Braving Storms: Deborah Glenn on Making Your Workspace Work for You

Now that we’re all defrosting from the 2014 Arctic Vortex, it struck us as fitting to give April the theme of “Braving Storms.” Here are some great stories from people weathering the worst that life can rain down at the worst moments–and how they lived to see the sun come out again.


Look around your studio, home office, cubicle, bedroom—wherever you do the bulk of your creative work. Do you like it? Is it comfortable? Do you enjoy spending long stretches of time there? If not, what can you do to fix that?
403653b91c37d978e09e34f29d8aabe6For most of us, our work environment can help or hinder us. Spaces that don’t function well can be downright annoying. There’s a reason that cubicles are often used to signify conformity and anonymity. There’s a reason that dynamic companies like Google and Facebook invest millions into building office layouts that foster creativity and collaboration.

This isn’t about being a neatnik or a slob, either. But knowing where you land on neatnik/slob continuum will help you figure out how to make the most of your space.

It doesn’t take millions to do this. When I was an editor at design and shelter magazines, I talked to scores of homeowners who reaped huge benefits from small changes. Your revamp might be as simple as decluttering a corner, repainting, buying a table to hold a printer and some paper, rearranging your desk. My workspace must is having office supplies within arm’s reach; I hate digging in drawers for a pen and notepad. It does take a bit of time, though, if you have no clue what kind of environment suits you. Just break it down into small tasks. Browse design blogs and magazines for photos and make yourself a little inspiration board (or go old-school and paste pics onto a poster board). Then plan to make the changes bit by bit. Then make them. See? It wasn’t that tough.
unnamedA recent transplant from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Deborah Snoonian Glenn is a former senior editor of This Old House and Architectural Record and was the executive editor of the eco-lifestyle magazine Plenty. Her freelance writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Dwell and other publications, and she’s made dozens of guest appearances on The Today Show and other national programs.

Posted in Braving Storms, Good Ideas, Organizing Ideas, Writing, Writing Education and tagged , , , .

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