Small Business Week Office Makeover-Frenchy’s Spa

I remember when I first started See Jane Work, there was no time to decorate or organize my office.  When I finally made time, it made a huge difference in my attitude and productivity.

When you start a business you spend so much time in your office, it should be a place you enjoy, so I decided to do two office makeovers during National Small Business Week. (Yes, I realize that was in May, but it’s been a little hectic around here and I am just now posting the photos.)

The first makeover was for Monica Dotson, owner of Frenchy’s Spa in Jacksonville, Florida.  

I got to know Monica during my many visits to Frenchy’s. When I saw her office for the first time I was a little surprised. She had spent a lot of time making the spa nice for her customers and employees, but had neglected her own space.

This is a small space and she has a lot of paperwork and supplies, so this wasn’t easy. I shopped the See Jane Work for Office Depot line as well as The desk, shelf, cabinet and chairs are from I was able to purchase almost everything I needed in one online order. I did end up running to my local Office Depot store for a few more supplies, but from start to finish the entire makeover took just 4 hours!

Notice my big smile?  I love office makeovers.  In fact, I was so excited to do the makeover that I forgot my camera and had to use my phone to take photos.  That’s why the pictures are not the best quality, but if you happen to be at Frenchy’s, Monica might let you see her office.

We were able to snap the picture at the exact moment that she walked in for the reveal. She was soooo happy and appreciative. I check on her office every time I visit Frenchy’s and I’m happy to say that it still looks great. Staying organized is easy when you select the right systems for your personality and work style.

Monica has since told me that she not only feels more productive, but she has found that it is easier to tackle long or difficult tasks in a space she enjoys.

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Posted in Holly Bohn-Weiss, Office Organization, Office Style |

Organize Your Receipts

Recommended Products: See Jane Work Office Depot Coupon File, Instant Office Financial Organizer, See Jane Work Office Depot Document Box

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Posted in Financial Organization, Office Organization, Organize Your... | 1

Choosing an Office Color Scheme

Decorating your office can be challenging for two reasons:

The first is that you have to be able to get work done. That antique writing table may look great, but if it doesn’t fit your storage needs and is the wrong height you will be miserable.

The second reason is only relevant if people will see your office (clients, coworkers, colleagues, you get the idea).  Whether they want to admit it or not, visitors to your office will consider the appearance of your office when forming an opinion about you and the quality of your work….plaster those spring break tequila shot selfies on the wall of your cubicle and you can kiss that promotion good-bye.

It turns out that inappropriate office decor isn’t the only thing that can hold you back from making a good impression.  It has been scientifically proven, that the colors in your office will impact your work and influence visitors. So how do you know which color(s) is right for your office?

I recently updated the post Choosing an Office Color Scheme, in the LEARN section of the website. It was too long and boring (and that is coming from the author…me).  I added fun new graphics that should make it easier to follow and implement. To read the entire post click here.  For a summary, see the fun graphic below:

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Posted in Home Office, Office Style | 0

Your Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts by Personality

Image above:Recipe Editor; Tin Recipe Box; Recipe Binder; Pantry Labels; Recipe Cards

Image above:Stella Backpack; Kate Spade Travel Mug; Pack this Pad; Flat Iron Case; Minimergency Kits; Knomo Suitcase; Inflight Comfort Kit

Image above:Mustache Push Pins; Industria Desk Accessories; His Hers Magnetic To Do List; Ace Pilot Stapler; Warehouse Desk Organizer; Cassette Sticky Notes

Image above:Cargo Organizer; iPhone 5 Case; Emoticon Keyboard Stickers; Serra Rolling Laptop Bag;

Image above: Rifle to-do list; Bits and Bobs Tins; Bungalow Rump Roost ; Forged Iron Utility Shears; DIY Apron ; Fabric Buckets

Image above:Work Inspired Notepads; SJW Basic Art Box; Built NY Cosmetic Pouches; Kate Spade Tumbler; Do Your Chores Pad; Glitter Minimergency Kit

Image above:7-Year Pen; Kate Spade Sticky Notes; Leather Card Case; Wirebound Notebook; Built NY Lunch Tote; Metal Card Case; Bow Paper Clips

Image above: Webster’s Fashion Dictionary; Ogami Hardcover Notebook; Gold Tassel Keychain; Kate Spade Pencils; Knomo Laptop Bag; Botanical Desk Calendar

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Posted in Uncategorized | 0

Holiday Travel Made Easy

1. Bring a commuter mug in your carry-on bag. By having the flight attendant pour your drinks directly into the mug you’ll not only avoid spills, but will need fewer refills.

2. Traveling can be hectic and scheduling time for your flat/curling iron to cool doesn’t help. Store heat appliances in a protective travel case so you can pack them away hot, without ruining everything else in your bag.

3. If your travel plans have you on the road or in the air for more than a few hours, staying comfortable will be a challenge. An inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs will help you reach your destination with a smile on your face. If it’s a really long flight you may also need some pharmaceuticals and a few cocktails, but that’s between you and your doctor.

4. If you live in a small space or are visiting someone in a small space, storing a suitcase is no easy task. Leave the attic for holiday decorations with a Lipault 0% Suitcase. It folds completely flat so you can store it under a bed, behind a door or in a tiny closet.

5. If you are going to break your back over the holidays it should be dancing in stilettos on New Year’s Eve, not running through the airport with a 10lb tote. Choose a wheeled or backpack style bag as your carry-on. With room for a laptop or tablet, reading materials, your neck pillow and even a small clutch or handbag, you’ll have everything you need to travel in comfort and without breaking a sweat, or your back.

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Posted in Travel | 0

DIY – Office on a Budget

Office Brown Pink

It was love at first sight when I saw this office, designed by Ashley Whittaker, in the September 2012 issue of House Beautiful. Unfortunately, with grass cloth walls and custom cabinetry, it is a look that is completely out of my budget.

I decided to recreate this office on a budget. I even made my own artwork.


Here is the finished product:

Holly Desk

When creating the budget look I used some odds and ends, for example I had some orange lamps and spray painted them pink, but I wanted it to be easy for you to recreate this look, so the links below are for similar items available online.

Laura Ashley Table Lamp, Pink, Home Depot $106.20

Expedit Shelving Unit, Ikea, $89.99

Expedit Insert with Door, Ikea $20 (4)

Expedit Set of Casters, Ikea $15.00 (3)

Expedit Drawer Insert, Ikea $25 (4)

Faux Glass Knobs, Hobby Lobby, $3 (12)

Cindy Crawford Curtains, JCPenney, $45

or Zig Zag Fabric, Warehouse Fabrics

Brown Paint instead of grass cloth wall paper

White Josephine Desk, World Market $199.99

or Easily change the fabric on a used Parsons Chair from a thrift or second hand store

Anything White Stapler

Anything White Scissors

Pink Pencils

Mint Julep Pencil Cup

Silver Revere Bowl

Chevron Canvas Tote

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Posted in Holly Bohn-Weiss, Home Office, Office Style | 6

This or That?

Sometimes I worry that my blog posts are not interesting enough because I have a hard time committing to a big project or because I don’t want to take big risks when it comes to decorating my office.

I’ve been thinking about painting this bookshelf for many years but because it’s made out of reclaimed wood, once I paint it, I can’t go back. I would love to put wall paper on it or paint it but it’s just one of those risks I’m not willing to take with such a beautiful piece. So, while I wait to muster the courage to change it (or not), I like to play with color and different accessories.

With a little creativity I was able to transform my office style without paint, wallpaper or new furniture. Which do you prefer?

Costal Storage

Fall Storage

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Posted in Home Office, Motivational, Office Style | 20

Organize Your Files

The first step in creating a filing system that really works is to identify your natural organizing methods and thought processes. By recognizing your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing paperwork, you can design a system that works the way you work.

To help you get started we’ve outlined some common organizing styles along with solutions for each of these particular types.

The Stacker

Do you stack until the stacks fall over and then start a new stack? The obvious but frequently overlooked filing solution for a Stacker is SJW Basics Letter Trays. Try stacking three letter trays and labeling one for incoming mail, one for outgoing mail and another for urgent matters. Another possibility for the Stacker is a desktop sorter or caddy. By putting your stacks in slots you keep your desktop manageable. If, for reasons you can’t quite explain, your stacks must be horizontal, try using Letter Boxes. At the end of the day simply cover the boxes to give your workspace instant order.

The Over-Categorizer

Do you create a new file folder for every piece of paper that crosses your desk? If your workspace is spotless but it takes you 10 minutes of searching to retrieve a document, you may be an Over-Categorizer. Having hanging file folders that contain fewer than five documents is a sure sign that you need to start broadening your filing categories. Not only is it tiresome and time-consuming to have to search through all those folders, there is also a far greater chance of misplacing something by using several different files than there is if you simply use one file for the entire category. For example, a hanging file labeled “2013 Deductions” is too specific. Instead label the file “Current Year Taxes.” You’ll simplify your tax return preparation by keeping all tax-related paperwork together, and by using the term “Current Year” you will also have made your year-end filing easier. You will always have a file for current paperwork even if you fall behind in setting up new files. A helpful starting point for the chronic Over-Categorizer is to begin making and using interior file folders. Use general categories to label hanging folders, and then go ahead and create as many interior file folders as feel you need.

The Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Minder

Do you keep everything on top of your desk or taped to your monitor, afraid that if you put it away you will almost certainly forget about it? The Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Minder has probably learned from experience that she needs constant visual reminders in order to get things done. What will work best for this organizing style is a combination of a bulletin board or magnetic strip and a hanging filing system or Bella Leather Expanding Tote. Put items that need immediate attention on the bulletin board. Once the work is complete or is awaiting authorization before you can proceed, you can store it in your expanding file until you need to look at it again. Sticky notes in a variety of eye-catching colors and designs can also help you remember phone calls you need to make and meetings you need to attend.

While identifying your File Style will help you create a system that works for you, there are some basic rules of effective file management that apply to just about every style.

Rule #1 – Learn the difference between what to keep and what to toss.

Some of this is between you and your accountant. But a lot of it is fairly obvious. If you’ve still got the owner’s manuals for things you no longer own, it’s time to do a little file purging.

In this electronic age there really isn’t that much you need to keep. Most manufacturers make instructions and manuals available online. If you read an article in a magazine or journal that you find especially helpful or meaningful you can quite likely find it online and save it on your computer. If you never remember to do it then maybe it wasn’t that important.

If you toss everything as soon as you get it, you will cut down on time spent purging your files, however you may find that some of your bills are not paid, you can’t get reimbursed for your out-of-pocket medical expenses, and you’re stuck with store credit at a store you really weren’t planning on shopping at again because you couldn’t get cash back on a return without a receipt. An accordion organizer is a handy way to sort and store those little scraps of paper you accumulate during the week.

Rule #2 – Map it out.

Before you get to work on your new and improved filing system, get it down on paper. By first writing it out, you have the opportunity to evaluate the system and fine tune it before you go through the process of creating labels and actually putting everything away. Make sure that your written system is created in the form of an outline allowing for main categories, which will be your hanging file folders, and sub-categories which will be interior file folders. A written plan will also allow you to plan for supplies so that you won’t be interrupted by re-ordering midway through your quest for file organization.

Rule #3 – Make sure you have everything you need and enough time to finish the job.

There is nothing more frustrating than starting an organizing project and then running out of supplies or time. Before you begin, take a good hard look at your calendar. Depending on the current condition of your filing system you will need anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days to get everything in order.

When ordering supplies, it’s safer to order a little more than you think you’ll need. Unused supplies can easily be stored for future projects, or returned. But a partially completed filing system is worse than no filing system at all.

Rule #4 – Consider alternatives to hanging files.

While a cabinet full of hanging file folders is considered by some the gold standard for file organization, it is not the only option. A neat row of labeled binders on your bookshelf keeps paperwork at your finger tips, and magazine files are just the thing for storing catalogs and directories. Document boxes are the perfect solution for odd-sized items like brochures and pamphlets, and desktop sorters keep frequently used files in easy reach. Feel free to use one method or a combination of many. Just be sure it makes sense to you.

Rule #5 – Make sure your files are conveniently located.

You’d be surprised to learn how many people spend half their workday marching back and forth to the file room. Many of these same people inexplicably have their tax records from 1994 tucked neatly in their right desk drawer. When thinking about file storage, take into consideration your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly needs. File Boxes are a great way to add some convenient file storage to a desk, bookshelf, or cart.

Rule # 6 – Looks do matter.

Opening a drawer of beautifully labeled files can make the task of filing a little less monotonous, and encourage you to stay on top of it, rather than letting it pile up. Add colors and patterns if you are so-inclined, or consider the crisp, clean look and feel of the bright-white file folders.

Rule #7 – Don’t be afraid to break the rules.

If you designed your filing system just like your hyper-organized co-worker, but you still can’t find what you need when you need it. Don’t be afraid to start over. Put the contents of your file drawer in a binder, or the pages of a binder in a storage box, or use a document box to hold file folders. There is no one filing system that is perfect for everyone.

The trick is simply finding what works best for you and the others who might need also need access to your files, and then making sure that everyone understands the where, why and how of your method. If you’re getting paged during a meeting because your assistant can’t find a critical document, you need to either rethink your system, or retrain your assistant.

It might take a little extra time initially, but an effective document storage system makes up for that time in the long run by keeping your office and home running smoothly. If spending 20 minutes learning how to use a label maker seems like a waste of valuable time, remember the eternity you spent looking for your client’s proposal while she sat on hold, (perhaps searching the internet for a new account rep).

And while we can’t promise to make filing fun, See Jane Work can make the process a tad less tedious with filing products in wide range of colors, and styles to suit you or maybe just your mood.

If one of our ideas or products works for you, or if you have a solution you’d like to share, please let us know at

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Posted in Filing Tips, Home Office, Office Organization, Organize Your... | 0

Make Your Own Butterfly Art

I love the look of mounted butterflies, not sure why, it might be the 3D effect. The problem is I feel so sad for the butterflies—and it’s expensive.

I wanted butterfly art for my office so I had to find an alternative.  I decided to make a butterfly mount out of paper butterflies.  It looks great and no insects were harmed in the process.  Here’s what I did.

Butterfly paper punch (from craft store)
Assorted papers
Tape or adhesive (double-sided tape or acid free glue)
Shadow Box Frame
Matte board (cut to the size of the frame)

1. Punch out butterflies from the paper until you reach the number and assortment you like.

2. Arrange your butterflies on the matte board.

3. Once you like the layout, start folding some of the wings outward for a 3D effect.

4. Tape or glue each butterfly in place.
5. Place the matte board in the frame and admire your custom art!

Don’t worry an office to go with this art is coming soon.

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Posted in Holly Bohn-Weiss, Home Office, Make Your Own..., Office Style | 2

Micro-Trends and Office Decor

Micro-trends sometimes don’t make it into office supplies, but with a little creativity you can find a way to incorporate those trends into your office decor.

Brass is the metal of the moment, but I don’t expect to see it in office supplies for at least another year. Sure you can repurpose an old brass cup to hold pencils or use a brass lamp on your desk, but I wanted a statement piece. Brass makes a room say “I’ve been pulled together over many years and from many antique stores.”

I found this jewelry stand at World Market. It’s perfect for clips, bands, and even business cards!

The clips and bands are from Office Depot.

We would love to hear how you’re incorporating trends into your office decor, so please don’t be shy!

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Posted in Home Office, Office Style | 0