They lose track of time easily, may say “5 more minutes” but 5 turns into 10, which turns into 15, which turns into a half hour.

Also, they may be messy, leaving papers on the ground, the table is disorganized, the chair isn’t pushed in, etc. This isn’t a one-time or two-time deal; they routinely do this, needing insistent reminders to clean up.

This may be a sign that the child isn’t aware of time and space, not that they are lazy.[3]

Does Your Child Have ADHD, Dyslexia, or Another Disorder?

The truth is, your child could have a brain disorder—or not. Monitor what your child does and speak to a professional to determine if this is the case and what proper avenues you can use to help your child get the help they need.

At the same time, know that several children do exhibit these traits but don’t have a disorder.[4]

Ways You Can Help Your Child Stay Organized

Still, you can help your child by teaching them how to set goals and follow through with them, let alone stay organized and consistent. Here are some tips how.

1. Create To-Do Lists

Help your child set goals. Ask them what they want to accomplish and guide them, using realistic expectation in the form of a to-do list.

If your child can read and write, help them create one. Try to incorporate all of the learning styles—kinesthetic, visual, and auditory—when creating the list. For instance, for kinesthetic, have your child physically write out the list. Then, for visual and auditory, have them read the list out loud.

You can also use different colors or signs to highlight the level of importance, which can also help with visual learning.

2. Routine, Routine, Routine

Set a routine to help your child have a sense of consistency. Set a time for bedtime, meals, activities, etc. It doesn’t have to be on the dot, just as long as the child has a foundation of stability.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement helps reward and encourage positive behavior. Such examples of positive reinforcement include praise, free time, special outing, etc. While some people use treats as a form of positive reinforcement, it may not have a healthy effect on the child.

For instance, if your child does his or her homework, perhaps give them the opportunity to play outside? Or your child finishes his or her chores. Take them out to the park?

By encouraging children to use their executive functions by providing positive reinforcement, you help them organize their time, stick to one goal, and accomplish it in one go.

4. Ditch the Distractions

Maybe the TV is on in the background. Or you have the music on. Distractions such as these may pull the child’s focus away from the activity they have to do. That or force them to concentrate harder, which takes more work. To help your child stay on task, minimize distractions by providing a calm environment.[5]

5. Create a Chart

Track homework and chores with a chart. Have your child physically check off the box when he or she is finished with the chores and homework. That way, the child can physically see the accomplishment, as well as see the progress he or she has made throughout the week.

6. Set Expectations

What do you expect from your child? What does your child expect from himself or herself? Help he or she come up with the words and consistently hold your child accountable to those expectations.

That could mean helping your child come up with an expectation at the beginning of the day, and then following up at the end to see if your child completed it or not. Doing this consistently will help your child set goals and complete them and to take expectations seriously.

7. Reflection

(This ties into #6.) At the end of the day, help your child review his or her day. What does he or she wish she would have done differently? And then help him or her come up with practical ways he or she can accomplish that. What’s something he or she is proud of?

8. Embrace Spontaneity

At the same time, while routine is good, room for spontaneity and creativity are important. By having a stable base in routine and expectations, the child can explore, create, and imagine.

9. Break Activities into Chunks

Some homework assignment may take a couple hours. Others may take 15 minutes. Help your child come up with a realistic time expectation for each, including transition and settling in times.

If the assignment is long, don’t be afraid to break it up into chunks. Perhaps, the research for the first hour, and then a break? Then write the rough draft for the paper later or the next day. That way, your child learns how to pace tasks.

10. Refrain from Yelling

While it can be tempting when you are frustrated, take a couple deep breaths instead of yelling at your child.

Children may become scared and insecure, according to a Healthline article.[6] Instead, calmly explain the frustrating behavior. That way the environment continues to be secure and children feel safe to do their chores and homework.

11. Help Keep the House Clean and Tidy, Using a Blueprint Storage Rack

A blueprint storage rack is great for hanging up artwork, past class assignments, folders, and files. Since each hanger can hold up to 60 blueprints, rest assured that you won’t be needing to put several filing cabinets in your house.

By keeping the house tidy, your child won’t be distracted by the clutter, and can more easily focus on his or her homework.

12. Let Children Blow Off Steam with Physical Activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teens need roughly an hour of physical activity every day.[7] Not only does physical activity improve health but it helps them stay focus. If your child has ADHD symptoms, it can reduce those. And, it can also improve memory, among a host of other benefits.[8]

Final Thoughts

By keeping a tidy environment (using organizational pieces such as the blueprint storage rack) you help your child cultivate organization and strengthen their executive functions. That and providing structure and stability will facilitate and cultivate better goal setting and achieving, completing tasks, and minimize procrastination.

What other tips do you have? Leave a comment.

 Summary

  • Children who may need to strengthen their executive functions exhibit misplacing items, putting things off until the last minute, getting off track, etc.
  • Some children who show these patterns have ADHD or another disorder; others don’t; it is best to have a professional rule this out
  • Help your child to set and achieve goals by creating daily to-do lists
  • Help foster a routine and use positive reinforcement to reward and encourage positive behavior
  • Minimize distractions such as TV and loud music while creating a chart so the child can see how they’ve progressed throughout the week
  • Set expectations and work with your child to reflect whether they were met, and what steps they can follow to ensure it does get met next time
  • Nonetheless, embrace spontaneity, which will help boost creativity, exploration, and imagination
  • Keep the house tidy by using the blueprint storage rack
  • Try not to yell, and let the child blow off steam via physical activity—at least one hour daily
  • If homework or chores are too cumbersome, help the child break them up so that they are doable

For more information about the blueprint storage rack, feel free to contact Big Blueprint Hanger!

___________________________

[1] Understood: Understanding Your Child’s Trouble with Organization and Time Management

[2] WebMD: What is Executive Function?

[3] Understood: Understanding Your Child’s Trouble with Organization and Time Management

[4] Understood: Understanding Your Child’s Trouble with Organization and Time Management

[5] Psychology Today: 7 Tips to helps a Distracted Child

[6] Healthline: The Long-Lasting Effects of Yelling at Your Kids

[7] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How much physical activity do children need?

[8] Psychology Today: 8 Ways Exercise Can Help Your Child Do Better in School

14 Productivity Hacks for Teachers (Including Blueprint Storage Rack)

blueprint storage rack

We often put productivity hacks with the 9-to-5 office job or overworked college students acing finals. But what about teachers and children? With the new school year just getting started, teachers are busy as ever. Children too are in that transition phase from summer to kicking school off with new homework assignments and projects. It’s safe to say, it wouldn’t hurt to have some productivity hacks. Read to learn how teachers can leverage stereotypical “office hacks” in the classroom so he/she can have a more productive and manageable school day. (# includes blueprint storage racks!)

1. Pomodoro Technique for Kids

We’ve discussed the Pomodoro Technique in our last article. In case you’re unfamiliar with the technique, this method involves doing an activity for 25 minutes straight. After the 25 minutes are up, you take a 5-minute break. After working four 25-minute increments, you are rewarded a 15- to 20-minute break.

How to incorporate it in the classroom?

The Pomodoro Technique is great for clear, straightforward tasks. In other words, spontaneous tasks—such as free time—may not work with this technique.

Instead, use it when students are doing individual work. Perhaps you’ve taught addition and subtraction and children are practicing addition problems? After the 25-minute period is up, children can take a 5-minute stretch break? Especially given children’s short attention spans, this technique rewards students for their focus. Teachers can also apply this method to grading papers and creating lesson plans, effectively getting more done in less time.

2. Peak Productivity Times

Every student has their own productivity peak time. Some may be in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some after lunch. Observe classroom behavior, noticing when children are paying attention and when they’re inattentive. You don’t have to record peak times down. Simply, making a mental note of when your students are most engages will make planning scholastic activities easier.

You can plan new concepts and lessons around the most attentive time period. While scheduling free time and activities that involve concepts students are familiar with at the least attentive.

3. Meditation

Meditation has been linked with increased focus. Not to mention, reducing stress and increasing happiness.[1] Why not incorporate it in the classroom? Even taking 5 minutes out of the day to teach children how to sit still can have positive benefits. Try meditating at the beginning of the day, setting an intention on the type of school day you and your students want to have.

4. Free Time

Otherwise called innovative creative time, this time period is for creative exploration.[2] Since students are going from one activity to the other, always in the “doing” mode, it helps to change things up and allow students time to innovate. During this time, children can draw, build blocks, read…—anything that has to do with thinking outside of the box.

5. Designate a Specific Time to Check Your Email

It’s hard throughout the school day for teachers to have any free time, let alone time to check their email and make the most of the break that they have. By designating a specific time, teachers don’t need to go through emails on their days off or after school. This leaves them more time to relax at home and come to school the next day feeling refreshed.[3]

6. No Busy Work

It’s easy (and, at times, necessary) to pile on the practice work. But busy work—work that’s simply for the sake of doing—isn’t productive and, in fact, doesn’t help anyone. When planning assignments, simply ask yourself what the purpose of this assignment is? If it takes you a minute or so, chances are, it’s more busy work than productive work. If you’re on the fence, perhaps it’s not so much the lesson that needs to be changed but how the lesson is conveyed.

7. Have a Plan B

It’s a student’s birthday. There’s a fire drill. Today’s an assembly. There will always be events that interrupt the regular school day. Having a plan B makes it easier when dealing with these interruptions. And plan B can be as simple as doing the other half of the activity the next day.

8. Make Organization Fun

Let’s face it, students aren’t running to clean up and organize. That’s because it’s treated more as a chore than a game. Make organization fun by choosing a random, mysterious object that needs to be put away. Then, tell students that whoever picks the mystery item up wins a prize. (Of course, you don’t let on what the item is.) After the cleanup period is over, reward the student who picked up the random item.

You can also have a cleanup song. When students hear the song, they know it’s time to clean up.

You can also encourage teamwork by setting the timer. Students must try to cleanup before the time is up.[4]

9. Don’t Multitask

As we’ve mentioned in our other blog posts, our brains have a hard time multitasking. We think we may be experts, but, according to science, we actually spend more time jumping around from activity to activity. Try to create a learning environment where students are encouraged to only do one thing at a time. This will help keep student’s attention and decrease stress.

10. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

We often clump scheduling with meticulous color coding and post-its. But, in reality, scheduling works best when you do it your way. You can literally take out a sheet of paper and jot a few notes down. 5 minutes. Done.

11. Print Lesson Plans the Night Before

Make it a point to print your lesson plans the night before. That way, you don’t forget them at home. Or need to wake up a minute or two earlier to print them out.

12. Store Students’ Artwork in Blueprint Storage Rack

The blueprint storage rack cuts down on space while decreasing clutter. Conveniently place one of the racks next to cubbies or in the corner. Each blueprint hanger can hold up to 60 pieces of artwork. If you have a class of 30 students, that’s 2 pieces of artwork they did during the week. The blueprint storage rack allows piles not to build and helps keep the classroom clean and tidy.

13. Try to Only Do Work at the Class

While your students may leave around 2 or 3, you have lesson plans to go over, projects to grade, and permission slips to check off. You’re looking at least at 2 hours of extra work. Did you know that you’re the most productive 3 hours out of the day? According to an Inc. article, the average employees only work to the max for 2 hours and 53 minutes.[5]

So, spending extra time at home working won’t really solve the productive problem. Try to do work at your most productive peak time of the day. If you can’t, make it a point to only do work at the classroom. That way, you’re able to separate work from home and can decompress on your commute back home.

14. Work According to Your Age Group

Did you know an 18-year-old works differently than a 35-year-old? Yep, according to CNN Health, your prime work schedule depends on your age. Late teens to early to mid-twenties sleep and wake up later than older adults.

This is because of the levels of melatonin that are released during certain period of the day. In the young adults’ case, that’s later in the day. People in this age bracket then would probably do the best work after 10 am.

People in their mid-twenties to thirties could create a schedule based on their own preferences but be mindful of irregular shift work, which could have adverse health effects based on one’s own genes. Forty and above, the article stated, should try to do less than 25 hours a week of work so to not be fatigued.

Depending on your age, it may be beneficial to try out the corresponding schedule.

Summary

  • Use the Pomodoro Technique for kids; have them work on individual activity for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break
  • Observe when students are the most attentive, and then schedule the most in-depth lessons around that time
  • Incorporate daily meditation into the classroom to promote focus
  • Carve out free time for students to create and innovate
  • Choose a specific time to check emails so you have more time to spend relaxing at home
  • Ask yourself if you’re assigning busy work when making lesson plans
  • Have a Plan B for your Plan A
  • Make organization fun with games
  • Encourage a no-multitask environment where students are only focused on one thing at a time
  • Print lessons the night before
  • Incorporate a blueprint storage rack into your classroom
  • Only work at class
  • And work according to your age group

Use all the tips or some, whatever works for you and your class. For any questions or comments, contact us!

____________________________________

[1] Huffington Post: 8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life

[2] The Mission: 11 Amazing Productivity Hacks That Will Improve Your Life

[3] Forbes: Productivity Hacks That Successful People Use Every Day

[4] Education World: Keep It Clean! Quick Ideas for Clean-Up Activities

[5] Inc: In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker is Productive for This Many Hours

15 Ways to Be More Productive (#7 Includes Blueprint Racks Storage!)

blueprint racks storage

Do you feel overwhelmed juggling all of your commitments—work, friends, family, finances, health, hobbies, passions?

Do you feel like the doggy paddling to stay afloat in life seems like it’ll never end?

If so, you’re not alone. Actually, according to the Atlantic, you really only have around 30 hours of leisure per week.[1]

When you break it up over a 7-day, 168-hour week, that’s not a lot. (It’s little more than a full day!).

How do you make the most of it? What productivity tools can you use to increase that number (or at least not decrease it!).

Read on to find out! Plus, #7 includes productivity office furniture hacks such as using blueprint racks storage.

1. For 15 Minutes, All You Do Is Organize

Dedicate 15 minutes a day to only organization. This time could be used at home or the office, just as long as it’s consistently taken. [2]

For instance, take those 15 minutes to sort cluttered paper into 3 productivity piles: do, read, and file.

Then, on the next day, you can take 15 minutes to file the papers in the “file” pile, schedule in when and how to get the “to do” papers done. And skim over the “to read” papers to determine how much time you’ll need to dedicate in order to fully ingest the material.

2. One In, One Out

You can also spend those 15 minutes going through your office, tossing out junk you have no use for. Use the one in, one out rule to speed up the process.[3]

Basically, this rule calls for tossing out one item for every item you add to your office space.

You can even go as far to apply this rule to mandatory items such as receiving a new FEMA binder from your boss.

(You’d then toss out an unnecessary item—like the old, outdated one. Or that dead plant that’s an eyesore on your desk.)

3. Accomplish Goals by Prioritizing

Most people either don’t accomplish or procrastinate on their goals because they’re too big and overwhelming. To decrease the stress and turn an unmanageable project into a source of accomplishment, list and break down the goals.

This should be done each day and week. For example, let’s say you want to finish an in-depth report by the end of the week. Give it a number. How much of a priority is it for you? Does this take precedence in your work life?

If it is, it gets a number one. You’re going to then map out steps you need to take to get the job done. (And these will take precedence over the other steps for lesser goals.) In other words, finish the daily steps to getting that report done first before you start working on that bid.

4. Schedule in Time for the “Trivial Things”

According to Entrepreneur, it takes on average 26 minutes to get back on track after doing a trivial thing.[4]

Some trivial things include checking email and social media, IM’ing with a co-worker, taking an additional 15 minutes to go through the paper piles, throwing unnecessary paper and clutter away, and so forth.

The article goes on to state that taking time out to do unnecessary and unimportant tasks really hampers how productive your work day is.

While let’s face it, your email does need to get checked. Social media channels need to be updated to promote your products and/or services. And you enjoy those 10 minutes of IM’ing Alex about after-work plans.

That’s fine. Schedule them into your day. Plan on checking your email when you first come in, before and after lunch, and right before you leave. Set similar times for social media. (Or, better yet, assign the social media task to an intern.) And, as for IM’ing, set aside work breaks (which we’ll go more into detail) to talk with Alex.

5. Schedule Breaks to Avoid Burnout

Working nonstop for (at least) 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is a recipe for burnout. Those stressful hours won’t be put to productive use. Instead, you’ll be focusing your energy on not losing your concentration, falling asleep, or staring into space aimlessly.

That’s why you need to schedule breaks throughout your work day.[5] And not just one but multiple. Take a 10-minute break after you get done with 2 hours of writing that report. Schedule a 15-minute break 2 hours after lunch.

You can even schedule them more frequently; whatever works for you. (Read on to learn the Pomodoro Technique, which makes break taking easy and doable!).

6. Divvy Up Onsite and Offsite Tasks

Back to that report that’s due Friday. Let’s say you need to still do research, call a couple of clients, and write the first draft. Divide up the onsite and offsite tasks.[6]

That time would be put to good use with no interruptions from co-workers. In this case, these tasks would be best done offsite, where you can control the level of interruptions and collaboration.

On the other hand, collaboration and idea-bouncing tasks are great to have onsite. Perhaps you can have one of your co-workers read your first draft and give you feedback. Then juggle some ideas back and forth on how to write the second draft.

7. Be Picky with Your Office Furniture (Consider Blueprint Racks Storage)

You have a limited amount of work space in your office or cubicle. You don’t want bulky file cabinet to take up 25% of it.

It’s ok to move furniture around and invest in organizational and productive-friendly pieces— such as blueprint racks storage, which has poly hangers that can hold approximately 50 prints each.

8. 1-3-5 Rule

Apply the 1-3-5 Rule[7] daily. 1 being one big task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 smalls tasks. Yes, this makes up 9 individual tasks to do.

While it may seem like a lot, remember the level of time you need to accomplish each will vary (i.e. the one big task taking the most, the 5 small tasks taking the least.)

Try tackling the big task first, then the medium, and lastly the small. That way, you’re not burned out at the end of the day when all you have to do is check your emails and file your documents.

9. Pomodoro Technique

Remember scheduling in those breaks? Well, the Pomodoro Technique[8] does that for you. Basically, you focus for 25 minutes on work, no interruptions or diversions.

Then, after that 25-minute work period, you take a 5-minute break. For those 5 minutes, get up, stretch, use the restroom, fill up your coffee cup, do anything other than work.

Once the clocks up, do another 25-minute period and repeat.

10. Say It

Tell a co-worker when you plan to submit your part of the project.

Email the client when you’ll give them your bid.

The point is, tell someone. Put it out into the universe. By doing this, you make more of a commitment to getting it done because it’s harder to break a commitment with others than with yourself.[9]

11. Get a “Do Not Disturb” Sign for Your Office

Sometimes, you can’t physically leave your office and have to get “offsite tasks” done onsite. During those times, a “Do Not Disturb” Sign on your office door is your best friend.

If it’s an especially important task that needs your undivided attention, you can send out an email to co-workers an hour below telling them to not disturb you. Coupling that with the sign will ensure you tackle that task head on, without the unnecessary delays.

12. Take 15 Minutes at the End of the Day to Plan for Tomorrow

Yes, you’ll need to take an additional 15 minutes. But this time, it’s at the end of your day. Your last 15 minutes will be spent jotting down to-dos for tomorrow. Scheduling in last-minute items.

And planning on how you’ll organize your time the next day.

Summary

  • Take out 15 minutes to organize: Divide paper into 3 piles, marked do, read, and file
  • Toss out one item for every new item you bring to your office
  • Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize goals
  • Schedule breaks to monitor burnout
  • Use rules and techniques like the Pomodoro Technique and the 1-3-5 Rule to help you with this
  • Take scheduling a step further by dividing up offsite and onsite tasks
  • Should you not be able to leave the office, hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign
  • Use verbal commitments to co-workers and clients to get more done
  • Be picky with your office space— consider pieces like blueprint racks storage
  • Have your last 15 minutes of your work day be dedicated to planning out tomorrow

From using these productivity tips, you should experience greater enjoyment at work and less stress in your life.

For more information about how to integrate organizational and productive-friendly furniture to make your day more successful, contact us!

___________________________

[1] The Atlantic: America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted

[2] Huffington Post: 10 Incredibly Smart Ideas to Get Your Life Organized

[3] Forbes: How to Get Organized

[4] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[5] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[6] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[7] The Muse: A Better To-Do List: The 1-3-5 Rule

[8] Lifehacker: Productivity 101: A Primer to the Pomodoro Technique

[9] Inc: 23 Best Productivity Hacks of The Year

The Revolutionized Workspace (And How Blueprint Storage Rack Factors In)

blueprint storage rack

It’s safe to say that the workspace and the way we view it has changed, thanks to advanced technology, globalization, and a new generation of workers—aka millennials.[1]

We’re realizing that we can’t just throw a bunch of employees into a couple of rooms and expect the same level of productivity.

Which is why we’ve compiled several studies that looks at the revolutionized workspace through a contemporary, critical lens.

Because shockingly twice as many employees are disengaged from their employment…worldwide.[2]

It’s time we find out why and leverage solutions, such as the blueprint storage rack, to boost productivity.

Realizing the Assumption

The corner office is the best place to be.

If you find yourself in that space, you’ve spent years dedicating time, blood, sweat, and tears to that company.

You see, here’s how it goes.

The senior, high-ranking employees are awarded the corner offices with the great skyscraper view.

The rest of the mid-level employees are divvied up into cubicles. Or less prestigious rooms.

As John Vogel points out in a US News article[3], we assume that despite the spacious “prestigious” offices or cramped, boxed-in cubicles, every employee is supposed to churn out the same volume and quality level of work.

What research has shown is quite the opposite.

And puts our hierarchical workspace-salary presumptions into question.

In other words, we’ve got it all backwards.

(Which we’ll show you later…)

More Assumptions: Communal Workspaces Are Questionable

Then, during the 2000s, open, café style offices became popular.

Suddenly, every tech and cutting edge company had the new office communal floorplan.

It seemed great.

Symbolically, these floorplans marked freedom from “stuffy workspace” to “cool, laid back” office environment.[4]

According to the New York Times, organizational psychologist, Matthew Davis found that these types of spaces looked like a nice organization mission.[5]

But, out of the hundreds of spaces he observed, realistically the employees suffered.

Specifically, employees couldn’t concentrate on their work, productivity decreased, as well as creative thinking and workplace satisfaction.[6]

So, what gives?

Why are the new and improved workspaces spelling out catastrophe?

And why is it that in a Gallup poll of 142 countries, the ratio between disengaged to engaged workers is 2:1?[7]

History Repeats Itself

For starters, the “new and improved” workspace really isn’t that new and improved.

The concept of the open office actually originated in Hamburg, Germany in the 1950s.[8]

The thought process behind this was much of what we think of today: no office doors means greater communication and more ideas.

Foucault Proves Us Wrong

Without doors, employees couldn’t control when they wanted privacy or when they wanted to collaborate.

(In a sense, it was always “collaboration time.”)

No privacy and lack of control would create a tenser workplace environment.

Who would be relaxed knowing that their boss could look over their shoulder?

Or a co-worker could casually interrupt at any hour?

We could even go as far to say that this perception of casual workplace surveillance bordered the ponopticon.

(A prison system in which the guards could see the the prisoners, but the prisoners never knew if they were being watched.)

As French philosopher, Foucault said, “He is seen, but he does not see…”[9]

While this may be a little much, what we can say is that employees in open office environments suffered from helplessness[10] — because they had fewer choices.

What the Research Shows

Research shows that our assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.

Coding War Games

Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister conducted a study where 600 program developers from 92 different companies did a series of coding and testing.[11]

Otherwise known as the Coding War Games.

The developers worked by themselves, and were in charge of logging in their hours.

Shockingly, it wasn’t the developers with more experienced or better pay that performed the best.

Nor was it age or education related.

The results came down to varying workplace environments.

Those that perceived their workspaces as being acceptably quieter and with fewer distractions performed better.

In fact, the ratio between best and worst performances was a whopping 10:1.

And the ratio between best and average was 2:1.

So, in a nutshell, environment matters.

57% of the high performers stated that their workspace was “acceptably quiet.”

62% stated that the office was also “acceptably private.”

Which brings us back to the emphasis on privacy within the office.

Connection Equals Distraction

Gensler surveyed a random sample of 2,035 workers across the US about their workspace.

The poll revealed that only a startling 25% of workers in the U.S. work in an “optimal” environment.[12]

That means that 75% of workers are fighting disengagement, poor productivity, and probably don’t enjoy work that much.

Also, the study found that focus, balance, and choice in the workplace lead to greater satisfaction, performance, and innovation.[13]

And, that the design of the office helps to make this happen.

The study goes on to state that the workplace should be designed to encourage collaboration, however ensuring the employees can focus at the same time.[14]

Perhaps here’s why twice as many workers aren’t engaged

A study by Steelcase, polling 10,500 workers across 14 countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, Turkey, United States, Canada, Mexico, India, and China) held some promising insight.

Here are the reasons why the highly disengaged workers aren’t running to go to work:[15]

  • 85% cite not being able to concentrate
  • 84% can’t express their ideas freely and ideally in their offices
  • 85% don’t feel relaxed
  • 57% can’t physically move during the day or switch in another posture
  • 79% of the environments don’t accommodate mobile workers
  • 84% don’t feel like they belong
  • 87% can’t work in teams without being interrupted
  • 86% can’t choose where to work in the office
  • 59% aren’t able to move around that freely
  • 65% don’t think their environments will allow them to socialize, and have an informal conversation with one of their co-workers

What We’re Getting at With the Studies and False Assumptions

The studies may differ in the details, but overall it comes down to choice.

The choice to open or close your door.

The choice to increase or decrease the office noise.

(In fact, in the Gensler study, 42% of employees use makeshift contraptions to block out distractions — noise being one of them.)[16]

The choice to get up and move, and work in other areas — whether that’s home, a café, or another area of the office.

Choice

By creating a work environment based on choice, there’s a good chance turnover will decrease and performance will grow.

It makes sense, given that each employee offers a different set of skills, and works best in different settings.

16% of employees said they focus the best at home.[17]

And 77% of workers prefer no noise when they need to buckle down and focus.[18]

Plus, listening to music can release dopamine, which eases stress.[19]

So why not give employees the option of plugging their headphones in?

Another Choice: Consider Blueprint Storage Rack

Let’s repeat: 57% say that their work environment prevents them from moving or switching postures throughout the day.

With the hike in office rent prices, there may not be an option to create more space for employees.

Instead, business owners can still make the most with the available space that they have and give employees the choice of moving around.

(Again, it’s all about choice.)

How?

Simple. Hang up files, drawings, and blueprints in a blueprint storage rack.

Plus, there’ll be less clutter, leading to greater productivity.

Miss something? How About a Summary?

  • Throwing a bunch of employees into office rooms won’t increase productivity; it takes more than that
  • This thought process stemmed from our (false) assumption that productivity would stay the same despite the environment
  • We also assumed the (innovative) communal workspace was the best
  • Actually, it wasn’t new or innovative
  • The no-door, open office workspace originated in Germany during the 1950s
  • However employees in this type of environment lacked control and privacy, making this an non-ideal space
  • Research shows our assumptions are backwards
  • The Coding War Games study revealed that noisy environments lead to lower work performance
  • The Gensler study illustrated that 75% of workers across the US aren’t working in the optimal environment
  • And a Steelcase study showed that more than half of employees feel that their work environment doesn’t allow them to move or change postures
  • What it comes down to is choice
  • One way business owners can give their employees choice is by incorporating the blueprint storage rack, which will maximize not just choice, but space and productivity

Interested in the blueprint storage rack? Contact us!

________________________________

[1] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[2] Steelcase: Boosting Employee Engagement

[3] U.S. News: Is the Corner Office Worth It?

[4] The New Yorker: The Open-Office Trap

[5] The New Yorker: The Open-Office Trap

[6] The New Yorker: The Open-Office Trap

[7] Steelcase: Boosting Employee Engagement

[8] The New Yorker: The Open-Office Trap

[9] The Guardian: What does the panopticon mean in the age of digial surveillance?

[10] The New Yorker: The Open-Office Trap

[11] US News: Is The Corner Office Worth It?

[12] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[13] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[14] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[15] Steelcase: Boosting Employee Engagement

[16] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[17] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[18] Gensler: 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey

[19] The New York Times: The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle

50 Office Storage and Organizational Hacks Using Everyday Items (Plus Blueprint Storage System Upgrades!)

blueprint storage system

Guess what’s the number one, hot real estate trend? And it’s not housing.

Yep, that’s right. Offsite storage.

So much so that, according to a New York Times article, 1 out of every 10 Americans rents offsite storage, making it the fastest growing segment in commercial real estate for the last 40 years.[1]

But just how much storage space is there? 

Surprisingly, more than the total number of Starbucks…by five times. Which is a lot since there’s practically a Starbucks on every block by now.

Actually, the rough estimate comes out to a little over 50,000 storage facilities.[2]

When it comes down to it, do we really need that much stuff? 

Probably not.

In fact, according to Anthony P. Graesch, Connecticut College assistant professor of anthropology, we’re not doing this on purpose.

He states in a New York Times interview that nowadays extended families live farther away from one another, which means you’re probably not seeing Grandma every other day.

So, for the holidays and occasional meetups, guess what you and your family are going to do to make up for that lost time? Toys for the kids, new microwave for you and your spouse—in other words, give gifts, which amount to stuff.[3]

(And, because you see your relatives few and far between, it will be more painful to throw these things away. Learn about why it’s painful to throw stuff away in The Power of The Organized Workspace (And How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps).)

Plus, Graesch discusses that when we go grocery shopping, we tend to buy bulk goods. Why? Because it beats making one or two more trips.[4]

However, we end up forgetting what we bought. We may remember we got trash bags, but we forget we purchased 500 of them and have stored the extra in the closet.

So, when the trash bags under the sink are gone, what do we do? We buy more trash bags, and the cycle continues.

Chances are, you have some excess stuff at home that could be put to good use. And you can always make your workspace more efficient, so why not combine the two?

Your excess bulk can actually have a purpose other than taking up closet space. And your productivity will increase at work because you’re more organized. It’s a win-win.

(To learn why you’re more productive when your workspace is tidy, read Science Explains Why You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack.)

Check out our 50 office organizational and storage hacks, where we take over 35 everyday items, and transform them into functional office equipment.

And no, we are not talking about using an empty coffee mug as your pencil holder.

blueprint storage system

Image Credit: 1.) Huffington Post 2.) Apartment Therapy 3.) Mason Love 4.) Mason Love 5.) Better Homes & Gardens 6.) Bre Purposed 7.) Instructables 8.) My Sweet Savannah 9.) Den Garden 10.) Remodel Aholic 11.) HGTV 12.) Balma Gil 13.) Big Blueprint Hanger 14.) HGTV 15.) HGTV 16.) BuzzNick 17.) Buzzooks 18.) HGTV 19.) Ivy In The Bay 20.) The Organised Housewife 21.) HGTV 22.) Imgur 23.) Langton Designs 24.) BuzzFeed 25.) label me Merritt

1. Shoe Organizer Can Hold More Than Shoes

Hang an empty shoe organizer on a closet door in your office. Or, if you don’t have a closet, use the wall. To free up space, use the pockets to store excess office supplies such as pens, pencils, paper clips, and rubber bands.[5]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: SR6 Workstation Rack

Consider this blueprint storage system item for holding larger items like oversized folders, documents, and, as the name suggests, blueprints. Besides the door and wall, you can also hang the SR6 Workstation Rack on your cubicle, which makes it a great option if you have a door-less workspace.

2. Dishrack File Holder

Instead of wet dishes, place file folders, loose documents, and pamphlets in your dishrack, and set it on your desk. You can always spray paint the rack a different color to better fit your office’s style.[6]

3. Mason Jars Screwed Under the Desk

Empty and wash a couple mason jars. Using a drill, screw the mason jar lids to the bottom of your desk. Store erasers, notepads, and staples in the mason jars screwing them on their respective lids.[7]

4. Mason Jars on the Side of the Desk

You don’t have to store your office supplies underneath your desk; try the side!

5. Cutlery Tray on Wall 

Have an old cutlery tray you don’t use? Secure it to your office wall. Drill some hooks in the vertical slots. Now you have storage to hang the office and breakroom keys. Not to mention, your own keys, phone, and wallet.[8]

6. Lattice Bulletin Board

Secure a slab of lattice onto your office wall. (You can first paint it to match the office vibe.) Now you have a spot to post memos, that photo from last year’s holiday party, announcements, and the Tuesday lunch in reminder. All you have to do is attach them with some binder clips.[9]

7. Lego Pot for Your Office Plant

So, you have a pile of Legos thrown aside now that your kids have outgrown them. Grab some of those Legos, and make a Lego pot holder. You may want to put the Lego pot on a saucer for water draining purposes.

8. Wire Kitchen Racks for Incoming and Outgoing Mail

Pin those to the wall. Add a sign on each, one for incoming mail; the other for outgoing mail. Now, it’s easy for co-workers and clients to drop off important documents. You can always secure these to the front of your office door to minimize work disruption.[10]

9. Cabinet Drawers Become Office Shelves

If you’re throwing out an armoire, don’t discard the shelves. In fact, drill them into your office wall for some new and improved office shelves. (Feel free to paint them before installing them.) They can now hold those policy and protocol binders, not to mention office manuals you’ve crammed in the bottom of your closet.[11]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: Shelf Conversion Rack

Why not check out the Shelf Conversion Rack? Especially if you have some extra space in a file rack, shelf, cabinet, you name it. That way, you have hanging space for the documents that are piling on your desk as we speak.

10. Add Coasters on Cabinet Drawers

Stick some coasters on an unused cabinet drawer, and wheel it under your desk. There; space for your extension cord or even your printer, depending on the size of the drawer.[12]

11. Binder Clips to Hold Up Charging Cords

One of the simplest office hacks. Attach some binder clips to the side of your desk. Place charging cords between the metal loop. And you’re set![13]

12. All Out of Mints? Don’t Throw Away That Container

Use a mint container for small office supplies such as paper clips. (Tic-Tac mint cases work the best for this.)

13. Tape Vinyl Jackets to Your Office Door

Tape a Vinyl Jacket to your office door to store documents that need a second look before being sent out. You could also tape two Vinyl Jackets for incoming and outgoing mail if you’re not into the wire kitchen racks idea we mentioned earlier.

14. Mason Jars Become Office Supply Holders

Yes, we’re mentioning mason jars again—they’re that adjustable. Glue five mason jars together, with three jars in one row and two in the other. Once the glue has dried, set them on your desk. Place pencils, pens, sticky notes, and paper clips in them.[14]

15. Leftover Cookie Tins

You cleared your closet and found some leftover cookie tins from the holidays. Dust them off, stick a label on them, and voila: storage for labels, business cards, and work receipts.[15]

16. Soda Boxes Now Store Work Snacks

Most people stash some work snacks in their desk: trail mix, crackers, pretzels… However, your conventional office divider is too small to hold these snacks. Which means they’re clumped with the rest of your awkward-sized office items (i.e. stress ball, extra coffee mug…). Now you can organize these snacks by fitting them into an empty soda box. (Feel free to wrap the soda box in wrapping paper to hide the soda packaging.)[16]

17. DIY Holder for Dry Erase Markers 

Yes, your soup can hold more than just soup. Tear off the paper from an empty soup can. (You can spray paint the can for an added aesthetic effect.) Glue some magnets on the side of the can, and it should stick to your magnetized dry erase board. Now, you have storage for your dry erase markers.

18. Tuna Cans as Office Supply Dividers

Clean the tuna cans and tear off the paper. Fill the cans with small office supplies such as erasers, paper clips, staples, and tape. Stash in a desk drawer.[17]

19. Coat of Paint + Old Shutter = Document Holder

Paint an old shutter, and secure it on the wall. You can now drop incoming and outgoing mail in the slots. Or use it as a file organizer by marking each slot with a designated letter.[18]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: Wall Mounted Rack

Try the Wall Mounted Rack. It can hold 2 aluminum (and 3 poly) hangers per inch, and you still have room to thumb through the documents. As the name suggests, mount it on the wall for accessible vertical storage. You can also add a second tier to free up even more office space.

20. Magazine Holder Under the Desk

Drill magazine holders under your desk. They’re great to store folders you rarely use but still occasionally need. Now, you’ve freed up desk space for more frequently used binders and reading materials.

21. Muffin Tin Office Supply Divider

Stash an unused muffin tin in your desk drawer as a cheap alternative to traditional desk dividers. It’s great for small office supplies—bulletin board pins, magnets, erasers…[19]

22. Magnets for Your Keys, Scissors, and Stapler

Simple. Secure some magnets underneath your desk. There you go, a spot to hang your keys, scissors, stapler, and any other magnetic office supply.[20]

23. Place a Bread Tag on Your Tape

Having trouble ripping a piece of tape? Secure the end of the tape with a bread tag, which will make it easier to rip.[21]

24. Bring the 80s into Your Workspace

Use a cassette case as a cell phone or business card holder.[22]

25. Spice Rack Office Supply Holder

Place those tuna cans we mentioned earlier in a spice rack for a DIY office supply holder. If you’re not a fan of the cans, traditional pencil holders will do.

Want a pen? You can spin the rack instead of wasting minutes sifting through erasers, pencils, sharpies, everything else other than a pen.

blueprint storage system

Image Credit: 26.) BuzzFeed 27.) Two Twenty One 28.) The Merry Thought 29.) Make And Bake 30.) decor8 31.) Mountain Modern Life 32.) A Beautiful Mess 33.) Pinterest 34.) Simple Play Ideas 35.) Dream A Little Bigger 36.) Numisology 37.) Hello Innovation 38.) Martha Stewart 39.) Painting Rocks 40.) Crafting A Green World 41.) One Good Thing By Jillee 42.) Good Housekeeping 43.) Popsugar 44.) HGTV 45.) Popsugar 46.) Google 47.) Landeelu 48.) Lifehacker 49.) Big Blueprint Hanger 50.) Sheila Zeller Interiors

26. That Basket That Used to Store Toys is Still Useful

Attach it under your desk. Instead of Legos, Barbie dolls, and toy trucks, it now holds your extension cord, charger, and printer cords.[23]

27. Plexiglas as a Whiteboard Alternative

Nail a slab of Plexiglas onto a board for an alternative version of the whiteboard. Not digging this? Take an unused picture frame, glass still intact, and voila: your quick-and-easy DIY whiteboard, great for writing down your daily to-do list.[24]

28. Broom Head Desk Holder 

Cut off the end of a broom. Clean the bristles, and stick some pencils and pens in it. Your desk holder is complete.[25]

29. Colored Clothespins to Flag Important Items

Paint clothespins a bright color that’ll clearly signal “important status.” Pin them on important documents that need to be looked at right away.

30. Clipboard Organizational Wall

Mount several clipboards on the wall. Attach documents to each clipboard that must be looked at. That way, you ensure that work is tackled today, not buried underneath a paper stack.[26]

31. When you have an old pipe

Mount that old pipe you were about to chuck on the curbside to your wall. Attach small buckets to rings, and hang them up. These buckets can hold anything, from office supplies to extra Tupperware.[27]

32. DIY Corked Bulletin Board

Put your wine cork collection to use. Glue the wine corks together, and then glue the corked edges to a frame. Mount the frame to the office wall. Stick some pins in—your new DIY bulletin board.

33. Candle Holders for Your Doo-Dads 

Place your doo-dads in empty candle holders on your desk. These may be concert tickets you’re not ready to part with. Or a rock your kid gave you a couple years ago. Whatever they are, they now have a home.

34. Lego Pen Holder

Use those Legos again to build a pen holder.

35. Clothespin Memo Holder

Glue one end of the clothespin to a slab of wood for a DIY memo holder. Make sure you only glue one end; gluing two wouldn’t allow the clothespin to hold the memo.

36. Thin Drawer Paper Holder

Throwing away a tool organizer? Keep one of the thin drawers, and use it as a paper holder.

37. Lego Figures Can Hold Your Keys and Cords

Attach the Lego and Lego figure to the side of the desk. The figure’s hands can hold your keys and cords. Use as many Lego figures as needed.[28]

38. Envelopes on Bulletin Board

Need a place to stick documents that are smaller than the standard 8.5 by 11 inch? Stick them in envelopes and pin them on your bulletin board. That way, they aren’t buried underneath a stack. And you can deal with them head on.

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: 1 Tier Blueprint Storage Rack

Look into the 1 tier blueprint storage rack to reduce your towering stack of documents. The reason this is a great blueprint storage system is that you can hang up any size document—bigger and smaller than the typical 8.5 by 11-inch size.

39. Rocks Make Great Paper Weights

Your child’s pet rock can now be put to good use. Use a rock or heavy-ish weight to keep papers from flying away.

40. Magnetize Anything for a Personalized Effect

Need more magnets but want a more personalized look? Attach magnet strips onto sentimental items that have no use but are too painful to throw away. That way, the sentimental item is being put to good use, and your brain doesn’t have to suffer the pain in discarding a personable belonging.

For reasons why your brain associates tossing out items with pain, go here.

41. Ice Cube Tray Can Be Your New Small Office Supplies Holder

Those pins, staples, small sticky notes now can have a home. Stow them away in an ice cube tray.[29]

42. Medicine Pill Organizer Comes in Handy

If that doesn’t work for you, consider using a medicine pill organizer.

43. Keep Those Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are great for keeping tanging cords together. Wrap the cord in a tight-ish loop, and slide a roll over it.[30]

44. Hang Office Cleaning Supplies Using a Curtain Rod

Install a thin curtain rod in your office closet. Then hang the office cleaning supplies on the rod. Doing this makes the most of your vertical space while freeing up storage room below for heavier items.[31]

45. Plastic Bottle Charging Station

Yes, a plastic bottle can be your charging station for your phone.

To make this, cut the bottle horizontally, leaving about three inches of space. Once you reach that three-inch mark, cut vertically for about two inches. Do the same to the other side. Cut the bottom third of the bottle as well as the 2 by 3 -inch plastic section from the rest of the bottle.

Then cut a 1 by 1 inch square in the plastic section. That’s to go around the charger and outlet while the bottom of the plastic bottle holds your phone.

Spray paint the plastic bottle if you’d like.[32]

46. Wide Cup, Removable Adhesive Method

If you don’t want to go through all that work creating a charging station, do this. Get a short, wide cup that your phone fits in. Attach some removable mounting putty (or whatever adhesive you’d like, as long as it doesn’t damage the wall) to the cup. Stick the adhesive cup to one of the lower sides of the outlet.

47. Color Coordinate Cords

Color coordinate the different cords by attaching a different color tape around each one. You can go one more step by labeling what cord goes to what.[33]

48. Bread Tags for Cords

You can use bread colored bread tags for this too.[34]

49. Vinyl Jacket in Go-To Binder

Let’s say you’re suddenly called into an impromptu meeting. Or a client needs you on site immediately. Plan for these unexpected changes by having a Vinyl Jacket with your needed office supplies in your go-to binder. (By go-to binder we mean the binder with everything in it that you would need for an emergency call.)

50. Door Knob Coat Hanger

Don’t take up space with a traditional coat hanger. Drill a door knob into the wall for your coat and/or scarf.

That’s not all…

While compiling these office storage and organizational hacks for you, we came across some honorable mentions.

(Most of these are office hacks that don’t have to do with organization and storage, but are still useful.)

Honorable Mentions

-Place your coffee cup on a charger to keep it warm.[35]

-Or stuff your burrito in an empty mug while you’re going through emails.[36]

-Stick a wet sponge in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. And you now have an icepack for your lunch.[37]

-Stick your phone in an empty mug for a cheap-and-easy speaker.[38]

-Stick some Silica gel packets in your drawers to prevent damage caused by moisture.[39]

-Have an AAA battery become an AA by stuffing a small ball of foil in the empty space.[40]

Want more storage hacks? How about that blueprint storage system? Contact us!

 

Feature Image Credit via Tim Grouw

______________________________________________

[1] New York Times: The Self-Storage Self

[2] becomingminimalist: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

[3] New York Times: The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

[4] New York Times: The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

[5] Huffington Post

[6] Apartment Therapy

[7] Your Modern Family

[8] Better Homes & Gardens

[9] Bre Purposed

[10] My Sweet Savannah

[11] Den Garden

[12] Remodel Aholic

[13] HGTV

[14] HGTV

[15] HGTV

[16] BuzzNick

[17] HGTV

[18] Ivy In The Bay

[19] Better Homes & Gardens

[20] BuzzFeed

[21] Langton Designs

[22] BuzzFeed

[23] BuzzFeed

[24] Two Twenty One

[25] The Merry Thought

[26] decor8

[27] Mountain Modern Life

[28] Hello Innovation

[29] One Good Thing By Jillee

[30] Popsugar

[31] HGTV

[32] Popsugar

[33] Landeelu

[34] Lifehacker

[35] Hello Innovation

[36] Mashable

[37] BuzzFeed

[38] Huffington Post

[39] OfficeDesk

[40] Hello Innovation

Everything You Need to Know About a Blueprint Storage Rack

blueprint storage rack

The truth is, Americans are accumulating more stuff. To be exact, according to the LA Times, the average American home has 300,000 items.[1] (Read on to learn how a blueprint storage rack helps.)

The same article states that a quarter of people with a 2-car garage don’t actually have room to park their cars inside it. And only 32% have room to park one car.

However, this stat says it all: we’ve consumed twice as many material goods compared to 50 years ago.[2] And these materials aren’t cheap.

A Wall Street Journal article pegs American material goods spending at $1.2 trillion…per year.[3] In other words, we spend a lot of money on “stuff.”

Reasons why we accumulate stuff

But what gives? Why are we spending more on nonessential goods?

We could chalk it up to a lot of reasons. Material possession, for one, brings a sense of security to many.

Also, for a lot of people, items hold symbolic and sentimental meaning. Perhaps your now-passed grandmother gave you a treasured family heirloom.

Or you can’t let go of those concert tickets because they’re associated with your teenage years.

You may then pass these possessions down to your kids. So, they may not only receive your things but your parents’ parents and so on. Meaning the further accumulation of stuff.

Surprisingly, we may have more stuff simply because it’s easier to. We have eBay and Craigslist. Not to mention, most brick-and-mortar retail stores now have an online store as well.

And we live in a society where posting your possessions via social media is encouraged. This provokes us to buy more stuff. Because who doesn’t want the latest iPhone that Chris posted on his Facebook wall?

So, what now?

This brings us to the end-all, be-all question: what can we do about it?

Because a bunch of stuff lying around wreaks havoc on our brains, productivity, and mood.

You can read more about this in our article, The Power of The Organized Workspace (and How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps).

The answer to this is simple: store smarter.

This doesn’t mean investing in a storage unit. It literally entails making the most out of your available space. So, taking advantage of wall space (aka vertical storage) as well as nooks and crannies.

And with that, a blueprint storage rack can come to the rescue.

You see, your accumulation of stuff doesn’t just end at your house. It extends to your workspace too. The beauty about a blueprint storage rack is that you can use it for your house and workspace.

It can also get you the best of both worlds: ultimate organization and no need to throw away precious heirlooms and memorabilia.

How?

Read more to find out!

Plus, learn the many ways you can use this storage system, and who benefits from it the most. 

But first, what exactly is a blueprint storage rack?

In a nutshell, this is a storage system that allows you to hang blueprints, artwork, oversized files, drafts, iron-on transfers, hanging print files, samples, and patterns.

The main reason why it offers more storage space than your typical file cabinet is the hangers. You can get either aluminum or poly hangers. Both can hold up to 60 prints.

Given that your average filing cabinet can only hold roughly 27 inches of space, you’re much more likely to store more files, blueprints, and so forth in the rack. Plus, it can hold a variety of sizes, not just your standard file dimensions.

While this storage system can hold a number of documents, it is perfect for blueprints, hence its name.

That said, what are blueprints?

Basically, a blueprint is a design plan or technical drawing that communicates an idea.

Its purpose is to provide a road map, making that intangible idea become a tangible one.

Background

Originally, the blueprint was invented in 1842.[4]

Essentially, it’s a copy of a drawing.

To get that copy, you had to trace the drawing on translucent paper. Then, you added a mixture of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide to the translucent paper.

And then expose the translucent paper to light. The negative spaces on the translucent paper would turn white. The two chemicals would combine and the drawing would be blue.

After this, you’d dip it in water and get a double negative. The drawing would be in white and the background was now blue or blue print.

So, it’s no wonder why this type of drawing became referred to as “blueprint.”

This was the old way of doing it.

Current method

Nowadays, blueprints are developed via the diazotype method.[5]

This means the light-sensitive paper is mixed with Diazonium salt, reactant, and acid. The acid’s purpose is to prevent the salt and reactant from reacting with one another.

Place the original drawing on top of the light-sensitive paper. And give it some light. Voila! The light obliterates the salt.

Afterward, use ammonia gas or a solution as a developer after the light exposure.

This neutralizes the acid, preventing it from further reacting.

Doing this ensures the rest of the salt reacts with the reactant. And the result: blue dye.

Why people still use blueprints?

While blueprints have been around for a while, it’s safe to say they won’t be going away anytime soon.

The reason being, they’re much more affordable than large posters or printed paper designs.

Why are the blueprint storage racks great for blueprints?

Your standard blueprint measures around 12 by 18 inches at least. And 24 by 36 inches the largest. (Some blueprints are also 18 by 24 inches.)

Given these measurements, your blueprints aren’t going to fit nice and neat in filing cabinets or a shelf. In fact, they’re most likely going to stick out and cause clutter.

As we know from The Power of the Organized Workspace (and How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps), clutter increases stress, lowers reputation, plus a slew of other reasons.

This is when it’s more beneficial to hang them up. Since a (24-inch) blueprint storage rack are capable of holding up to 4,000 prints, it will be a while (or never) before you run out of room. This gives you plenty of time and space to organize.

So, who needs this product?

Here’s who benefits the most:

-Architects

-Graphic Designers

-Risk Management

-Engineers

-Landscapers

-City Planning

-City Zoning

-Teachers

-Anyone who has a significant number of files

-Clothing Designers

-Artists

-Anyone who wants to display their samples or have them on hand

-Anyone who has a home office

-Anyone who has a cluttered office and/or home

What are the benefits?

A blueprint storage rack has many more benefits than just size. Here’s how it helps:

Better Organization

Many contractors have blueprints (rolled-up and not rolled-up) piled on top of their desks, bunched in file cabinets, you name it.

Unfortunately, while it’s quick and easy to just lie a blueprint or drawing on your desk, it does build up.

This level of disorganization could cost you a client (hence profit loss), lowering your business reputation and adding hours to your workday.

Instead, spend two minutes’ tops hanging your blueprint on the rack. Getting in the habit of doing this prevents clutter, which lowers stress and allows you to lead a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

We go more into details about the repercussions of clutter here.

Less possibility of causing a safety hazard

If you need to leave the building immediately for whatever reason, disorganization can cost you minutes. In some cases, this won’t matter.[6]

But you never know. You may find yourself in a situation where minutes, in fact, do count.

To ensure you’re able to enter and exit your office easily, reduce clutter by hanging up blueprints and oversized file folders on the blueprint storage rack.

And, on top of this, paper and cardboard boxes are very flammable. Depending on the circumstances (i.e. smoker, matches or lighter not extinguished, damaged power cord…), you could increase your chances of starting a fire.

Again, hanging your drawings and samples away from your desk will decrease the possibility of this happening.

And what about trips and falls?

Stacked cardboard boxes impeding your walkway can significantly increase your risk of tripping and falling.

Or the tripping and falling of a co-worker…or even a client.

Since we do live in a litigious society, it’s not worth the risk of a possible lawsuit.

Helps prevent ergonomic injuries

According to a Safety + Help article, “Perhaps the most prevalent injuries in an office setting are related to ergonomics. Because office workers spend the bulk of their day seated at a desk and working on a computer, they are prone to strains and other injuries related to posture repetitive movement.” [7]

By having your files and blueprints hung up to where you have to get up and move from your chair does help to prevent these types of injuries.

Getting out of your seat

Sitting throughout your workday does increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, not to mention a slew of other health consequences.

So, not only would you limit ergonomic injuries, but moving to get files from the blueprint storage rack would help in lowering your risk of health effects associated with sitting.

Studies even show that standing while working can increase your productivity levels and decrease stress.[8]

How?

It’s simple: the human body wasn’t meant for 8 plus hours of sedentary activity.

No file cabinets falling over

Yes, if file cabinets aren’t secure they can fall over. This normally happens because they’re packed with files and documents, which causes a weight imbalance. And then…voila! It falls.

Filing cabinets that do fall over can cause further office damage such as damaging power cords (which, as we mentioned, can lead to fire hazards) as well as damage to the floor and/or office furniture.

With this type of rack, you don’t have to worry about a weight imbalance (because of the hangers with finger space) or the blueprint storage rack falling over. This prevents damage, aka less money.

No trip risk, as opposed to file cabinets

Tripping from file cabinets…

Yes, there is such a thing.

Forgetting to close filing cabinets or not being able to (because they’re stuffed) can cause tripping. This can and does apply to desk drawers as well.[9]

Utilizing the aluminum and poly hangers can help prevent trips from happening.

Ordering is a drag…so you don’t have to

Perhaps you work at a school or corporate office where ordering new office furniture requires more time and effort than it’s worth.

You have to fill out an order sheet. The order sheet is approved and processed. Overall, this process can take days, and, depending on the company or organization, months.

This makes it a drag when you need office furniture and supplies. And some people do end up forking over their own money to bypass this lengthy endeavor.

That’s fine for pencils (not really but it’s doable), but not when you need another file cabinet.

To not be sucked into the system, a blueprint storage rack can store more than your typical file cabinet. This eliminates the need to fill out that order sheet and stack excess papers and boxes (which then prevents safety hazards remember?).

More space

Ok, so you’re out of horizontal space. Why not go vertical? We mentioned this in a previous article, but let’s go more in depth.

Unfortunately, with filing cabinets, you can’t stack two on top of each other. (Two words: not safe.)

However, you can add another tier to the blueprint storing racks: 2 Tier Storage Racks.

You won’t face safety problems. And remember how a blueprint storage rack can hold up to 4,000 blueprints? Well, now you increase that twofold, so 8,000 blueprints.

Reminds you to take a break

Some people take a 10-minute break every hour. In fact, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends it.[10]

Keep forgetting?

Standing up to go get an oversized file from one of the poly or aluminum hangers can serve as a physical reminder.

Waste less time digging through documents

Instead of pulling out extra file folders to see if you’re closer to your designated file, you can easily leaf through the hanging files or blueprints.

In fact, the documents should have a comfortable finger space in between each one.

So, less time finding the file. (Did you know we spend roughly 10 minutes looking for lost or misplaced items?)[11]

This especially saves time (and perhaps awkward moments?) during a client meeting.

Fewer lost documents

With so many blueprints on top of your desk and stuffed in filing cabinets, you’re bound to lose a blueprint or two.

This means you lose not only that document, but the precious time you spent creating it.

According to one design service company, a set of plans for a 1,800-square foot home can take two to six weeks to draft. Two to six weeks! We aren’t talking a couple of days here.

With project on top of project, where are you going to fit in that time?

The blueprint storage rack makes it less likely for this to occur.

Fewer missed opportunities   

What were you doing when your boss needed an extra hand? What about that office meeting? You may have been looking for your missing drawings.

It’s no wonder. People lose up to 9 items per day.[12]

And since we’ve already established it takes approximately 10 minutes to locate a missing item, on a bad day you’re going to spend up to 90 minutes finding missing folders and lost blueprints.

So, you have some missed opportunities.

To reduce that (and perhaps put you in bonus contention?), install a wall mounted rack or 2 tier storage rack.

Didn’t catch everything? That’s alright. Here’s a summary of what you need to know:

-We accumulate a lot of stuff for a lot of reasons: sentimental and symbolic value being two of them.

-And we are accumulating more and more stuff!

-This means we have to store smarter…in our homes and offices.

-Because there’s a host of health effects associated with clutter.

-Luckily we don’t have to invest in a storage unit.

-We just need a blueprint storage rack.

-Which is a storage system for blueprints, drawings, samples, and oversized files.

-Since this storing system does have “blueprints” in it, what’s a blueprint?

-To put it simply, a blueprint is a drawing that communicates an idea.

-There’s two types of methods: diazotype and the original method.

-Some blueprint storage rack benefits include: more space, less of a safety hazard, a break reminder, and fewer injuries.

Want more information? Contact us.

 

________________________________

[1] Los Angeles Times: For many people, gathering possession is just the stuff of life

[2] The Story of Stuff: Referenced and Annotated Script

[3] The Wall Street Journal: Number of the Week: Americans Buy More Stuff They Don’t Need

[4] How Stuff Works: What exactly is a blueprint?

[5] How Stuff Works: What exactly is a blueprint?

[6] Safety + Help: Recognizing hidden dangers: 25 steps to a safer office

[7] Health + Safety: Recognizing hidden dangers: 25 steps to a safer office

[8] TIME: Sitting is Killing You

[9] [9] Health + Safety: Recognizing hidden dangers: 25 steps to a safer office

[10] OSHA: Ergonomics in Foundries

[11] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

[12] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

The Power of The Organized Workspace (and How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps)

blueprint storage systems

There’s more behind a messy workspace than some loose documents and a mile-high stack of file folders.

An OfficeTeam study[1] reveals that a messy desk influences your professional reputation.

In this study, 65% of HR managers stated a messy desk “somewhat affects it [perception of that person’s professionalism].”

65%!

Hate to break it to you, but workspace organization matters.

But there’s more to organization than just reputation. Organization has been linked to reduced stress, better time management, and a more balanced life.

That sounds great!

Which is why we created this article to show you can tackle clutter once and for all.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why your brain tricks you into thinking everything on your desk is important
  • How to organize your office space
  • The benefits and scientific explanations associated with organization
  • How to beat clutter

Not to mention, how blueprint storage systems can help you accomplish this.

Read on to learn more.

Why we keep stuff

Those company Angel’s tickets you went to last year? Yep, definitely need those.

Expired coupons? Sure, why not?

Broken pencils? Can always tape them.

You see, our brain tricks us into thinking everything on our desks is important.[2] We look at an item and boom, “super important” label pops right up.

Perhaps, this is because the same regions of our brain associated with pain light up when we throw sentimental items away.

Your brain has your self-interest in mind (no pun intended).  It wants to keep you away from all things painful…including “the pain of throwing stuff away.”

But that’s not all…

Some people view items as security. The more items you accumulate, the more secure you are.

Others don’t like making decisions. And decluttering involves making a lot of decisions—should it stay or should it go?

And then, some people have ineffective time management skills. There’s never any time to clean up. Too many projects due. Too many clients calling, and so forth.

Couple our brain’s trickery with our personal preferences, and it’s no wonder decluttering isn’t on the top of the to-do list.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Quite the opposite actually.

Benefits of organization

We’ve already mentioned in our previous article, Science Explains Why You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack, more clutter equals more stress.

But did you know you’re more likely to choose healthier food options when you work in a tidier environment?

Eating Habits

An experiment[3] had participants work in a neat space for 10 minutes two times per day. Those that did this were more likely to choose an apple over chocolate. The opposite effect happened to participants who worked in a messy office during those same time intervals.

Remember how clutter overwhelms your brain and boosts your cortisol levels up?

Well, perhaps we want that chocolate (or insert whatever sugary/salty treat) because it’s our coping mechanism for the clutter.[4]

Exercise

Yes, decluttering is a form of exercise. You’re getting your heart rate up, lifting and carrying out boxes.

You’re bending up and down, organizing your office supplies and documents.

You’re utilizing blueprint storage systems, by hanging up oversized files in the wall mounted rack.

In fact, tidying up for roughly 30 minutes burns 100 calories.[5]

Not only do you exercise literally from decluttering, but having an organized office means more time for exercise.

According to a survey, we spend on average 10 minutes looking for a lost item (wow!).[6]

Also, the research found we lose up to nine items every day.[7]

Ok, suppose you’re having one of those days where nothing seems to go right. You do lose those nine items.

Let’s do the math.

If it takes us on average 10 minutes to locate one lost item, multiply that by nine, and you spend around 90 minutes looking for those misplaced office items.

That’s a lot!

If you take the time to organize your office space, you’ll have less of those days. That means some of those 90 minutes can be spent working out.

So, a tidy desk really does promote exercise.

Social Effects

A lot of times, disorganization can lead to shame and embarrassment.

Remember in our previous article we mentioned it does matter what people think of us?

In case you don’t, here’s a brief snapshot. It’s not that we care very much what people outside our circle think of us; it’s the people inside who matter. This circle includes family, friends…and co-workers.

(Read more about this in our previous article, Science Explains Why You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack.)

Yes, co-workers.

So, when we have a messy desk we may not want to draw attention to ourselves and our messiness. We may be afraid of our co-workers’ judgments.

If 65% of HR managers perceive employees with messy offices less professional, it’s safe to say some co-workers may believe the same.

Even if no co-workers’ perspectives change, we’ll start to become worried, believing that they have.

Nonetheless, this shame and embarrassment build up, making us not want to interact with our co-workers, whether that means teaming up on a project or shooting the breeze for a few minutes.

Our own messiness creates a physical (the clutter) and emotional boundary around us that prevents us from letting people in…

As you know, humans are social. It’s in our nature to interact with people. Poor social health leads to a slew of health problems such as developing a cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, autonomic dysregulation and even an early mortality.[8]

How can you defeat this clutter and increase social interaction?

You can incorporate one of the blueprint storage systems to make your office tidier. This tidiness establishes trust and professionalism and makes you look more reliable and in control.

Plus, it’s more convenient for employees to share information with you and vice versa. Since physically there’s more room to spread a project out on. And you’re not embarrassed or ashamed of your office.

Sleep

Yes, disorganization in the workplace messes with your sleep.

According to the Sleep Foundation, young adults (ages 18-25) need 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Adults, 26-64 in age, still need those 7-9 hours. It doesn’t change until you’re 65 years and older. This age group needs 7-8 hours of sleep daily.[9]

In order for us to get those 7-9 hours (or 7-8 hours for seniors), we need to finish work at a decent time.

Spending up to 90 minutes looking for missing items or that important project in a messy room wreaks havoc on your sleep.

You’ll come home an hour or so later than you normally would.

Because of the increased stress associated with a cluttered workspace, you’ll feel worked up.

Due to this stress and poor time mismanagement, you won’t get those 7-9 (or 7-8) important hours of sleep.

You’ll wake up tired, go to work, and the cycle repeats.

Use the blueprint storage systems. An organized space will get your circadian rhythm back on track.

You’ll save more money

65% of HR managers stated a messy workspace affects their perceptions of the employee’s professionalism (we mentioned this in the beginning).

Well, these higher-ups are responsible for giving you bonuses, raises, and promotions.

So, having a clean work area may benefit you financially.

Not only could your professional reputation with your superiors earn you more money, but you’ll save the company more money.

It costs a corporation $120 on average to recover a missing file.[10]

Even crazier, 70% of business people lose computer data, which ends up costing $18 billion per year (yikes!).[11]

So, organization goes further; you need to organize computer files too.

By being organized by backing up your files, you’ll save the company money. And if this organization carries over to your workspace, you’ll get more work done. (Tidy workspaces mean more productivity.) Because of this, you’re more likely to get a bonus, raise, and/or promotion.

You see, it pays to be organized.

How to beat clutter

Now that you know the benefits of a tidy workspace, learn what steps you can take to have an organized office.

Purge, purge, purge

You first have to figure out what you do and don’t need.

Catch-It Space

To do this, have a catch-it space.[12]

This calls for separating the mail and documents you receive into designated areas.

You’ll need a credenza (or plan table) and trays, a wall mounted rack or SR6 workstation rack, and a trashcan.

After you have those items, separate your current files, documents, and mail into “important and urgent,” “urgent but not important,” and “non-urgent and not important.”

You’ll then select one of the office equipment pieces with the category.

For instance, a tray for “urgent but not important” and a tray for “important and urgent” could be on the credenza or plan table.

Of course, trash will go in the trashcan.

One-Drawer Strategy

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all. If that organizational purging strategy doesn’t work for you, do this.

Take everything out of your desk (including what’s on top), drawers, and file cabinets. Put it in a desk drawer. (If you have a lot of stuff you may need two.)

Start working. When you need a particular item, pull it from the drawer and give it a “home” (designated spot).

Give it some time. After a few weeks, whatever is left in that drawer is the stuff you don’t use. You can then discard these items.

KonMari Decluttering Method

But maybe that style doesn’t work for you. What about this?

Go to the office on a Saturday (this is worth it, trust us), and go through all of your things.

For each object, ask you self “Does this bring me joy?”[13]

If you’re having trouble with this, as some office items don’t really bring joy, try changing the question to “Does this have a purpose?”

If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, discard.

The KonMari method stresses to purge by category rather than area. So, first go through your office supplies. Then, tackle the files…

Once you’ve decided which items stay and which go, give each item that stays a permanent “home” or designated spot.

Ok, how do you maintain the tidiness when papers come in?

What to do with incoming paper

Simple. Have two trays for incoming mail. That way, people can quickly drop off a document without adding to your clutter.

Separate the trays, “Old” and “New.”

The “New” tray is for newly dropped off mail, documents, and files. Designate a time of day to sort through the “New” pile, separating them into “important and urgent,” “urgent but not important” and “non-urgent and not important” areas.

If you’re strapped for time, place the “New” papers into the “Old” tray. That way, you have a day or two to sort through the stack without feeling overwhelmed.

Read on to learn more organizational tricks…

Organize by frequency

 This goes hand in hand with the “important and urgent” … areas. The most “urgent and important” should be the closest to you, while the “non-urgent and not important” is farther away.

That way, you’re in arms reach of the critical stuff you need to deal with that day.

This is important, as it’s easy to become sidetracked while walking to pull out a file or document.

Use vertical file holders to make this happen.

In a CNN Money article, Amy Trager, a professional organizer, stated that “vertical file holders help avoid stacking folders on top of each other and overlooking the ones, not on top.”[14]

How blueprint storage systems helps with this

When you can see the files, you won’t forget them.

This is where the SR6 workstation rack comes into play.

(This may be a part of blueprint storage systems, but doesn’t have to just apply to blueprints.)

In fact, you can hang files, documents, paperwork, even art on this rack.

What makes it so useful is that you can make the most out of the limited office space you have.

The rack can hold on average 3 poly hangers per inch and 2 aluminum hangers per inch. This leaves room to thumb through the documents.

Just to let you know, each poly hanger holds up to 50 documents, and aluminum hangers hold up to 60 documents.

So, there’s no reason for you to have a huge stack of files piling up on your desk.

You can designate this workstation rack as “important and urgent,” and place it on your dominant side, closest to you.

Whatever you do, don’t place “non-urgent and not important” into a drawer. Doing so leaves it out of your sight.

You know how the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Which begs the question, what are the drawers for?

What drawers are for

Divide up your office supplies.

Put the office supplies you use on a daily basis on your desk. For the supplies you only use once or twice a week, leave them in the drawers.

Make sure when you do divide the supplies, to group like with like. For instance, group pencils, pens, and erasers together because they all have to do with writing.

Go Vertical

Don’t have any office space left? Yes, you do. You’re just out of horizontal space. Go vertical instead, and use wall mounted racks.

(This is where blueprint storage systems come in handy.)

They’re great when the floor space is tight, as—just as the name indicates—you can store files on the wall. Plus, you can add another tier for more storage capacity.

Because you can easily thumb through the files (instead of having to bend over and dig through them in a drawer or cabinet), you’ll save time retrieving the paper.

This is great since the average retrieval time of a piece of paper is about 10 minutes.[15]

 Incorporate the 1-In-1-Out rule

Now that your space is tidy, you don’t want to re-clutter it by bringing in more items.

Use this rule to monitor your office stuff.

Say, you just bought this informative, industry-based book. You want to have it in the office so you can reference it from time to time.

That’s great. Bring the book in. Put it where all the other books are. Now, take out a book you don’t use. 1 in, 1 out.

This way, you use your office space to its optimal capacity and don’t go overboard.

Try this creative, organizational hack

If you’re stumped on organizing your office space, take a picture of it.

Look at it, and assess your space from an “outsider’s perspective.”

You can also literally get an outsider’s perspective by asking a co-worker. Or show the picture to friends and family and have them weigh in.

Aim for “tidy enough”

Keep careful of perfectionism; it’s a productivity killer.

If you find yourself meticulously sharpening pencils or straightening up files for 30 minutes, chances are you’re in the thick of it.

You know, perfectionists tend to procrastinate. It’s because they aim for perfection.[16] Perfection isn’t a bad thing; a lot of times, though, it means you don’t get much done.

So, aim for “tidy enough.”

When tidy isn’t effective

Albert Einstein once said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”[17]

He’s got a point.

A study shows that participants in a messy room came up with “28% more creative” ways to use a ping pong ball than those in a tidy room.[18]

So, when you need to brainstorm ideas, leave your desk a little messy.[19]

Or, if you prefer a messy desk, tidy up before you head home.

That way, you still communicate to your higher up you’re still professional.

How have your organizational habits impacted your work? Do you notice a positive difference when your office space is tidy? Let us know.

Also, be sure to check out our blueprint storage systems!

 

Image Credit: William Iven

______________________

[1] OfficeTeam: Out of Order

[2] Lifehacker: Top 10 Office Decluttering Tricks

[3] SAGE journals: Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity

[4] Shape: How Cleaning and Organizing Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health

[5] Health: 10 Chores that Burn 100 Calories

[6] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

[7] Daily Mail: Lost something already today? Misplaced items cost us ten minutes a day

[8] NCBI: Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

[9] National Sleep Foundation: How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

[10] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

[11] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

[12] Inc: How to Organize Your Office for Maximum Productivity

[13] goop: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

[14] CNN Money: Here’s how your desk should be organized

[15] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

[16] Psychology Today: Perfectionism as a Roadblock to Productivity

[17] Science alert: 10 Workspaces of Some of the Greatest Minds in Science

[18] American Psychology Association: A messy desk encourages a creative mind, study finds

[19] 99U: The Perfect Workspace (According to Science)