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How to Organize Tables

22 April 2021

Don’t Live In or Without Creative Clutter: Organizing Ideas to Keep the Creativity Flowing

Are you one of those people who can’t seem to work when using an empty table? It’s like the clean and empty surface just as easily reflects an empty idea bank. Do you like the idea of having all your supplies close to you because it inspires you and helps spark ideas, but you can’t seem to keep them in a place that will not obstruct your workspace? If you don’t organize your things, you’ll end up with a full table and no space for you to actually work. So how can you remedy this problem? Here are a few organizing ideas to keep your table tidy but not empty.

  1. Start with the optics

Remove everything from your work area. You should only be left with an empty table, chair, and a bare wall. If you have shelving units that you want to be part of your workspace, empty those out as well. Now, take a step back and visualize your work area. Take this as an opportunity to redesign your space. Maybe you’d like to move your table to face the other side, against the wall, or maybe in the middle of the room and feel like a big shot waiting for his next appointment. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild. You can even go around your house to check for other furniture you’d like to swap out or could be useful in your new work area.

  1. Segregate

Get a couple of boxes ready – three at the bare minimum. Now, this is going to be a little tricky and it might be difficult to do if you’re a little clingy with your things. Label your boxes with the following tags:

  • Immediate – this is for all the items that are essential in your daily work. Things that should always be within close proximity to you. This can include memo pads, stapler, paper clips, pens, charger, etc. However, if you have a box of clips, a hundred pens and pencils, and maybe 10 kinds of pads, then you’ll need to choose the exact items you want within your reach. Don’t worry about the others, you’ll still get to see them, but they just won’t be too close to you that can possibly cause clutter. Perhaps limit the items to a maximum of 3 pens, 2 pencils, a dozen clips, and a single pad. If you’re uncomfortable having to move the others away, then think of it this way: you can switch them out weekly so you have a “new set” of supplies each week.

  • Shelf – this one is for items that you rarely use, but would still want to keep around, you know, just in case. Organize these items according to size. You can place them on a shelf, side table, drawer, or side tray. It should still be relatively accessible so you can easily swap out items or reach in for a new pad or staple wire when you need it. 

  • Relocate – this last box is probably the most difficult of all to fill. You’ll need to ask yourself the following to help you get things moving:

    • When was the last time you used or even touched this item?

    • Did you even know it was here?

    • Do you think you’ll need it anytime soon? In the next week but not later than a month from now?

    • Do you think you can part with this for now?

If you’re feeling particularly clingy about these items, think of it sas putting these inside a “treasure chest” where you’ll keep them safe. And like any treasure, know you’ll be reunited again one day. 

  1. Use your shelves wisely

If you have a bookshelf within your working area, use all the usable space there is. Your books, journals, and notebooks will not occupy the entire shelf space. There will always be a few inches of space in front of it near the edge. You can keep small stacks of notepads in one section, a small pen holder in another, and maybe a shallow organizer for other small items in your “shelf” box. If the bottom of your shelf is empty or still has some more space to hold another box, you can decorate the box that would fit the space and put your “relocate” items inside just in case you still want a transition period to get used to the idea that these items will no longer be around for you to see as much. 

  1.  Keep a “Trove Box”

Once you’re done organizing your workspace, there will always be times when you get tempted to take out some of the items from the shelves or even out of your “relocate” box. But you need to train yourself to keep it off your table. Because a single pen today will be a book, several notepads, and other small trinkets tomorrow. And before you know it, there's a whole pile of clutter that you won’t have the heart to sort through again. So the “Trove Box” will be your easy and simple solution. Keep this box next to your table, decorate it any way you like so it doesn’t just look like a regular box. Anything you take out and don’t put back should go inside that box instead of having it left on the table. And if you think this box is a way to condone your habit of piling things up to keep them close to you, then you’d be wrong. If you keep these things inside the box and end up forgetting about it, it means you can put these away permanently. On the other hand, if you end up constantly using the same items inside that box, then you should reconsider moving it in your immediate area. 

Organizing sounds like a very tedious task especially if you like doing a variety of things and each one has its own set of tools. But you don’t need to end up with an empty space nor should you need to live with clutter. Follow thee aforementioned tips and you’ll find your happy medium in no time.