Many people who have been laid off want to work part time, have young children at home, are getting back into the work force after raising children, or simply aren't social, are turning to home businesses to support themselves and their families. While being your own boss does have its headaches, it does allow you more control over your day and your future. Home computers have made many of these opportunities possible, but you don't necessarily have to have a computer-based business to work from home; in many businesses, the PC is merely an administrative tool. If the thought of spending your whole day in front of a computer screen sounds dreary, there are plenty of things you can do that require outside socialization, or even just the use of your hands, that make sitting at a desk for hours impossible. Here are some ideas, old and new, for generating an income from the comfort of your own home.

Home Business

Sell It

While the Avon lady and the Tupperware representative have been around for decades, these aren't the only ways you can make money through sales. Other tried-and-true opportunities for independent sales representatives or consultants include Premier Jewelry, BeautiControl, Mary Kay, Amway, Pampered Chef, Home Interiors, Sunrider, and Herbalife. There are many new companies as well who rely on direct selling, so be sure to research these and check their ratings with the Better Business Bureau before going aboard. Selling can get you out of the house, introduces you to new people, stretches your abilities, and is fun if you're passionate about what you're selling. Most reps get discounts on the products that they represent, so choose something you like!

If you have an eye for valuables, buying and reselling antiques may be an idea for you. With a class or two and some reference books, you can educate yourself on the true value of items. You can then spend your days shopping (either online or out and about) and reselling the items. Renting a booth at a flea market is a great way to get your products seen, but you can also sell from home on the Internet.

Do It

You can go into business by providing a much-needed service. Professional organizing is a relatively new field that requires few credentials but is in high demand. Television programs about hoarders that are now airing illustrate how these services are needed.

The old standbys of yard work, plant sitting, and dog walking are always options, but a more high-tech way to find services needed is to go to a site like, where people post errands and chores and other people answer those ads. Whether through a website or on your own, you can do anything from helping decorate for a party to putting together scrapbooks for a busy working mother to running someone's errands.

Make It

If you have any art or craft skills, make the most of them by making a living from them! Many people are too busy to craft but love the look of handmade items, so they are willing to buy them. Skills you can put to use include:

  • wood burning
  • furniture making
  • furniture refinishing
  • crochet
  • knitting
  • sewing
  • embroidery
  • painting
  • drawing
  • jewelry making

You can sell your pieces directly from your home, through advertisements, at fairs, or online.

Any of these options are suitable as work from home jobs for moms, jobs for students, or ways to make ends meet if you're between jobs. The only limit is your imagination and your diligent search for home business opportunity leads.