What's your favorite tchotchke?

This is such an exciting time! We’re moving into a brand new office building with a lot more room, and it really got me thinking. There are so many creative ideas being discussed on what we should do with the additional areas. I love spaces that are creative, inspirational, and productive. I’ll sum up these descriptors by using the word “comfortable.” So what makes a space comfortable?

There a million different things that could make a space comfortable, and I could write on this topic all day long, however I’m going to focus on one topic. Tchotchkes. Tchotchkes provide personality, inspiration, and comfort, which in turn boosts productivity and creativity. So, if you’re like me, you’re asking, “What is the world is a tchotchke?”

Definition of a tchotchke 

Another way to word it is personal effects, or stuff I like. I love being surrounded with tchotchkes. I may or may not be known for having a toy box under my desk with odd things like action figures, photos, and a retro rotary dial phone in it. As I plan to move some of my personal effects into my new space, I also want to be respectful of the space design and the team I share my space with each work day. Here are some reasons why you would want your team to have tchotchkes, choosing appropriate tchotchkes, and using them in a way that is pleasing to everyone in your office.

Why have tchotchkes?

Tchotchke Rollerskate Pen & Pencil Cup

They boost creativity.

Everyone is creative in their own way. Inspiration comes in many forms. Surrounding yourself with the things you like makes you feel more at home, which in turn makes you more comfortable, which has been proven to boost your creativity. Tchotchkes are also great conversation pieces. I can’t tell you how many creative conversations have happened around the beat-up rollerskate holding my pens and pencils.

They show your personality.

The things you surround yourself with say a lot about who you are. Let’s call it your personal brand. Did you know that team and staff pages on business websites usually rank in the top ten most visited pages? People like to know their coworkers and your clients like to know who they’re working with.

They spruce up an otherwise sterile space.

In essence, you’re designing your space. You decorate your home, right? You go to themed restaurants and look for comfortable places to stay on vacation too? This goes back to the “comfort” word. Going to work should feel comfortable just like your home or other places where you like to spend time.

I’m sure my boss is reading this right now and is probably having a panic attack thinking our new space is going to be a clutter pit. Not to worry! Here are a few tips to keep your tchotchkes (and ours) from bothering others or cluttering up the office space.

Tips on choosing and using tchotchkes in your office space

Limit the number of tchotchkes.

There’s no magic number here, but I like to have maybe five or six? If it starts looking cluttered, you have too many. Try three to start. The size of your space will help determine how many you should have.

Tchotchkes with a story.

It’s always fun to have a story behind these items. People are generally curious and will ask about something if they don’t understand why it’s there.

Pick stuff you like.

Again, being surrounded with things you like will make you more comfortable at work.

Have a theme.

This will help minimize the clutter and make your space décor look well planned and thought out. A consistent color theme can help too.

Don’t have anything offensive.

If you have to ask yourself if anyone would be offended by this particular tchotchke, then it’s probably best to assume they will. No F-bombs please.

Back burner tchotchke

Switch them out.

Rotating items in and out will keep it fresh and bring in new conversation pieces. I have an old electric stove burner element. When I get really busy and have a lot on my plate, I tell my coworkers to add their new project to the back burner. Yep, I crack myself up.

Have a small toy box.

This is always fun once people know there are toys inside. I like to bring creative tchotchkes to brainstorming meetings too. You can add candy and snacks to it as well to encourage people to play and eat. Nobody wants hangry coworkers.


Share your favorite tchotchkes on Twitter and Instagram

Have some fun with these! What is your favorite tchotchke? Share photos of your favorite tchotchkes and see Atomic’s favorites using the hashtag #FavoriteTchotchkes on Twitter and Instagram. (Yes, please copy and paste it if you need to. We can’t spell it without looking either.)

Sources: google.com, wikipedia.com, dictionary.com, merriam-webster.com

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