Hi, I'm Jenna, and I'm a minimalist idealist.
That's not really a thing. In fact, I made up that term awhile back, but it so perfectly encompasses how I think about my life in terms of living minimally: I LOVE everything about the true minimalist lifestyle; however, with a product business taking over our space and a husband who appreciates the sentiment behind objects — I have learned to loosen the reigns a bit and find some middle ground with this whole minimal living idea. Thus, I landed on the term "minimalist idealist": one who appreciates minimal living and incorporates only some of the more practical tenets of this lifestyle to her own life due to...life. (Ok, I'm still working on the definition, but you get the picture.)
Anyway, being a minimalist idealist who spends endless time and energy crafting a beautiful and functional workspace, I thought it would be fun to share three of my favorite rules for fostering minimalism in your own workspace! No matter if that is your desk, a corner of your living room, a cubicle, or straight up office (go for the gold), anyone can apply these guidelines for a more minimally-minded approach to your workspace.
01. Create a system for written information + planning
The one thing that possibly had the biggest impact on infusing minimalism into your workspace was to create some strategy around how I write information — notes, ideas, lists, plans, schedules, you name it. I was the notebook queen, filling my space with new notebooks and notepads with almost every trip to Target...but then, I would inevitably use a few pages and feel the urge to get another brand new notebook for the next big idea. On and on it went.
Until I created a planner that solved this problem for me. With goal planning, list making, schedule tracking, and note taking all condensed into one beautiful book, I eliminated the need for endless, barely-used notebooks taking over my space. Now, if I need to start a new project or list, I simply tab it off in my planner in the notes section. Aside from this, I do also use a single pad or notebook to quickly sketch and jot ideas on the go — but everything else lives in my Refresh Weekly Planner, and I consider this the foundation of my workspace.
02. Design your space around essential tasks
No matter your job, if you spend a decent amount of time in your workspace, there's a good chance you do a number of repetitive tasks throughout the day or week. Make life and work easier on yourself by designing your space to make these particular tasks as easy as possible — and eliminating other distractions.
For instance, do you work with the same set of file folders where you have to take notes and paper clip items together throughout the day? Create a station in your workspace with these items grouped together for easy access. Do you pull reference materials over and over again? Keep these in easy reach within your space. Constantly have receipts scattered around your space? Create a place to clip or store these as you gather them, then designate one day a week to file them.
Make these stations match your preferred aesthetic with pretty desk organizers and tools. Minimal doesn't just mean less stuff; it can also speak to creating ease and automation in your day so you can have a more organized workday filled with less clutter and fewer distractions.
03. Store clutter away in non-transparent places
Ok, so after you create these "stations" in your workspace, what do you do with everything else? For those items that aren't serving much purpose or joy in your space, if you don't want to get rid of them because you'll need theme for tasks on occasion: conceal them. Hide them away in pretty boxes and containers that match your aesthetic. Invest in a few coordinating containers so you can maintain that minimal look in your workspace. And do your best to avoid transparent or open containers for this step; closed, concealed containers, boxes, baskets, etc. will look a lot less cluttered and will look much prettier than a few stacked, transparent totes.