• Home Office Mise En Place

by Chris Hayes February 14, 2020

The French have a saying: mise en place, or everything in its place. While it's most commonly heard in professional kitchens, the phrase endures across places, spaces, and industries. Not unlike a kitchen, your home office is a place where you cook up fresh ideas and the right utensils make all the difference.

Organization isn't objective and tools of the trade aren't one-size-fits-all. Optimizing a workspace is just as much of a personal project as it is a professional necessity; finding the flow that works for you takes time, tools, and thoughtfulness in your space. 

LOVE YOUR LAYOUT

This is the heart of mis en place: creating a setup for success. The layout of your room is the first step, but beyond that, the way you structure your stuff is equally important. Keeping necessities close, décor in tasteful places, and peripherals in the perfect spot will make it easy to make sure that everything is in its place before, after, and during use. What works for a southpaw might not benefit a right-hander, a little bit of clutter might be another person's chic, and so on-- there's no right or wrong when it comes to personal preference. 

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Just as a chef selects a roll of knives suitable for slicing vegetables, meat, and more, you'll need to find an array of office supplies that meet your needs. Will you need a ruler to measure up to the job? A stapler to keep copies in line? Particular sizes of Post-It notes? Rotary cutters to trim things down to size? Beyond the mainstays, there's specialized stuff that makes your workflow work.

STYLIZE YOUR STUFF

Your stapler isn't going to become a family heirloom that's passed from generation to generation, but while it sits on your desk, you might as well enjoy it. Gone are the classic Swinglines from yesteryear; there's no shortage of well-designed, colorful options for office mainstays. From file folders with flair to a perfect pen cup, a good set of supplies can put the "fun" in "functional décor."

BEYOND THE TYPICAL OFFICE

Not all jobs require a pen and paper or a stapler and scissors. Think outside of the office supply store to improve your workflow. If you're likely to keep a book or catalog open for easy reading, invest in a cookbook holder that can prop up your pages and keep them open when necessary. Get the best of both worlds with a cell phone stand that doubles as a wireless charger so that you can keep powered up while keeping an eye on your phone or tablet.

TO DISPLAY OR NOT TO DISPLAY?

…That is the question. While your snazzy supplies might look great on a hutch or open bookcase, there's always going to be necessities that just don't make the cut or files that would benefit from a bit of in-drawer organization. Choose your storage solutions wisely and consider a mixture of both open-air storage, such as a bookcase or open hutch, as well as concealed options, such as a mobile pedestal, to keep your space both optimized and organized.



Chris Hayes
Chris Hayes

Author



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