Find that hidden accessible storage space that’s looming in your office that you are desperately craving.
How many times have you been stressed because of the lack of accessible storage space in your office? You need room for a desk, printer or table but have nowhere to put it. Most likely there is room, you just have not found it yet. There are strategies that you can take that will provide you with the storage space your office desperately needs.
Minimize Your Office Supplies
Let’s face it, there is at least one item in your office that you always have way more of than you need. Maybe you have enough pens to supply an entire university, or paper clips to organize the entire Library of Congress. To create more space, cut your supplies. You will live with only a six month’s supply of paper clips or only five or six pens per desk. If you do not feel comfortable cutting your supplies in half start off with baby steps. Order one month’s less of pens and slowly cut your order over time.
While cutting small office supplies may not seem significant in adding accessible storage space, a little bit goes a long way. Over time you will be able to see drawers uncluttered, shelves in storage closets emptied, and the surface of tables exposed.
Maximize Your Floor and Wall Spaces
For your walls, buy proper shelving that fits your items needs. If you deal with a lot of paperwork, buy shelving that is equipped to organize stacks of paperwork. If you have a lot of awards, buy shelving that is more open and displays your awards proudly. Look at many different retailers and ask for the measurements of the shelving before you buy it. Break out the tape measure and measure the dimensions of all your items. It is better to plan ahead and figure out a shelving option doesn’t work before you purchase it and figure out the items you are trying to shelve don’t fit.
For your floors, it's okay to stack boxes or other items on top of each other. However, do not put lighter items on the bottom and heavier items on top. Not only does it look like you do not care for your fellow employees and potential clients that come in the door, but it can also damage the lighter items. As with the walls, it is important to plan and measure the items you are planning to purchase before buying them. You want to buy tables and cabinets that compliment the space. You want the objects to fill the open space but not consume it. Leave room for a person to walk around a table but not feel as if they have an open field around them.
Optimize the Space You Have
Most likely there is a space in your office that is underutilized or is too large for the amount of people in your office. Think about it for a second... one of the most wasted spaces in your office could be your conference room. Many times companies have a conference room with a large table equipped to seat double the amount of people that will ever walk into the office. In order to create more space, take out that monster table and put in a mid-sized one. Use that newly acquired space for shelving or cabinets depending on your specific needs.
Another common occurrence is an office with five or six conference rooms when only two or three are actually needed. Try turning unused conference rooms into storage spaces or an office for an employee who needs it. The usage of the new open space depends on your needs. Don’t be afraid to change things around several times before you find a layout that best fits you. Your employees may be a little annoyed at first, playing a game of musical chairs, but in the end, when your space is fully optimized they will thank you immensely.
Don’t leave any space unused. Whether it is a shelf under a table, that high shelf you cannot reach, or that tiny corner off to the side of the office, it is key to take advantage of every nook and cranny. Besides creating more storage space, filling every space with at least one or two items is aesthetically pleasing to your employees and guests coming into the office. In the corners you can put plants, under tables you can stick a few books about your industry, on that high shelf you can stick a decorative pot or files that you will not need for a few months. Get a little creative and search the Internet for ideas if you need to (that is what Pinterest is made to do).
The accessible storage space you need is right in your office. It may be hiding, it may be a challenge to find, but it is there. Take some time to think through your layout and how each space is being optimized. Change your office around several times if you need to and don’t feel discouraged if your first rearrangement doesn’t work. Also, ask your fellow employees for ideas, they are the ones that are using the space every day and may have some great input on how to maximize your space. The sky’s the limit, so have at it, and good luck!