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June 15, 2012

Ideas for Sharing a Workspace

Do you share a workspace with someone? The National Association of Professional Organizers in Michigan has some ideas to help you organize your area.

1. Label spaces where shared desk supplies go. Use a label maker (or piece of tape and a marker) and put the label (or the tape) right on the surface or shelf where the desk supply goes, then place the objects on top of the label. Do this for all your supplies: stapler, tape, dispenser, scissors, ruler, etc.

For supplies that go inside a container (paperclips, rubber bands, tacks, pencils, pens) you may want to label the inside wall of the container.

2. Have a designated area in or near the workspace for people to store their non-shared papers or individual projects. This designated area can be a file, a drawer, a letter tray etc. The important thing is to make sure that each person has an area of their own. As a result, if someone has a project they are working on and they need to leave the workspace, instead of leaving the papers on the shared surface of the workspace, they can put their papers in their designated area and find them again easily later. It may help to label the areas with each person's name.

3. Have a designated place for paper and objects that are not put away or do not (yet) have a home in the workspace. This place, perhaps a cabinet or box, can be labeled something like "lost" or "Who do you belong to?". By giving a home to papers and objects that aren't put away, you will know what to do with papers that are left out and where to look first to find lost objects.

4. Set aside a regular time when all the people who use the workspace can go through their objects. You can each throw away or recycle paper that is no longer needed and put the other paper and things in their assigned place/homes. For anything that should stay in the workspace but doesn't have a home - assign one and label it.

Sharing space can work! For more organizing tips, visit

Article submitted by Chapter Member Susan Hunsberger.