The Office is one of those shows that will stand the test of time. It’s hilarious, hardly (if at all) problematic, and great for binge watching. It’s what we all wish our work environment could be like… minus the dysfunction, lack of professionalism, and the fact that Creed works there, of course.
The Office can also teach us valuable life lessons, like the following:
- Don’t dress up as a cheerleader on Diwali.
- Party planning committee disputes can get pretty heated.
- Dating your coworker will always be a bad idea (unless you’re Jim and Pam).
Some other things it can teach us? Mostly what not to do when it comes to design and storage. (Plus, a few things we totally wish we could.)
In no particular order, here are 13 design and storage lessons we can all learn from The Office:
1. Stapler in the Jell-O
Ah, who could forget Jim’s signature prank: the stapler in the Jell-O. He’s also stashed Andy’s calculator, Michael’s mug, and someone’s phone in Jell-O on three separate occasions.
It’s a great way to prank someone, but a horrible way to store your office supplies. Pretty much all desserts are terrible places to store your staplers or calculators.
But in case you’ve got a Dwight in your office and you need a prank to pull, Instructables user kazmataz has written up a how-to for concealing a stapler in Jell-O.
2. Dwight’s makeshift gym
Imagine your office has a gym. Not just any gym, but the perfect gym. A gym with a full spectrum of weights, machines, cardio options, and places to stretch out. Now throw out all those ideas and replace them with random farm equipment. That’s the kind of gym Dwight made for Darryl on The Office.
This makeshift gym includes:
- A huge tire hanging from the ceiling that you can hit with a sledgehammer
- A yoke made from buckets filled with gravel
- Sheets of tin to cut
- Phone books to rip with your bare hands
Whether you want to switch the elliptical for a tractor is up to you. We’ll stick with our Y membership for now.
3. Stanley’s pizza slice storage
The way Stanley acts in Florida is the way we wish we could all act, all the time. Hawaiian shirt on, shades on, rolling in an expensive car. “DGAF”-ing, if you will.
And let us not forget the time he stored a slice of pizza inside his Sabre Pyramid pouch. A stroke of pure genius. All we want to know is: When will these be available for purchase?
In the meantime, guess we’ll just have to settle for one of these pyramid pouches on Etsy.
4. Dwight’s “Mega-Desk”
Need more space in your office?
Try taking over your neighbors’ desks!
You’ll triple your work space and annoy your coworkers at the same time.
But beware: This might prod your coworker into creating a quad desk to spite you.
5. And Jim’s Quad Desk
Yep, that brings us to Jim’s quad desk. In an act of retaliation against Dwight’s mega-desk, Jim created the quad desk by stacking his on top of Dwight’s and Pam’s.
Standing desks are old news. Quad desks are where it’s at. No, you don’t get any of the benefits of standing at your desk. Yes, you do get to survey all your coworkers from a higher perch. And they won’t be able to get any work done because you’ll be taking up all their desk space.
6. And that time Jim made Dwight’s desk out of wrapping paper
Want to annoy your coworkers and give your office a festive feeling?
Swap out their desk for one made of wrapping paper.
Sure, it’s really not functional – at all. You might get written up by HR, but boy will you be able to feel the holiday spirit. And expect to find a lump of coal in your stocking.
7. …And toy bricks
Okay, there’s no excuse for this one other than Jim wanted to piss Dwight off. Did he succeed? Of course he did. Which is probably why he keeps coming up with elaborate ways to mess with Dwight’s desk.
8. …And put it in the bathroom
You don’t need to be a feng shui expert to understand that putting your desk in the bathroom can’t be good for your work flow. But that’s what Jim did to Dwight’s desk in yet another one of his pranks.
Look, you may be tempted to move your own desk into the bathroom just for the ease of not having to walk back and forth from your desk to the bathroom, but take our word for it – don’t do that.
9. Storing your George Foreman grill next to your bed
Not storing a hot grill near your bed is common knowledge. Michael Scott doesn’t have a lot of that.
Learn from his mistakes. Don’t put your grill near your bed, or even in your bedroom for that matter. Store it out of reach, and don’t keep it running while you’re sleeping. (These tips are mainly for Michael Scott.)
10. Throwing a garden party
Ever wanted to throw a garden party?
You might not want to read anything written by a James Trickington on the subject, because that’s actually Jim.
In this episode, Jim writes a wacko how-to manual on garden parties. Dwight, being Dwight, goes along with the entire thing. This include screaming the names of the guests as they approach. And stopping all festivities in the middle of the party to do an elaborate dance.
Curious about how to actually throw a garden party?
Check out this fancy garden party guide by HGTV and Atlanta’s Four Seasons hotel.
11. Storing Toby very far away
We’re all guilty of doing it: When there’s something we need to hang onto, but don’t want to think about, we store it out of sight. No wonder Michael, who hates Toby’s guts, placed his desk in the annex next to lovebirds Kelly and Ryan.
Instead of doing this in your home with an item you want to keep but temporarily forget about, follow the KonMari method. Let go of the item for good. And by “item” we mean “stuff.” Not an actual HR employee.
12. Storing golden tickets
Strategic planning is key when it comes to storing your stuff.
It’s also key when it comes to doling out golden tickets that give your paper clients 10% off for a year. Unfortunately, Michael Scott didn’t plan strategically, and ended up placing all of the golden tickets into one shipment for the same client.
From this, we can learn about the precious tool of strategy.
13. Designing Cafe Disco
Now this is something you might actually want to create for yourself. In one episode, Michael opens up an espresso bar and dance zone in his failed “Michael Scott Paper Company” space within Dunder Mifflin’s office. He entices fellow employees with all-you-can-drink espresso and blaring music. Although it takes a while for folks to join in, they eventually do, and even Jim and Pam in wedding clothes stop in after eloping.
This might inspire you to make your own “Cafe Disco” at your own office, but this might be easier to do if you work from home. If you work in an office, just check with HR first (and make sure your HR representative isn’t Toby).
This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.