It can be hard to take yourself or your business seriously if you are faced with doing your work in the kitchen with all the dishes, laundry room with dirty piles of clothes around you, the basement with no light, or the garage with all the seasonal gear and storage.
You need to create your own space for your business. Here are 3 ways to create some space just for you. It can be done even in a small space; you just need to get creative.
You need to take a few hours where you are not answering the phones or balancing your laptop on your knees, and really take a look at your space and start to plan something.
Some home office ideas can be created in minutes, and others may be a step at a time or as you can afford it, but no matter how you do it, your business needs to be separated somehow from the family life and all the associated papers that come with that. This will be better for them and for you. This can also signal the end of the business day, by simply leaving the area or closing it off.
You will feel much better and more organized if all your paperwork and associated business supplies are all in one spot. You can then let the family know that this is not an area for them to go looking for pens, pencils, papers or other supplies.
Step 1 – You need a desk, surface or table just for you and your business
Quite often the bigger the desk the bigger the mess gets. So, if your space is limited, then you need a plan of action.
Start by taking a look around your home. Do you have a spare bedroom? Could you integrate into the spare bedroom? If you don’t have the extra room, then you may need to create a corner or spot in another room just for you. As you can see in the picture, you can even get a wall unit desk for a main room that looks good and doesn’t take up much room.
Really look around your house and then ask yourself simply. “Where would I like to work”? “Where do I feel most comfortable right now”? There is no point in setting up an office in the garage or basement if you hate those rooms. So, if the kitchen or dining area really is your favourite spot, then your first step is done.
This is the one good thing about the way you have been operating in the home right now. If you tend to migrate to a certain room, then it would be easier to make that room work. Just picture yourself in any other areas of the home.
A friend of mine made a beautiful and very expensive home office in her basement, with great furniture, lighting, storage and more, and yet she still continued to migrate to the kitchen because that is where she felt happiest and most productive. So, you really need to think about where you would feel most comfortable and happy to work.
You now need to get creative with a home office design that will fit in the kitchen, dining room, living room or whatever room you decided would work for you. Those magazines can make a home office look grand and spacious. But if you really just need a place to use your computer and a phone and some storage for files, then you don’t need a monster space. It can be done!
Step 2 – Wall it Off If You Can
This is not always easy, but if you can for example clear a corner of the dining room or living room just for you, then you can get beautiful room dividers that can simply be arranged in front of your corner when your work day is done, so that you and everyone else does not need to stare at your work area.
These room dividers can be fun, and full of family photographs, or lightweight fabrics, just something nice and movable.
Step 3 – Take measurements of your corner or area
of the room and then go shopping and try and find a desk or surface that will fit in that area. If you don’t have the floor area but have wall space then make most of your office on the wall when it comes to storage. You can get closed shelves with nice doors or leave them open and use nice baskets.
Another alternative is a wall unit that opens out to become your office and then is easily put away when not in use. It all depends on your budget too! It would be nice if you can get doors on your shelves or put up a closed unit on the wall so that you don’t see your work when you walk away, otherwise using a room divider might be the better way to go and then you can leave your work out on your desk and simply hide it.
But coming up with custom home office design does not mean you have to blow the bank account out of the water. This is where you get creative. Get a friend or other family members to help you come up with some home office ideas.
Simply make a list of the things you do, and what type of space you need. Check around on Amazon, they are a great place to look and see what is available. The wall can be your best friend when it comes to storage and many file cabinets are on wheels and can easily fit under desks when not in use.
Just think portable when it comes to your home office design in a small space. If you simply don’t have any square footage to dedicate to your business, then at least get an “office in a box” which is simply a box that will hold files, office supplies and more. Then you can simply gather up all your business things and store them in this box, under the table, couch or bed.