Organizing a small office space can be a challenge. Amy Neiman has lots of experience setting up home offices for her clients, because she's a professional organizer, and the founder of A Simplified Life, LLC.
Amy sublets an apartment on New York City’s upper West Side. The small studio space (she can see the front door from her bed), pulls double duty as Amy's home and office. It's on the 8th floor and features views of the Hudson River on one side and New Jersey on the other.
Homeowner: Amy Neiman
Project: Organizing a small office
Budget: As little as possible
Organizing a Small Office Space
Amy was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in her late twenties while studying for her Masters of Art in Psychology at Pepperdine University. She realized early on that she was far more productive if the physical clutter was removed: it removed the mental clutter giving her the space she needed to focus. “I operate better with less paperwork and clutter on my desk or in my workspace.” So, Amy set about organizing her small office space, and since Amy has an artistic background, it was important the space look good, too!
The 411 on Organizing a Small Office Space
Amy created a highly functional and attractive workspace in one corner of her studio apartment. To do this:
- She created a combination desk and storage unit using wall mounted brackets and shelving.
- She conserved space by choosing multi-functional devices, for example an all-in-one, copier/scanner/printer with a sheet feeder that she stores underneath her desk.
- Her filing cabinet also works as an extension of her desk – in the top drawer, she keeps office supplies such as a stapler, pens, and paperclips.
Advice for Organizing a Small Office Space
Amy is happy with the way the space turned out. “Having to work from my apartment, it's tight quarters as you can imagine. Everything needs to be organized and efficient in my space and for me, it has to look good too. I like my desk area and think it works well for my space.”
For others who are organizing a small office space, Amy recommends:
- Choosing a sturdy bookshelf. Make sure it's just large enough to store the books and materials you use daily. This will help prevent distractions from derailing your productivity.
- Using a vertical filing cabinet. A vertical style cabinet is best for efficiently storing and retrieving files.
- Investing in a comfortable chair. “When you are physically comfortable, you become mentally calm.”
- Choosing adjustable lighting. Adequate lighting is important as it can help you avoid eyestrain and assist you in completing your tasks.
- Using color psychology to help you select a color for your space that will help you maintain focus and boost productivity.
- Keeping a crosscut shredder nearby. With a shredder, you can quickly and easily eliminate unwanted paper as part of your mail opening or filing routines.
- Despite keeping a minimalist approach to the top of her desk, one thing Amy keeps handy is a Post-it® note dispenser so she can quickly capture ideas as they pop into her head. She has a whole wall devoted to these notes.
What are your tips for organizing a small office?
Amy Neiman is the founder and CEO of a simplified life, llc. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and active in the local New York Chapter (NAPO-NY). She is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). Learn more Amy and her business at amyneiman.com.