Improve Your Working Environment With These Brilliant Office Hacks

Do you spend a lot of time at the office? Are your desk and workspace laid out exactly how you want it? Unfortunately, it can be hard to organize certain items or deal with problems such as ink stains, paper cuts, and messy microwaves. In order to make your work life more convenient and satisfying, there are some simple office hacks that can make a big difference. Ditch tangled wires, stinky shoes, and disorganized drawers by following these simple solutions…

Clean Your Dusty & Dirty Keyboard With Tape

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Over time, everybody’s keyboard gets disgustingly dirty. It contains dust and grime from your hands and particles from the air. If you can see the dirt, you know it’s time to clean it. If you don’t have a can of compressed air that can blow away the dust, simply reach for some scotch tape.

Slide the sticky side along the slots between the keys to remove any debris. You can also use the sticky side of a sticky note to accomplish the same thing.

Organize Supplies With A Spice Rack + Jars

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Instagram/practicallyperfectla

If you are an organized person but also like a nice presentation, consider using a spice rack to store all of your small office supplies. You will no longer have to hunt for paperclips, staples, push pins, or other items because they will be clearly stored in jars.

Spice racks also come in all sorts of configurations, so you can put one on your desktop or hang it on the wall where it’s more out of the way. As long as you can easily access what you need, it doesn’t matter where you put it.

Use A Hair Straightener To Touch-Up Iron Your Clothes

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This is a particularly helpful tip if you frequently travel and don’t have space in your check-in bag for a traditional iron. Simply use a hair straightener to quickly and easily iron your collar or a section of your outfit. This is great if you wear a lot of button-down, collared shirts that tend to get wrinkled.

Simply use a straightener that you already own or borrow your wife’s. Just make sure the iron doesn’t get too hot and that it doesn’t burn your shirt.

Label Your Water Bottle To Stay Properly Hydrated

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Instagram/delos2013

Everyone knows that it’s important to drink a lot of water on a daily basis. However, it can be hard to track how much you consume when you’re working. The solution? Use a reusable water bottle and put labels with various times (i.e., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., etc.) on it vertically.

This will ensure that you drink the specified amount by the designated time. You no longer have to worry if you are hydrated. The only problem is you may have to visit the restroom more frequently.

Here’s one way to burn calories while sitting at your desk.

Replace Your Chair With An Exercise Ball

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If you have an office job, you probably spend a large portion of your day sitting at your desk. It can be hard to find time to exercise, particularly if you have a family at home and a busy schedule. One way to combat this is by swapping out your traditional desk chair for an exercise ball.

A large exercise ball is great for balance and your abdominal muscles. Plus, it helps you keep better posture. If you don’t like that solution, consider using a standing desk so you don’t sit all day.

Perch Mirrored Sunglasses On Your Desk To See What’s Going On Behind You

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Asim Alnamat/Pexels

If your desk is positioned so your back is towards the door, it’s difficult to know what’s going on behind you. If you want to know if your boss or coworker is looking over your shoulder, get a pair of mirrored sunglasses. Place them on your desk so they work like a rear-view mirror.

You can nonchalantly monitor what’s happening behind your back without having to turn around to see what’s going on. This is a slick way to keep tabs on what’s happening in the office.

Freshen The Air With Herbs

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Many office environments won’t allow you to use candles or heavily scented air fresheners. This can result in some particularly stinky spaces. Avoid using aerosol sprays and instead put some fragrant herbs into some cups or containers, and place them around your desk.

This is one natural way to get rid of unpleasant odors in your working space that won’t offend your neighboring coworkers. Simply replace the herbs when they dry out and no longer emit a pleasant fragrance.

Use Blackboard Or Whiteboard Paint To Express Your Ideas

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Instagram/chakariancolourcentre

This is a good solution if you don’t have a dry erase board in your office. Simply paint the whole wall or part of the wall with whiteboard/blackboard paint. You can write notes for yourself so you don’t forget to carry out a particular task, or you can write something for your colleagues to see.

The great thing about this paint is you can write directly on the wall and then erase the information later. It’s a very convenient hack as long as your boss gives you permission to do it.

Paint Your Keys With Different Colors Of Nail Polish To Identify Them

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Instagram/allicadabramagic

Are you one of those people who carries dozens of different keys? It can be hard to keep track of them and remember which key opens which door, cabinet, etc. Avoid frustration by using this quick, cheap trick. Paint the ends of each key a different color of nail polish.

It won’t be hard to remember which color key matches each lock. Plus, you can use the nail polish you already own or borrow some from your girlfriend or wife.

Say goodbye to tangled cables and wires with this tip.

Drop A Battery From A Short Distance To See If It Still Works

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Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

One annoying thing that can happen at work is trying to replace a battery and discovering the spares that you have are dead. To test the alkaline in a battery, hold it about three inches above a hard surface and drop it. A dead battery will land with a thud, while a functioning one will bounce.

This will prevent you from installing a “new” battery only to realize that it has no juice left inside it. Batteries do expire, so make sure you keep that in mind as well when you buy them to keep on hand.

Organize Messy Cables With Twist Ties

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Instagram/marvelouscustoms

While technology is increasingly becoming more modernized, we still have to deal with a lot of cables and wiring. Sometimes the wires from your computer, printer, and other desk items can get all twisted up together. If you have a hard time keeping them organized, use a twist tie to separate and streamline them.

This will prevent them from becoming a huge tangled mess that bunches up behind your workstation or on the floor. It’s also a safer way to keep them from getting in your way.

Use Google As A Timer

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When you’re working really hard and concentrating on a project at work, it’s easy to lose track of time. You may even inadvertently tune out an alarm you have set on your phone or watch. To combat this problem, use Google to set a timer. Simply enter “Set timer for _____” in the search bar.

A countdown clock will then start operating and will appear on the screen. This will allow you to keep working for the slotted amount of time before Google lets you know that your time is up.

Hold Things In Place With Velcro

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Velcro is a great invention that helps you keep things in place, which is particularly beneficial if you have a habit of misplacing objects. Use some adhesive Velcro strips to attach a variety of items to your desk or wall (such as the Echo Dot in the photo above). You could also Velcro a pen holder onto your desk so it doesn’t accidentally spill and cause a mess.

Other uses for Velcro in your office space include keeping the mouse pad in place or a potted plant from dropping off the edge of your desk.

Divide Up A Desk Drawer Using Cardboard From Cereal Boxes

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Instagram/suddenlysimpleorganizing

If you have drawers in your desk but they’re not divided, you can make your own dividers out of cardboard from cereal boxes. Simply cut off one side of a cereal box so it resembles an open box. Then use the remaining cardboard to divide the box into sections. This will allow you to store small items in their own areas so they don’t get mixed up with other things in your drawer.

The one downside is you may see some of the cereal box markings when you open the desk drawer. That could be embarrassing if your boss finds out you like Cap’n Crunch. A couple of small trays do the trick, too!

Remove Ink Stains With WD-40

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Ink can be very messy and hard to remove, especially if it gets on your clothing. While it’s not always wise to carry a pen in your pocket, you may do it anyway. A spray such as WD-40 can loosen those stubborn ink stains and, depending on their size, remove them.

Note: be sure to test the spray on one corner of the material before you slop it on the stain to make sure it doesn’t produce an adverse reaction.

There’s an easy fix for smelly shoes.

Tackle Stinky Shoes With Dryer Sheets

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Do you have a favorite pair of shoes that you wear to the office every single day? After a while, they may start to stink if you don’t properly take care of them. This can make you very unpopular with your colleagues. In order to avoid the stench, refresh them by inserting a pair of dryer sheets into the beds of the shoes.

You can even leave the dryer sheets inside the shoes when you wear them, although it may be uncomfortable and a little hard to explain if someone notices the sheet hanging out of your loafers or high heels.

Repair A Run In Your Stockings With Clear Nail Polish

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PMireya Acierto/Getty Images

One of the most frustrating things for women is getting a run in their stocking in the middle of the day (particularly if said stockings are brand new). While you can’t permanently fix a run, you can stop it from expanding by using a little bit of clear nail polish.

Women have been using this fix for years. It’s a great way to extend the life of your pantyhose so they last at least throughout the day. If you’re lucky, no one will notice the problem, but it depends on where the snag is located.

Put Lip Balm On A Paper Cut

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Paper cuts are the worst. They’re really tiny and irritating and easy to get if you open a lot of envelopes or push a lot of paper around at your office. One way to speed up the healing process is by applying lip balm to the wound. This will also help relieve some of the pain.

Don’t use lip balm? Ask your colleague if you can borrow hers. Just make sure to apply it with a tissue so she’s not grossed out that you’re rubbing it all over your hand or finger.

Clean The Office Microwave By Boiling Water

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Instagram/athomewithteresah

If you have a kitchen at your office, you know it can have a lot of issues, particularly with the microwave. Food can easily splatter and leave grease all over the inside of the appliance. And it’s also easy to spill food– especially soup.

It’s not too hard to get rid of the baked grease and other stuck-on food. Simply put water in a bowl and microwave it for two to three minutes. The steam will loosen the food particles and make it easier for you to wipe the microwave clean.

Use A Tie ‘Pocket’

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For the most part, the pocket on your button-down, dress shirt is not very useful. You can keep one pen in it, but you can’t use it for multiple pens and pencils without looking a little weird. Plus, the second you bend over, everything will easily spill out of it. But there is a simple solution.

If you know how to sew, or have a partner or friend who can, simply create a tiny pocket on the back side of your necktie. No one can see it, and you can conceal some items inside it, such as business cards or other small objects.