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Office Furniture to Declutter and De-stress

Spring cleaning. A term coined to be the appropriate time of year to get rid of extras, consolidate, to start fresh and new.  But the fact of the matter is, regardless of the season, NOW is the best time to declutter and organize your workspace, whether you are working remotely in your home office or commuting into the office.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, organization and decluttering in the workplace has a number of benefits.  According to the Harvard Business Review, when your workplace is a mess, so are you. Their study shows that physical spaces highly influence our cognition, emotions and relationships, in addition to many other variables. Clutter adds to our stress and anxiety, causing us to procrastinate and use avoidance, instead of the productivity we need in the workplace.

But what if your “office” is a classroom? Same effects.  Students have the same needs as adults.  They are, after all, humans and if we are preparing them for real world experiences, shouldn’t we be setting them up with the same environment? Absolutely.

The average office desk is 24” by 48”, with student desks measuring even smaller.  Much of that surface area is covered in computer monitors, keyboards, bulky office phones, office supply holders, file folders and numerous other ‘in-your-way, everyday items’. Besides not having a place to set your coffee or textbook, the lack of free space on your desk adds to your emotional stress level.

In a time where anxiety is high from being out of the office/classroom or the drastic change of going back in-person, workers and teachers need to look for ways to ease our minds.  While your office could manage supplies in another area that does not involve your desk, you can start with what YOU can do.  Little cost, huge results.  Declutter. 

Sure, many companies and schools have made the switch to a mostly paperless environment, but clutter doesn’t just come in the form of paper. Those computer power cords, folders, phone chargers and bags strewn about your workplace, home office included, do just as much damage.  Not to mention the affect your clutter has on those around you.

Start with getting rid of everything you do not need: old sticky notes, papers from closed out items, broken equipment and cords that you have no idea what they go to. Declutter those spaces with these office furniture accessories and solutions that double as educational furniture solutions as well:

Office and Educational Cable Management Solutions

1. NeatTech

The first of the Humanscale: Neat Suite products is this computer cord ‘catch all’.  The mesh holster, which is made from left over office chair materials, attaches to any office desk to keep unsightly cords off the ground and tucked away out of sight.

Hey teachers, with computer labs as classrooms, your solution is here.  Imagine 30 computers, one cord for power supply and an ethernet cable of various colors to each of those.  Now imagine never again seeing those hanging to the ground, under students’ feet, and likely getting unplugged at least once per day. This is by far the most practical educational furniture solution to declutter both teacher and student desks.

2. NeatCharge

Phone chargers are a thing of the past with the Humanscale: NeatCharge. The charging puck easily attaches to the bottom of the office furniture, less than 1.18” in thickness, to allow users to simply place their phone on top of the workstation and have it charge without plugging in.

The need for multiple plug-ins: gone. Tons of student cell phones in various walls around the room, including some sitting on the floor: obsolete.  Students no longer need to find an open outlet or disrupt class to move across the room to charge their phones.

3. NeatUp

With more knowledge of the importance to change positions while working throughout the day, many homes and offices are shifting the height-adjustable office furniture.  But your cords are only so long.  Adding an extension cord to the ever-growing number of cords you already have is not the direction we want to go.  Are you tethered to a seated position or an awkward ‘stand-up and lean over’? This office furniture solution provides a power cord through the leg of the table that self-adjusts to accommodate your preferred level of work while keeping cords nearly organized and out of sight.

Office Shelving Solutions

1. Ubi Freestanding Shelves: Herman Miller

Everything in life has a place.  You just need to find the way that works best for you and your workflow.  The sleek, minimal design to these shelves adds organization without compromising style or much surface space.  Because the storage units are stackable, you can add as many shelves as you want vertically without taking up more desk space. The opening under the shelf allows for a tray to hold items that would not otherwise fit on top.

2. Ubi Attached Shelves: Herman Miller

This shelving unit attaches to the back of any office or educational desk. The slightly raised shelving allows for even more workspace surface area to be freed up without compromising storage and organization.  The backdrop is optional on models, but allows documents to be displayed vertically. The shelf also comes with an optional, built-in USB and charging port.

While neither of these shelving solutions are optimal for educational student desks, an individual teacher desk or library workspace would greatly benefit from these pieces.

3. Ubi Bag Hook and Mobile Bag Catch

The easy-to-attach Bag Hook allows you to keep your personal belongings out of the way, off the floor and tucked neatly under your desk. A clear pathway for teachers to get to students is now a realistic expectation.  The idea of throwing clutter under your desk is ‘out of sight, out of mind’, but, in reality, you still catch glimpses of the clutter when you come into the office or when you accidentally kick it under your desk.  The Mobile Bag Catch, similarly, is a catch-all for personal belongings, but can be moved according to the user’s needs.

Office Lighting Solutions

1. Twist LED Task Light

This long lasting (60,000 hours) task light takes your bulky desk lamp and cords and raises it to a sleek, slim, under the shelf LED light that still produces an appropriate amount of light for your office workstation. This task light connects magnetically, or with brackets for wood surfaces and once the light is attached, it can be easily adjusted by the user to shift the angle of the light as needed to avoid glare. The Herman Miller product prides itself on being eco-friendly and energy-efficient, leaving just a small carbon footprint.

Office Accessories

1. Flo Monitor Arm

The Flo Monitor Arm attaches to the back of your office, student, or teacher desk, lifting your monitor to your preference, once again, freeing up surface space.  The arm also allows you to adjust your monitor fluidly to accommodate your movement throughout the day, whether you are standing, sitting or rotating your monitor for another’s viewing. This arm supports a single monitor or laptop but comes in various models to accommodate dual monitors.

2. Eames Hang-It-All

When it comes to decluttering, most people forget about wall décor.  Too many pieces on the wall can become incredibly overwhelming and in turn heighten those stress levels. So, clear it up. Clutter isn’t just at your workstation; those walls count too.  Of course, you don’t want to sit in an office that resembles that of a prison: bare, white cinder block walls, but be practical.  Find a solution that does more than just look cool, make it functional and work for you.  This hat and coat rack doubles as an interesting piece of art when it is not in use. Like other Herman Miller products, this comes in a variety of sizes and colors to fit your office space’s style and functionality.

3. Tu W-Pull Freestanding Lateral File Cabinet

Last, but certainly not least, a filing cabinet.  Yes, we are moving towards a paperless world, but let’s face it, paper is here and will be for the foreseeable future in some way, shape or form.  You cannot avoid it and you need a place to store and organized it.  On top of your desk, is not the place.  Sure, for ‘right now’ pieces, but you need to store away papers that are not vital to your ‘right now’ life.  Luckily, furniture manufacturers have found a way to transform big, clunky, metal cubes into a more aesthetically appealing piece of office and educational furniture. Find a size that fits for you.  More than likely, you do not need a seven-drawer stackable cabinet. If so, you probably need to ‘spring clean’ the outdated that should be tossed.  Find a piece that fits comfortably under your desk to, again, increase the amount of free space in your office.  This Herman Miller Tu W-Pull Freestanding Lateral Cabinet comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate your individual needs and workspace size.

Decluttering is often a synonym to minimalism, which is frequently mistaken for ‘going without’, but don’t be let that scare you.  This could not be further from the truth.  We need power cords, chargers, folders and every day office supplies to make our work world function efficiently. Be diligent and find solutions that work with you and for you to cut down on clutter and stress and increase productivity.