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

blueprint storage systems

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

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

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

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

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

If your Office is 1-3

 

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

If Your Office is 4-7

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

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

If Your Office is 8-10

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

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

2. How late are you staying at the office?

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

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

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

3. Are your coworkers and boss avoiding you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Are your stress levels through the roof?

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

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

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

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

6. Are you tired all of the time?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

Everything You Need to Know About a Blueprint Storage Rack

blueprint storage rack

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

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

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

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

Reasons why we accumulate stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what now?

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

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

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

The answer to this is simple: store smarter.

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

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

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

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

How?

Read more to find out!

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

But first, what exactly is a blueprint storage rack?

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

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

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

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

That said, what are blueprints?

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

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

Background

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

Essentially, it’s a copy of a drawing.

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

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

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

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

This was the old way of doing it.

Current method

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

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

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

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

This neutralizes the acid, preventing it from further reacting.

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

Why people still use blueprints?

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

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

Why are the blueprint storage racks great for blueprints?

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

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

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

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

So, who needs this product?

Here’s who benefits the most:

-Architects

-Graphic Designers

-Risk Management

-Engineers

-Landscapers

-City Planning

-City Zoning

-Teachers

-Anyone who has a significant number of files

-Clothing Designers

-Artists

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

-Anyone who has a home office

-Anyone who has a cluttered office and/or home

What are the benefits?

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

Better Organization

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

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

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

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

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

Less possibility of causing a safety hazard

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

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

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

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

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

And what about trips and falls?

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

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

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

Helps prevent ergonomic injuries

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

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

Getting out of your seat

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

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

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

How?

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

No file cabinets falling over

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

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

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

No trip risk, as opposed to file cabinets

Tripping from file cabinets…

Yes, there is such a thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More space

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

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

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

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

Reminds you to take a break

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

Keep forgetting?

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

Waste less time digging through documents

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

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

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

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

Fewer lost documents

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

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

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

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

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

Fewer missed opportunities   

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

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

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

So, you have some missed opportunities.

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

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

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

-And we are accumulating more and more stuff!

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

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

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

-We just need a blueprint storage rack.

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

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

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

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

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

Want more information? Contact us.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[8] TIME: Sitting is Killing You

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

[10] OSHA: Ergonomics in Foundries

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

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

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

blueprint storage systems

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

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

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

65%!

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

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

That sounds great!

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

In this article, you’ll learn:

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

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

Read on to learn more.

Why we keep stuff

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

Expired coupons? Sure, why not?

Broken pencils? Can always tape them.

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

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

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

But that’s not all…

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of organization

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

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

Eating Habits

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

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

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

Exercise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s do the math.

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

That’s a lot!

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

So, a tidy desk really does promote exercise.

Social Effects

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

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

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

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

Yes, co-workers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can you defeat this clutter and increase social interaction?

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

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

Sleep

Yes, disorganization in the workplace messes with your sleep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’ll save more money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You see, it pays to be organized.

How to beat clutter

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

Purge, purge, purge

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

Catch-It Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, trash will go in the trashcan.

One-Drawer Strategy

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

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

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

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

KonMari Decluttering Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to do with incoming paper

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

Separate the trays, “Old” and “New.”

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

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

Read on to learn more organizational tricks…

Organize by frequency

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

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

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

Use vertical file holders to make this happen.

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

How blueprint storage systems helps with this

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

This is where the SR6 workstation rack comes into play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which begs the question, what are the drawers for?

What drawers are for

Divide up your office supplies.

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

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

Go Vertical

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

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

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

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

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

 Incorporate the 1-In-1-Out rule

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

Use this rule to monitor your office stuff.

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

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

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

Try this creative, organizational hack

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

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

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

Aim for “tidy enough”

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

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

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

So, aim for “tidy enough.”

When tidy isn’t effective

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

He’s got a point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Image Credit: William Iven

______________________

[1] OfficeTeam: Out of Order

[2] Lifehacker: Top 10 Office Decluttering Tricks

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

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

[5] Health: 10 Chores that Burn 100 Calories

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

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

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

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

[10] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

[11] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

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

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

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

[15] Oprah: 10 Steps to a Cleaner Office

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

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

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

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

Science Explains Why You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack

blueprint storage rack

You’re ruffling through papers, trying to find the blueprint for that meeting with your client.

Where is it?

There’s 100, maybe 200 blueprints crammed in corners of your desk and squished in filing cabinets.

15 minutes’ pass.

Still, no sign.

At this point, you risk being late.

Nothing.

You call up the client and reschedule the meeting.

Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for many who don’t have appropriate office storage. And it can cost you more than merely rescheduling a meeting.

You could lose potential and current clients, compromise your reputation, and risk your job position. All because you can’t locate a specific file, blueprint, print, or sample.

This is why you need a blueprint storage rack.

A blueprint storage rack makes the most out of minimum space, storing up to 120 prints per hanger and up to 20 sets per average-sized rack.

But there’s more to it than just this.

Learn the detrimental effects of clutter, and how a blueprint storage rack can make your life a lot easier.

Experiment shows more mess equals less persistence

According to an article from the Harvard Business Review, people exposed to messy workspaces were less likely to stick to a challenging task.[1]

In an experiment, 100 subjects were exposed to either a cluttered or neat workspace. Afterward, in a separate room, they were asked to do a “challenging” task: Draw a geometrical figure without taking their pencil off the paper or retracing any lines.

(This, in fact, is an impossible task.)

The subjects exposed to the neat workspace attempted the task 1.5 times longer than those exposed to messy workspaces.

1,117 seconds (on average) compared to an average of 669 seconds.

What’s the reasoning behind this?

Your brain perceives the messy workspace as a threat. Simply looking at the mess drains your brain, depriving its mental resources that should be applied to the work at hand.

Because the messy workspace deprived the subjects’ mental resources, they had less mental capacity to apply to the challenging task.

Tidier workspace and better focus on hard tasks

What we’re trying to get at is a blueprint storage rack can help you tidy up your workspace.

The oversized files or blueprints you have lying around can easily be hung with aluminum or poly hangers.

By neatly storing your files and blueprints in this 1 tier storage rack, you free up your workspace.

As we know from the experiment, a tidier workspace means less mental energy wasted. More time and greater stick-to-it-ness on hard projects.

Less rumination

We are a social species. What people think about us matters.

We are in many different social standings: family, friends, co-workers. Some people interlap.

An article in Scientific American says it best, “It is only when our social standing is threatened that we begin to wonder … what are people going to think?”[2]

So, when you have a messy desk, you may spend more time ruminating about what your co-workers and boss think of you.

What do co-workers think about your messiness? Do they think it represents your quality of work?

Rumination takes up mental energy. Instead of allocating mental resources to your work, it’s spent worrying.

Less time actually getting stuff done. And less energy to stick with harder tasks.

The blueprint storage rack alleviates the possibility for rumination. Because your blueprints are stored and organized, you can allot and leverage all your mental resources on your work, challenging aspects included.

Study indicates more clutter, less productivity

We’ve alluded to this, but we’re going to go more in depth here. A cluttered environment not only affects your persistence levels but productivity as well.

A Princeton University study[3] concluded that physical clutter competes for your attention (we mentioned this earlier in the HBR experiment). It drains your productivity levels.

So, your physical clutter on your desk and in your filing cabinets is causing you to spend less time on what needs to get done.

Greater productivity

Lower productivity levels affect the chances of getting a raise, promotion, or maintaining a high reputation among co-workers and clients.

To increase your productivity, use a blueprint storage rack.

It’ll reduce your clutter—they might even erase it—and you just might get that promotion or bonus you’ve been competing for.

Study proves more clutter, higher stress

The same study also attributes clutter to higher stress levels.

Physical clutter literally floods and overwhelms your senses. This then makes you feel stressed. The increase in stress inherently blocks any type of creative thinking.[4]

But to get over the clutter you can multitask, right?

Multitasking actually stresses you out too. Your brain doesn’t do better when multitasking. It does worse. Multitasking creates what researchers dub “spotlighting.” Your brain switches feverishly from one activity to the other, trying to accomplish something.[5]

You can actually see this in action, where one area of the brain lights up for a couple seconds. Then it switches to another.

So, you’d most likely go from answer email, clutter, invoice, clutter, report, clutter.

That’s stressful.

By using a blueprint storage rack, you’ll get that clutter off your desk and reduce your stress. And you won’t feel the need to even attempt multitasking.

Stats show our total accumulation of clutter

The truth is, Americans consume twice as much stuff as we did 50 years ago.[6]

In our lifetimes, we will spend 3,680 hours (153 days) looking for misplaced stuff. Research states we misplace up to nine items every day. That’s 198,743 items in our lifetimes. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and yes paperwork are on the top of the list.[7]

Science behind throwing away clutter

And it’s hard to throw it away.

The same areas (anterior cingulate cortex and insula) in the brain for pain lights up when you part with items that hold sentimental value.[8]

Prevent this pain with a blueprint storage rack

Still have your first blueprint?

Maybe you have a fond work sample you cherish?

You don’t have to go through that pain in tossing it.

Simply store it in a blueprint storage rack.

How has clutter and a messy workspace impacted your life? Let us know in the comments below.

And check out these blueprint storage racks. They store up to 20 sets of hangers. That’s 8 more sets than our competitors’.

 

_______________________________

[1] Harvard Business Review: Why a Messy Workspace Undermines Your Persistence

[2] Scientific American: What Other People Think About Us Matters Here’s Why

[3] Lifehacker: How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

[4] Lifehacker: How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

[5] Buffer: What Multitasking Does to Our Brains

[6] The Story of Stuff, Referenced and Annotated Script by Annie Leonard

[7] becomingminimalist: 21 Surprising Stats That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

[8] Lifehacker: How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)