Whether it’s a tiny cubicle at work or a sectioned off part of your home, having a small workspace can be quite a challenge. After all, it’s hard enough to stay focused throughout the day even without feeling like you’re being squeezed into a corner.
While the average desk worker doesn’t have the luxury of increasing the size of their work area whenever they wish, it is possible to be productive within a small workstation.
To help you get started, here are some useful tips for maximizing your office space and making the most out of a limited working area.
Clear Away the Clutter
From piles of papers to stacks of supplies, many small workstations suffer from an abundance of clutter and not enough space to actually get anything done. Moreover, a desk covered with stuff both mentally and physically makes you feel crowded in.
Thus, the first step involves reclaiming the area for work. Specifically, go through and purge your desk top of all the things that have accumulated on it. Unless you use that item on daily (or nearly daily) basis, chances are there is a better place for it to go.
Once you’ve cleaned up your desk, then you need to take measures to ensure all of that clutter doesn’t start building back up again. This requires getting organized.
After all, if you don’t know (or specifically designate) where something is supposed to go, it’s likely to be placed on your desk instead of put away correctly. Don’t be afraid to label drawers or bring in storage containers to keep small items contained.
One great rule of thumb to keep in mind when organizing is to categorize items by how frequently you use them. This varies depending on your field of work, but in general, only things that you use pretty much daily are allowed a place on (or in) your desk.
If executed correctly, that scanner you use every 6 months will be stored away in a supply closet instead of hogging valuable desk space.
Update Your Equipment
Possibly one of the less obvious solutions, updating your equipment can go a long way in getting the most out of your limited workspace. Questions to ask yourself include: Can you swap out that bulky old desktop for a laptop and screen? How about downsizing that massive wooden desk to one that allows for a bit more storage space on the side?
As a whole, office furniture, electronics, and other items have become more compact and multipurpose over time. For example, an all-in-one printer uses the area of a printer but reduces the need to have a separate scanner, copier, and fax machine. Likewise, using a small desk lamp or ceiling track lighting instead of a standing floor lamp can really help open up floor space.
For workers in a tiny office, investing in these slimmer pieces of equipment can really pay off. After all, not only do they tend to do their jobs better than their predecessors, but they also use less space more efficiently.