Ask yourself a few questions. Do you often procrastinate while getting projects done, even finding yourself doing the housework you dread just to stay away from the place your computer sits? Are you doing paperwork while sitting on your couch, constantly fighting the temptation to turn on the TV, then losing the battle to a Food Network show? Are you someone who frequents coffee shops in order to get work done when you would rather stay in on that rainy day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from the lack of a home office! Whether you live in a multi-level house with rooms to choose from or you live in an efficiency apartment with limited space, there are plenty of ways to create an efficient, inspiring, and trendy office. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Choose Space for
- Your Bedroom: If you happen to live in a studio or efficiency apartment, odds are you only have one or two rooms. Not to fear, surprisingly your own bedroom can be a great place to put an office. Not only is your bedroom a comfortable and inviting space for you, it is also probably equipped with a few home office essentials. Most likely, your bedroom already has a good set up complete with a window with a nice view, the freedom to decorate any way you like, and an easy commute in the morning! If you don’t have a desk to start off with, you can use your nightstand, dresser, or even a lap desk while sitting in bed to work on.
- Your Kitchen: From space to ample light, to access to the fridge and coffee maker, kitchens can be an ideal office room as well. Most kitchens come with ample counter space that can be converted to desk space. Often times they have breakfast bars and dining tables to further stretch out on.
- Your Attic: Although an unusual place to see an office, an attic has qualities that no other room in your house can offer. If your attic has a window, this can often be one of the best and definitely highest views to look out on. Differing ceiling heights can add an aesthetic to your office that can’t be found in other areas of your home.
- Your Basement: Going to your basement to work can in fact be a good way to get some alone time. Although a basement many times won’t have natural light, for those who like lamp lighting, this is the place to get focused lighting. The best part – space, space, and more space! If you want an open area with tons of space to store paperwork, books, a lot of file cabinets and to install more shelves in, this is the place for you. Additionally, depending on your home, this may be a very quiet place to work.
- Your Porch: A porch office definitely has its perks! Whether permitting or even better if you have an all season one, a porch can provide lots of light, the feeling of being outside, and fresh air to keep you awake, energized and alert.
Maximize and utilize the space you have
- Lots of space to work with: Take this opportunity to use larger furniture items and really spread out! It would be a shame to waste the space when you have it, so fill it with all of your office essentials. You will have more options, better storage areas, and be able to have even a wrap-around desk, bookshelves, and multi-level file cabinets. So don’t be shy!
- Not a lot of space to work with: Try converting some of your furniture and household items into working home office pieces. You can use already existing file cabinets as extra desk space. Think about adding a shelf above your desk to create another level for paperwork, books, a printer or fax or even your ipod/iphone dock. Use TV tray(s) to work as a wrap-around desk. Maybe use your windowsill as a place to put plants or picture frames or even install a custom made a cup holder on. Go wireless! You can purchase a wireless printer that can be stored in another part of the room if needed.
Decorate to energize, focus, and inspire
- Colors: Different colors can induce specific feelings or energies. Make sure the color you choose to decorate your walls, carpet, and other items with is one that helps you stay awake and energized. Colors such as green, cool blue, and forest green can be very conducive to reading, writing, and focusing on projects.
- Paintings and Pictures: Do you have pictures or paintings of places you’ve visited or would like to visit? Sometimes hanging pictures of places you want to go once your work is done can be a great incentive to finish in a timely manner.
- Make the Space Yours: Add personal touches to feel “at home” in your office. Especially if you are working on something quite dull, it can be helpful to have a piece of artwork, a picture of a loved one, a journal, or wall hangings of inspiring quotes to get you through the day.
Some Helpful Tips on Creating Any Office:
- Think out of the box! Often ordinary household items or furniture can be used in different ways than they were originally intended.
- Sit on a sturdy, yet somewhat comfortable chair when working. A chair with a lot of padding can cause you to be too relaxed to work efficiently.
- Reduce clutter and make sure you are organized. Don’t let other activities you are doing or other parts of your life take over the space in your office.
- Keep in mind that you need to desire to spend lots of time in your work space, otherwise you may find yourself reverting back to your old ways doing dreaded housework or getting distracted by the Food Network.
- There is nothing wrong with mixing your location up every once in awhile – Go to that coffee shop on a nice day, sit on the couch on a day with less to do, and take breaks from work in other areas of the house. There is nothing worse than the feeling of your home office turning into a prison cell.
- Find ways to keep distraction to a minimum! Tap into what distracts you personally. People complete work successfully in all sorts of environments, in quiet libraries, at loud family gatherings, and in the car or on the train. If you need a quiet work place, make sure you close off your room, don’t be afraid to let people know you don’t want to be disturbed, and maybe invest in some nice soundproof earphones.
- Make sure the temperature in your office is to your liking. It can be very difficult to get something done while sweating buckets or wrapped in a million blankets.