Home Office Feng Shui: Organizing Your Work Space

Practicing Feng Shui can be a great way to keep a happy balance in your office space. The key elements of water, fire, wood, and earth can help you find a calm balance and lead to more energy and productivity.

In today’s fifth and final installment in our five part series on Feng Shui tips for your home office space, this week we’re talking about organizing your work space.

Part Five – Organizing Your Work Space

Declutter Your Desk

To reduce the amount of clutter and scattered piles of papers on your desk, look for desk accessories that suit your needs. Wire baskets, trays, pen holders, and small containers can be used on and in your desk to keep supplies in order. Use sustainable products like bamboo and avoid anything that is not good for the environment, such as plastics, acrylic, and disposable items.

Use Bookshelves

If you refer to manuals or books during your work day, put these on a bookshelf for easy access. When organizing the shelves, put your smaller books on the inside and taller books on the outside. This system looks more pleasing to the eye and will keep your books more upright.

Not using the book shelves solely for books? That’s ok but keep it organized and tidy. Review every six months the contents of the shelves and remove those items that are no longer relevant. When “removing” said items, consider selling the item on Craigslist, recycling or posting the item on Freecycle.

Have a Filing System

If you don’t have one already, consider acquiring (again, Craigslist and Freecycle) a filing cabinet and some eco-friendly file folders. There’s no better way to keep track of your paperwork and if you use lots of specifically labeled folders, you will find anything you need quickly.

If you want to take it a step further, go paperless and scan everything into Evernote (affiliate link used) and/or Google Drive.

Control Your Cables

Your work desk is most likely covered in cables, especially if you have a desktop computer. Messy cables can be stressful, so make sure you find a way to keep these together and organized. There are many options available, from twisty ties to more expensive clip packs. Tip: Save those bread twist ties and re-purpose them. Also, old-fashioned curly phone cords work wonders. Look in your “junk drawers” .. you probably have one in there. Always make sure you are using a surge protector for the sake of safety and equipment longevity. Tip: At the end of the workday, shut down everything and unplug the surge protector from the wall. They add up to as much as 30% of your electricity bill.

You’re Not a Library

Unless you are using them, old manuals, guides, and magazines can quickly become an out of control mess. If you want to hold on to these for some reason, try and hide them out of sight but in an organized manner. Using baskets or cabinets can be quite effective. Again, invest some time in getting organized and scan the smaller items into Evernote and/or Google Drive.

Avoid Food in Your Office

If you need to have a snack or a meal in your office, make sure that you clean it up as quickly as possible. As a general rule though, if you’re working from home it is best to eat in your kitchen. Food creates clutter and garbage, both of which you don’t want in your work space.

Sort Mail Immediately

When you retrieve your daily mail, make sure that you are sorting it before you enter your office. Keep the recycling bin en route from the mail box to your office. Make sure that you leave personal mail elsewhere, and take only business mail into your office. Have a designated spot for it and try to sort through it at least once a week, but everyday is much better. Recycle or file items you no longer need.

End Each Day with a Clean Up

It’s important that you tidy your desk at the end of every day, and you should try and make it a part of your daily work routine. This way, you will be able to start every day with an organized office and be ready for what the day may bring. This means that every morning will start calm and relaxed, rather than stressed out from walking into a messy room. If you can’t do everyday, ensure that it’s done on Friday afternoons. This includes your to lists, picking up, organizing, and vacuuming. Personally, I do the bulk of this on Thursdays, since Fridays are trash day.

Make Lists

The act of making a to-do list can help to declutter your mind and keep you organized. It’s important to keep track of what has to be done in a day and lists can prevent you from suddenly feeling overwhelmed or having a panic attack. If you need to, make a new list after lunch, or at the end of the afternoon, for the tasks of the following morning. Try using Asana or Evernote.

Create a “Work Only” Zone

After all of the hard work you’ve done to create a clutter-free space, full of good energy and Chi, the last thing you want is for clutter to take over and destroy it all. To avoid this, don’t use your work area for anything but work. Your home office has been designed for the purpose of work, so no one should be playing on your computer or leaving a mess in the room.

Following these 50 easy tips and good Feng Shui practices will help you to create a positive energy in your office and organize the movement of this energy. Remember to:

If you can do these things, then you will have a Feng Shui work environment that will not only be a productive place for you, but a refuge.

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Image credit: New Workspace by Nick Keppol | CC BY 2.0