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Home Office Organization Hacks Using An Architect/Engineer Blueprint Storage Rack

Home Office Organization Hacks Using An Architect/Engineer Blueprint Storage Rack

When you work from home, you’ve got to be organized and a little creative when it comes to putting together your workspace. After all, you need a place that helps you function at your very best, which means creating a space that provides comfort without too much distraction. Carving out a professional space within your home can certainly be tricky, especially if you have very little square footage leftover from your day-to-day family space needs.

Yet, more and more Americans are finding themselves doing just that. In fact, the number of work-from-home Americans has increased over 100% in the past 5 years.  Thanks to cloud-based business technology, as well as reliable virtual & telecommunication improvements, working remotely from home isn’t just for writers, artists, and childcare providers anymore.

In fact, some of the less traditional careers that have seen a significant growth in remote or part-time remote work include:

  • Freelance Architectural Designers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Construction Consultants
  • Furniture Designers
  • Advertising Artists & Copywriters

So, whether you work full-time from your home office or you have a secondary home office space for casual Fridays, here are some organization tips utilizing a few hacks from the industrial organization experts at Big Blueprint Hanger.

We’re also throwing in a few extra tips and suggestions for working efficiently, too.  Depending on your industry, these clever hacks should help with assembling an environment that presents a professional atmosphere within your home.

  1. Pick the Right Room

First things first, there is the question of which room is the new home of your office space. This decision alone can make a huge difference. You might already have a specific room in mind, but if not, here are a few elements to help you pick which one works best in your home.

It is always a good idea to choose a space within your home that is far enough from the “main action” of your house, especially if you have a family. This is important for decreasing opportunities for distraction. You might also try to pick a place that wasn’t previously a “relaxing place,” such as a bedroom. The reason behind this is that sometimes, this can affect your ability to work with a focused mindset, as your subconscious will recognize the room as a place of rest instead of as a place of work.

You also might want to consider a room that has doors that lead outside. This would be helpful if you have clients that might visit your home office. This way if you feel uncomfortable bringing them into the rest of your home, this is a convenient way to respectfully keep business in the office space. This is also is helpful if you feel like the rest of your home is messy or does not present a professional atmosphere.

Lastly, you should consider a room with windows. It is important to work in a space that is well-lit, and that has great airflow. This is important to your productivity, as a poorly lit room and weak air flow can lead to a claustrophobic atmosphere, as well as a place where you will not feel encouraged to get anything done.

 

 

  1. Desk & Draft Table Options

Your next consideration should be your desk space. Do you need a draft table in addition to a traditional desk? Will you have occasional meetings with clients and therefore need a desk with seating on both sides?

Keep in mind you’ll need to manage your space. Your desk should not be so big that it makes the room difficult to walk around in.  Draft tables like these from Big Blueprint Hanger are available in a wide range of sizing to fit your space. Their sturdy work surface is available in a flat top or a slanted top, enabling easy viewing of up to 36” x 48” size draft plans, blueprints, or schematics. Plus, they are easily dismantled and re-assembled if you need to reconfigure your home office later.

Once you choose your desk, you should place it in a spot that is well-lit within your office. You should also consider where you place it in accordance with the window. If you find that you are easily distracted, then having a desk that faces directly outside may not be a good option for you, as outside events may call for your attention when you should be focusing on your work.

Next, you need to consider the seating arrangement in your office. When it comes to your desk chair, a swivel chair tends to be the best, as well as the most convenient option. This way you can move with ease as you reach for whatever you need. These also have adjustable seatbacks and heights, so that you can move it to whatever feels the most comfortable and useful to you as you move from drafting to computing or writing.

  1. Use round file labels instead of traditional rectangular ones.

These round labels are fabulous for marking your files and folders.  Not only are they big and easy to read, but their round design makes quick referencing easy without snagging clothes.

  1. Use Adhesive Transparent Pockets

I love a DIY command center as much as the next homepreneur, and these adhesive-backed pockets are a game-changer. Rather than tacking stacks of orders and invoices on a messy corkboard, slip them into transparent pockets adhered right to your wall, the side of your desk, or filing cabinet.

Tired of sorting through a ton of USB drives to find the one for a particular job? Use a mini pocket to slip it into place neatly with the rest of the documents for the job.

Sticky back pockets add versatility – and that’s one of our biggest requirements in a great home office layout.   With visual access to your job tickets, digital files, and a place to leave easy-to-see notices all in one place, these handy pockets will change the way you handle your work.

 

  1. Use a Blueprint Storage Rack for Oversize Paper Drafts

Saving your precious home bandwidth by bringing home copies of your draft instead of wasting time trying to download the giant files? If your work deals with oversized paper drafts, designs, blueprints, maps, photos or plans, you’ll need a convenient storage system to keep them off the floor and out of harm’s (your children’s) way. There are actually a variety options if you consider using a blueprint storage rack to handle it all.

Consider a drop lift wall rack

Glide-out racks that offer additional surface space on top that would be perfect for your printer/fax/scanner hub.

A mobile plan center

A rolling stand rack (did we mention we love things to be mobile?)

Or Poly hangers that can be stored on a pegboard wall.

 

  1. Put Casters on EVERYTHING

The biggest suggestion for home office design is to keep everything mobile. Furniture that can be moved is incredibly valuable in a home office scenario, especially when space is limited. Adding heavy duty casters  to your desk, filing cabinets, and bookshelves affords you the opportunity to reconfigure your space in a moment’s notice.

Need to make room for clients coming by? Shove the furniture against the wall to add space for seating.

Roll out your draft table front and center for a quick meeting with your team.

Slide your desk closer to the doorway to keep an eye on the kids when school’s out. Then push everything out of the way for a quick play session with them for a break!

Check out these heavy duty steel casters from Big Blueprint Storage.

 

Summary:

No two businesses are exactly the same, and using your home office space to reflect you and what your business promotes is an excellent way to maintain your professional mindset.  Keeping furniture mobile and your tools versatile and flexible will ensure you are always able to change up your layout if you find something isn’t working for you or you need to reconfigure for future growth. Thinking outside the box by using a blueprint storage rack for any of your oversized documents will keep your important documents safe and easy to sort.  And lastly, clear labeling and a great visual project center will ensure a smooth workflow.

 

 

 

 

Can a Blueprint Storage Rack Really Boost Your Job Enjoyment and Work Productivity?

blueprint storage rack

 

 Can a Blueprint Storage Rack Really Boost Your Job Enjoyment and Work Productivity?

by Liz 

 

Considering the average person spends more time at work than anywhere else, you’d think that making your work environment as desirable as possible would be considered a priority. They say that ‘happiness starts at home,’ but new research in workplace contentment is presenting a different story altogether. As it turns out, happiness might start with the right layout and organizational tools for your workspace. That’s why we’re making the case that a state-of-the-art file storage and a fancy blueprint storage rack could lead to a happier work life.

 

Yes, seriously.

 

Here are 4 statistics about employee productivity that might surprise you:

 

  1. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.*
  2. Happy employees are 12% more productive.*
  3. The annual cost of inefficiency for full-time employees looking for misplaced items in the office equals $89 billion.**
  4. Employees who are allowed to design and organize their own workspace are 32% more productive.***

 

The bottom line?  A personalized, organized office leads to happier employees, less money lost, and higher productivity!

 

“In a disorganized environment, the stresses of lost or hard-to-find items short-circuits our creativity. Organization creates a state of calm that allows solutions to problems to surface and opens the channels of creativity, “ say the Productivity Experts.

 

Let’s face it – your average architects, engineers, contractors, and construction team members typically love to pile paperwork.  Turning piles into files can be surprisingly liberating. The blueprint storage rack makes the organizational aspect of certain office spaces more manageable and therefore more tolerable for the average employee. Hanging your big blueprints in a blueprint storage rack makes viewing easier to digest when sieving through a mountain of paper work.

 

Meeting preparation is cut in half. Client consultations are smoother and more impressive. Need to refer back to a past design at the spur of the moment? No problem – you can put your hands on it in a flash.

 

Set the Tone For An Energetic & Efficient Work Culture

 

And we’re not just talking about converting your current packrats into productivity boosters. You can also expect to set the pace for new hires. Having office supplies such as the blueprint storage rack will create a comfortable routine for those employees initially starting their career in your office. Sometimes it can be those little daily tasks that can make or break you on a bad day. As the office manager, you’ll be responsible for so many elements in the working day – set your staff up in a state-of-the-art, superbly organized and stylish work space, and you’ll see that the rest of your work culture will unfold naturally.

 

With so much going on regarding employee happiness and productivity, make sure you keep the organization on top of its game.

 

Attract New Hires That are Enthusiastic to Join Your Team

 

Is your firm growing? Just starting out? Preparing to replace a few pending pensioners?  You’ve got some big shoes for a new hire to fill. But, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Finding a job fresh out of school is getting more and more uncertain. It’s a slogging process for the young hopeful. Finding your lifetime career fit at a company you want to stay with, work your way up in, and retire successfully – well that is the holy grail!

 

So picture this: a young architect is touring your firm during the interview process. He’s nervous and excited. He enters a waiting room that looks like it came straight out of an interior design magazine. Walking to his interview, he passes bustling conference rooms, a fully-stocked breakroom with one of those fabulous state-of-the-art espresso machines, and the most impressively-big, industrial blueprint storage rack, gleaming with crisp sheets full of new design ideas. For a fleeting moment, he imagines his name at the top of one of those blueprints.  He starts to get nervous that his portfolio isn’t good enough, his suit isn’t expensive enough, and his college clunker of a car is an embarrassment in the parking lot.  This is a guy who is eager to make the right impression to join your obviously-prestigious firm.  This is a guy who is going to step up his game to compete. This is a guy who is going to take pride in working here and will go the extra mile to make sure he is not the weak cog in this well-oiled machine!

 

Now, let’s consider a different scenario. The same young architect shows up to a waiting room where the secretary can’t find the sticky note she jotted his appointment on.  He sees a breakroom with a dripping water tank and a fast food style coffee maker covered in burnt coffee residue and a man slumped in the corner on his phone playing one of those time-wasting candy games. The conference room is really just the boss’ office with a folding table that’s piled with coffee-stained, wrinkled blueprints rolled up and spilling onto the floor.  A middle-aged man and a young woman are bearing the load of a missed deadline.

 

The young applicant is no longer worried about whether he’s good enough to fit in. He’s worried that this office will suck the life out of him before he hits 35. He’s already contemplating his mid-life crisis.

 

Ok let’s be honest. Am I saying that a perfectly-indexed mobile plan center, a platinum pegboard vertical tool organizer, and a glide-out, vertical blueprint storage rack are the keys to a successful, long-term career?  No. But I AM suggesting that these little organizational tools can be the subtle difference between an enthusiastic team member and one who easily finds distractions on his phone to get through the day.

 

If you’re a company that works with employees or contractors that store any of the following:

  • Blueprints
  • Contractor charts
  • Oversized newspapers and periodicals
  • Wallpaper samples
  • Poster samples
  • Maps
  • Film Files
  • Iron-on Transfers
  • Artwork

 

…and your company seeks to:

 

  •  Attract the highest caliber employment applicants
  •   Set the tone for a great work culture right from hire date
  •   Have a reputation for being organized, efficient, and meeting deadlines
  •   Boost team morale with a touch of atmospheric relief

 

…then bravo!    You’ve come to the right place. We’re directing you to the right place to start your office transformation.

 

The Big Blueprint Hanger is home to the most unique, versatile, and affordable high-density blueprint and art file storage systems available.   Get some inspiration for how our storage systems could work in your office at our blueprint storage planning guide. 

 

Don’t forget – their products aren’t limited to blueprints.  These vertical filing tools can be cleverly hacked for children’s art  in your home playroom, motivational posters and classroom décor for the schoolteacher, and maps for the savvy collector.

 

How to Jumpstart Your Office Transformation

 

Starting a new company is one thing – you’ve got a blank canvas to brainstorm a brilliantly organized, elegant workspace.

 

But what if you’ve been drowning in a cluttered company culture for decades?  How can you jumpstart an office transformation that will inspire real change in your office lifestyle and outlast the next Instagram trend?

 

  1. Bring your team in on the idea and let them help plan it. Your office is full of creatives, engineers, designers, and planners.   This is literally what they work for every day. Let them be a part of the plan. Not only will it give them a little break from their regular work day, it will also give you better insight into what they want and need around the office to boost their productivity.
  2. Have a little fun with an incentivized office redesign challenge!
  3. Give everyone a bit of freedom to incorporate more personal touches around the office. More so than simply a framed family photograph and a plant that always seems to be dying, let your team have a small budget for some personal organizational tools for their desk or office.
  4. Start From the Top Down – With Your Own Office Redesign

 

Perhaps you should start by printing these four statistical reminders to hang in your own office:

 

  •   Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.*
  •   Happy employees are 12% more productive.*
  •  The annual cost of inefficiency for full-time employees looking for misplaced items in the office equals $89 billion.**
  • Employees who are allowed to design and organize their own workspace are 32% more productive.***

 

 

Hopefully you realize now just how big of a return you’ll get on investing in office organizational tools and design.  Your return will come back to you in the form of enthusiastic employees, new hires that are eager to impress, overall productivity boosts, and less time and money wasted when trying to meet deadlines in a chaotic work environment.

 

Take a look at all of the storage solutions that Big Blueprint Hanger has to offer – we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the new age of sleek, contemporary storage options for typically bulky and hard to manage paperwork.

 

You can also find out more of our in-depth tricks for boosting productivity here. 

 

 

 

 

*Statistics from Forbes.com

**From the Productivity Experts

***Statistic from University of Exeter

 

 

 

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.

______________________________________

[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.

__________________________________________

[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 rack

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