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Office organization is that task we all know we need to do but always put off. Well, you'll be buying office organization supplies once you see what Meghan Carter of discovered during her interview with the organization experts at White Space,a Chicago-area organization firm. Your desk will never be the same.


Meghan: Office organization can be difficult for most of us, especially if you are like me who has piles and piles of junk everywhere. But here at White Space, they have these perfectly clean desks that have a space for everything and Cynthia Ivie, master simplifier is going to teach me how to do it. I am hitting the road, searching for answers and finding great design. It is a quest of beauty, function and of course inspiration. Cynthia: So Meghan the biggest challenge about organizing an office for people is that they believe they have to have everything out and have to have everything that they are working on visible at the moment. They are working on it but then the question becomes if this is your work surface and it is covered with things that you are working on, where do you work? Meghan: Where do you work? Cynthia: Exactly. Meghan: Right. So I am the person who is at this office and you are going to show me where to put everything. Cynthia: Right. One of the things to think about when you are organizing an office is think of yourself as the bull’s eye on a target and everything moves out in concentric circles from there. Meghan: So it should radiate around you. Cynthia: It should radiate around you and those things that are most important that you access most frequently or they have the highest importance factor need to be closest at hand and easiest to access. Everything else can move out from there. Even visual people who think that they need to be able to see everything are comforted by some of the organizational techniques that we have come up with. So, first of all, this is your work surface so you notice that it is— Meghan: It is clean, nothing there. Cynthia: It is clean, it is clean. Meghan: No piles of papers. Cynthia: No piles of paper. You have a pad in front of you that you are working on and a pencil to write with. You have your daily calendar, which some people might choose to use electronically. We actually use two monitors at White Space. One with our calendar up on it and the other one where we are working and two monitors have been shown to increase people’s efficiency 30%. Meghan: No they do. Having two monitors is very helpful. Cynthia: Right but you want to have one place where you keep all notes and I do not care if you are an electronic maven, I am from the old school, we do everything on paper but you need to have one place. Whether you keep a task list on your computer or you keep a running tally on a notepad or in your calendar, it has to be one place. Meghan: So you cannot have multiple notepads everywhere? Cynthia: No post-its, no multiple notepads, no multiple notebooks. Meghan: Just one? Cynthia: One. Meghan: Simplify. Cynthia: One. But let us talk about your workspace. Meghan: All right, so we move on away from there. Cynthia: Right. So again, this is your primary area and this is where you sit. The things you need most often need to be immediately at reach. Meghan: So in these doors, so that you just turn around and you can pull them out. Cynthia: And in here you have the basic supplies that you need for any office and this door is a little messy, I have to admit but you will notice you have got paper clips, you have got your calculator which we use a lot at White Space, your tape measure which of course is very important when you are organizing your pens and pencils. Meghan: And I notice you have all of the little drawers. Cynthia: Absolutely. There are a lot of different drawer organizers that you could use. We like the acrylic, they come in different sizes for different size doors and they accommodate the needs of an office the best. Our favorite one happens to be the bathroom vanity organizer that we use in the desk. Meghan: Really? Cynthia: You will notice the tape dispenser is back here in the drawer. People do not use tape today. You use a stapler all the time so I always keep my stapler out on my desktop where I can grab it quickly. Now this desk was setup for a left handed person. Are you right or left handed? Meghan: I am right handed. Cynthia: Right