Solutions: Declutter office, add fun details

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Spring has sprung and not a moment too soon. After two consecutive winters of excessive snow and cold, much of the country is ready for mild weather and Metro Detroiters are no exception.

This season often inspires us to adjust our interiors accordingly, whether we choose to do some organizing, spring cleaning, decorating or all of the above. One area that might need a little pick-me-up is the home office, where hard work can still be achieved in a light and playful environment.

Decluttering can be the first step to getting started. Keeping a neat and tidy office cannot only lead to more productivity, it makes it easier to tell you’re running low on supplies when everything is in order.

Follow the lead of the freshness of the season with some dusting and editing, only leaving behind what you need to get the job done and what you want to have on hand for inspiration.

Perk up your home office space with some colorful desk accessories, a framed cork board and a few decorative boxes and trays to keep odds and ends at bay.

Try rearranging your furniture so that you face a window view or create more space for visitors. Doing so can make the entire room feel new. You might also consider updating your wall color or window treatments.

Bookcases can become rather boring after a while. Reshape your displays on a regular basis for a change of pace.

Whatever you decide, remember that you don’t have to keep a serious tone in a workspace, especially one that exists within the confines of your own home.

If you’re on the lookout for something a little more lighthearted, Catching Fireflies, with locations in Berkley, Rochester and Ann Arbor, has a selection of whimsical items that will relax the atmosphere in any office space.

For starters, there are scented pens and highlighters to freshen up your surroundings. Unicorn pencil sharpeners and dog-shaped paper clips are ideal for those who could use a little humor throughout the day.

Stock up on sticky notes that say “Just Sayin’” or “Mental Notes” that make great gifts for colleagues and friends.

Others say, “I dreamed my whole desk was clean …” or “I’m going crazy. Want to come along?”

For a little decorative flourish with a good dose of wit, there are googly eye pushpins, a business card holder made from forks and spoons, and a snail tape dispenser.

A panic-button desk bell is a great way to get someone’s attention.

If you tend to work throughout the house with your laptop, fill a tote bag with a few pieces that can make you smile on particularly stressful days.

Some practical additions for your workspace include “Grammar Girl’s 101 Words to Sound Smart” by Mignon Fogarty and “The Personal Internet Address and Password Logbook” from Peter Pauper Press.

Lastly, don’t forget to take a break to savor spring. Goodbye snow and ice. Hello sunshine.

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at