Claiming Your Workspace

Most ofen, it looks like a bomb has gone off on my desk or in my studio. I admit, right now, my studio is in complete shambles . . . half unpacked boxes here, half-finished projects there and various “tools of the trade” scattered on every flat surface. It’s the point that I hate going in there and that, of course, is not a good thing considering I have so much work to do.

What can I do to solve this? Yes, this is important, so pay attention (yes, I’m going to pay attention, too).

1: Utilize Feng Shui practices: What? I can’t even say it, so how can I do it? There are numerous books and website available teaching novices how to put these practices to good use, how they’ll benefit from the environment by doing so and how to keep it going. These practices, of course, aren’t for everyone, but it couldn’t be overlooked. Let’s look at the definition of Feng Shui for your reference: (in brief)

“Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment. The literal translation is “wind and water”. Feng shui involves the use of geographical, psychological, philosophical, mathematical, aesthetic, and astrological concepts in relation to space and energy flow.[1] It is not simply a decorating style, but a discipline with guidelines compatible with many different techniques of architectural planning.” –

2: Clearing the clutter: do you really need everything that’s been stuffed on your desk, in your office or in your studio? Is the corner you’ve carved out for yourself becoming the catch all for everyone else in the house? Before you get started, sort through the mess and throw away what’s obviously trash. Then, take everything in the space and separate by what needs to be filed, what needs to go elsewhere in the house and what needs to be re-appointed to a new spot. You might need to get yourself some organizational tools for this process (like file folders, containers for small items, boxes and other handy items found in the organizational sections of most super centers and office supply stores).

3: Expect respect: if you don’t respect your space, then no one else will either. This is a hard reality to embrace, particularly for those who like to leave things where they are all the time and just want people to leave them alone. Well, if you create a dumping zone within your workspace, then that’s the path your family is going to follow. Unless you have items that need to dry (in the case of artists), then everything should be cleaned up immediatly. If you’re working on the next great American novel, put your notes away when you’re done. It seems simple, doesn’t it . . . you’d be surprised how often this basic organizational practice is over looked and people wonder why they’re surrounded by chaos.

4: Categorize: Separate your workspace into categories, so it’ll be easier to filter items and papers in where they go after each work session. You can accomplish this by color coding, labeling, using baskets, utilzing shelving or creating cubbies (among other things). It’s imporant to find a system that works best for you so you’ll keep up on the practice.

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