As computers play an increasingly important role in our lives, the home office has become an essential space for many families. Whether you have the opportunity to do some or all of your job from the comfort of home, run a home-based business, or simply need a spot to manage your household finances, you’ll be more productive when you have a comfortable and distraction-free place to work.
As with any organizing project, your first step is to plan your space.
If you happen to have a spare room, you don’t have to look too hard for your ideal spot, but don’t worry if you don’t. With a little imagination, you may find another area that can either do double duty or be converted to a home office. Here are a few examples:
- Spare bedroom: Replace the bed with a sofa-bed so you can see clients in your office and still use the room for overnight guests as needed.
- Landing: Some houses, especially older ones, have enough space at the top of the stairs for a small work area.
- Dining room: Place the table next to a wall to use as a desk and move it out from the wall when you’re entertaining. A portable filing unit can easily be moved out of sight on those occasions.
- Closet or alcove: Install shelves to create a compact home office.
If there’s simply nowhere for you to set up a dedicated office space, consider investing in an attractive armoire desk that will house your computer and other office supplies. Because you can close it up when you’re not working, it can sit in your living room or bedroom without interfering with your décor or your personal activities.
Be sure that your desk or workstation includes enough flat workspace for spreading out papers, assembling product orders, or any other tasks you may need to do. Proper lighting and a comfortable ergonomic chair are also essential, especially if you’ll be spending many hours on your computer.
You don’t have to break the bank to outfit your home office. Some people have created their own desk by placing one or more boards across two small filing cabinets. There are also many places in Toronto to purchase good quality used furniture, including Of Things Past, Elegant Garage Sale and foc!
Even if you don’t need a lot of workspace and are comfortable just using your laptop or tablet in whatever room strikes your fancy, I recommend that you have a dedicated spot to keep it when it’s being charged or not in use, as well as to store your files and office supplies.
When creating your home office, in addition to being functional, you’ll want it to be a comfortable room where you can enjoy working. Enhance your space with plants, artwork, desk accessories and office supplies that suit your personality. Office Candy has a great selection of fun file folders and other items to help you personalize your home office. Depending on your work style, you may also appreciate a bulletin board and/or desk blotter covered in fabric or wallpaper to match your décor.
Setting up your home office is just the beginning – you’ll need to develop strategies to organize it and help you to keep it that way. For inspiration, read about my work in Becky’s Studio and Steve’s Office and consider ways to adapt their systems to your own office.
Need help getting started? Contact me to find out how Spot On Organizing can help you.