49 Office Hacks to Get You Through the Day January 24 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
Hey, when it comes to getting through the work day, we need all of the help we can get. So, in the spirit of making 9–5 just a bit more bearable, here are 50 hacks for use in the office (or wherever it is that you might need them).
1. Binder clips to organize wires
Dozens of tangled and intertwined wires have you down? With the help of some friendly binder clips, you can make sure that they stay where they’re supposed to
2. Hair straightener on wrinkled collar
If you’ve ever made it to work, only to find that the collar on your shirt is doing it’s best to take flight, you know how difficult it can be to iron those things down. Use a hair straightener on it instead of an iron, and you’ll have it laying flat in no time.
3. Mirrors for more light
If you find yourself crammed back into a cubicle, with dozens of twists and turns between you and the light source, don’t fret. With a few well placed mirrors, you can reflect all the light you’ll need right down onto your workstation.
4. Kitchen basket under desk
Another great way to corral all of those loose wires is to buy a simple plastic kitchen basket, and to attach it to the underside of your desk for easy, out-of-the-way storage.
Face it, the pocket on the front of your dress shirt is practically useless . It looks ridiculous when you have it stuffed full of pen and pencils, and it never misses a chance to spill out its contents whenever you have to bend over to pick something up. However, with just the most basic sewing skill, you can add an easy to access pocket that’s also nice and concealed.
6. Spice-rack office supply organizer
Repurpose any old spice rack to serve as an organized and accessible way to keep track of all the little things that you can never find when you need them.
7. Spring to organize papers
It’s not fun to have to dig through piles of paper to find that one important memo or note hidden among the junk, but by removing the spring from a pen, laying it on its side, and using it to hold your important papers, you’ll be able to see at a glance what’s in your pile.
8. Sunglasses as a rearview mirror
If you work with your back to the door, it can be hard to know when the boss is looking over your shoulder. Consider getting a pair of mirror-tinted sunglasses and leaving them propped up on your desk to use as a handy and unobvious rear-view mirror.
9. Herbs to freshen the air
Sometimes working in an office really stinks. When this is literally the case, don’t waste time trying to mask the stench with environmentally unfriendly aerosol sprays; instead, fill a few cup with fragrant herbs and place them around your desk.
10. Use nail polish to help identify keys
If you have a hundred different keys for home and work, you probably know what it’s like to be standing around in the cold while trying desperately to find the one that unlocks the door. You can make it easier to identify which is which if you paint the ends of the keys with nail polish.
11. Sock on vacuum (to find small dropped items)
Drop something small at the office, like an earring or a contact lens? Just place a nylon sock over the end of a vacuum cleaner hose, and turn it on. You lost item should stick to the front, but be kept from going down the tube.
12. Use twist ties to organize wires
With all of the wires that we use every day, sometimes you need to store some of them in a drawer. Keep them from turning into a rat’s nest by using twist ties to keep them separate and organized.
13. Keep supplies in a clear, hanging shoe-rack
These cost almost nothing,,and can really save you some space for more important things.
14. Use whiteboard/blackboard paint
If you’re sick of countless notes, or you need a way to jot down information for everyone to see, consider painting a wall in whiteboard/blackboard paint. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it will allow you to write right on the wall.
15. Google as a timer
Most of us have watch timers or alarms on our phones, but when you’re really concentrating on work, it can be easy to accidentally ignore your alarms when they go off. Instead, have google keep track of the time for you. Just enter “Set timer for ____” in the search bar, and a handy countdown clock will appear right on your screen.
16. Paper clip to mark spot on packing tape
There’s nothing more invisible than the lost end of invisible tape. Make it more easy to locate by stick a paperclip to it once you’re done.
17. Velcro to hold things in place
If you find that things that shouldn’t be moving are getting lost or misplaced, buy some adhesive velcro strips, and attach them to your objects and the desk. Now, things should stay put until you need them.
18. Cardboard form old cereal box to help organize a desk drawer
With a cereal box and some scissors, you can create useful dividers in your desk drawers.
19. Old CDs to fix wobbly furniture
Chances are, there are a few software CDs left over from the 90s laying around the office that no one will miss. If you have a wobbly desk or chair, place one of these CDs under the short leg to even everything out.
20. Cassette case for smartphone stand
Remember cassette tapes? Well, they used to come in these handy clear-plastic cases, and although you may not have much use these days for the cassette itself, the cases can be used as smartphone stands.
21. Wrap your computer monitor in clear plastic wrap
Office computer screens have a tendency to get really dirty. Keep yours clean by wrapping it in plastic sanitary wrap. When it gets too dirty or starts to tear, simply replace it.
22. WD40 to get rid of ink stains
When you carry around inkpens in your pockets, eventually one is going to betray you. Ink stains on clothing can be difficult to remove, but by using a spray of WD40, you can loosen the stain and possibly even remove it. Just make sure to test an out of the way corner of the material first, to make sure it doesn’t react badly to the spray.
23. Fabric softener sheet for stinky shoes
Smelly feet are unforgivable in the office, so if your shoes are stinking, stuff a dryer sheet into each one, and keep it in there while you wear them.
24. Clear nail polish to stop a run in stockings
A small run in a stocking can quickly become a big problem for a woman in the office, but a dab of clear nail polish can stop that snag in its tracks.
25. Bounce batteries to see if they’re still good
When something stops working, you can test the its alkaline batteries by holding them about three inches above a hard surface. A dead battery should land with a thud, while a full battery will bounce.
26. Silica gel in drawers to prevent moisture damage
If you live in a humid area, you might notice that moisture gets into your drawers and causes damage. You can absorb this moisture before it can make any trouble by keeping silica gel packets (such as the kind that come in shoeboxes) in the drawer.
27. Heal paper cuts with lip balm
A paper cut can hurt far worse than it has any right to, but by rubbing lip balm across the cut, you can simultaneously speed up the healing process and relieve the pain.
28. Close gushing cuts with superglue
For real gushers in the office, consider using super glue to close your wound. It’s perfectly safe, and can actually work better for sealing deep cuts than stitches.
29. Clear tape to clean keyboards
It’s probably better if you don’t think too long about all of the dirt, grime, and dead skin cells that end up between your computer keys. However, you should clean it out every now and again. Just get a strip of clear tape, and then run it between the keys.
30. Change monitor brightness to decrease eyestrain
One of the worst thing about staring at a computer all day is the potential for eye strain. Help reduce your risk by adjusting the brightness on your monitor.
31. Freeze candy for a fun office treat
For a fun treat at work, try freezing some of your favorite candy. Atomic Fireballs are especially good because, when you pop a frozen one in your mouth, it tends to explode into shards of flamingly good shrapnel.
32. Use a mug to create levels in a microwave
If you’ve got a full office and only one microwave, lunch time in the break room can get a little crowded. Well, here’s your solution.
33. Clean microwaves by cooking a bowl of water
And once you multilevel microwave inevitably results in a spill, you’ll need a good way to clean all of that baked in grease from off of the inside. Just heat a bowl of water for 2–3 minutes; the steam should loosen the grease and make it easy to just wipe away.
34. Mount your tablet with self adhesive plastic hooks
If you’d like to be able to see your tablet while you work, but don’t want to have to hold it, just buy some plastic adhesive hooks, and mount it on the wall.
35. Lazy susan for office supplies
If you find yourself working at a large table with several other employees, a great way to make the office supplies available to everyone is to place them on a lazy susan in the center of the desk.
36. Clothespins to keep chip bags closed
Office snacks are great until they spill everywhere. Keep your bag of chips closed with a clothespin.
37. Binder clips for wobbly keyboards
A wobbly keyboard can be a real annoyance, but you can even it out with help from a few binder clips.
38. Use half of an egg carton to cool laptop
If you find that your laptop computer has a tendency to overheat, try lifting it off of the desk so that its fan has a chance to do its job. Half of an egg carton can provide a level pedestal that also helps to keep everything cool.
39. Attach an empty tissue box to a full one so you have a place for your garbage
Instead of letting used tissues build up around your desk, just rubberband an empty tissue box to a full one, and you’ll always have someplace to put used tissues.
40. Write random letters over words to make them illegible
Sometimes you need to cross out something on a handwritten note. If you want to make sure that what you cross out is completely unreadable, don’t just scribble over it; write random letters over it.
41. Dryer sheet over vents to freshen office
Another way to freshen up a stinky office is to tape dryer sheets over the middle of some of the air vents (unfortunately, this one only works in summer when the AC is being used. Try it with a heater and you’ve got a potential fire hazard on your hands).
42. Iron button-up shirts inside out
Buttons on shirts tend to get in the way of the iron, so turn that shirt inside-out and iron it without having to fear snagging a button.
43. Pants hanger to hold open book
If you need to keep a book open without using your hands while you work, consider using a pants-hanger. You can even hang it up, as demonstrated in the image.
44. Use a spring from old pen to keep your charger from bending/breaking
Phone chargers are most fragile near the ends by the plugs. Keep these areas safe by wrapping the springs from old pens around them.
45. Toilet paper rolls to organize cords in a drawer
Another way to keep wires from tangling in a drawer is to use old paper towel rolls.
46. Cut open an empty bottle of lotion to make secret item storage
If you have to leave valuables in the office throughout the day or overnight, consider converting an empty lotion bottle into a secret storage case.
47. Use cup as impromptu smartphone speaker
Want a louder volume setting on your smartphone? Don’t buy speakers; just get a cup. Place the smartphone in the cup, and you’ll be amazed at how much louder it sounds.
48. Open blister packs with a can opener
Blister packs are the worst things in the universe, but you can get into them without lacerating your hand by using a can opener.
49. Bread clips to label wires
All of the wires that feed into the back of a computer can get kind of confusing, especially if you need to locate a specific one. Bread clips with the name/function of the wire can help keep everything straight