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How to Set Up and Organize your Perfect Home Office

Is working from home is your new normal? Check out these tips to help you set up the perfect work space in your home. 

By
Amanda Thomas,
September 18, 2014
Episode #126

Page 2 of 3

Let's Get Practical

Now, let’s discuss the practical issues of setting up this space.

First, take a look around your home to decide where to locate your workspace. If you have an extra room or niche somewhere, location might be a no-brainer. But, if you’re short on space, this is where creativity steps in. You may need to carve out a bit of space in the corner of a dining room or living room. Space in a bedroom works, too, although I really like to steer clear of using the bedroom for anything other than sleeping. Having your work in the same room where you want to catch some shut-eye might prove prohibitive to restful slumber. Even a hall closet can be converted into a workspace with some clever finagling.

Next, compile a list of your work duties. Do you have lots of files and papers to deal with? What are the regular tangible items you use every day? Making this list will help determine what size workspace you need and what type of storage will work best for you. If your flat working area needs to only accommodate a few sheets of paper and a laptop, you can get away with using a small desk or table. If spreading out your work is better for you, an L-shaped desk might be a better choice. Even an old kitchen or dining room table can be converted into a desk. Do you need a desk with drawers? Many desks come with file drawers built in. If desk storage isn’t such a big deal, you can get by with a cute, table-like desk that has one built-in drawer perfect for pens, pencils, and other office supplies.

Invest in a very comfy chair. Quite often, working from home means sitting at a desk for a good bit of time. Make sure your chair is very comfortable. You don’t have to get a wheeled desk chair if you don’t want to. I picked up an old dining chair with arms. With a little spray paint and fabric this ultra-cozy bargain became my new desk chair. Think outside the box when it comes to what you’ll sit on all day long. Comfort doesn’t always translate into spending lots of money but don’t get the cheapest thing you find either. Be sure to test the chair before purchasing.

Do you need additional storage? If you have lots of files, consider purchasing a file cabinet. I know this storage option can be a bit on the ugly side, but with a little paint and maybe some wallpaper or stencils, you can take a dull, drab utilitarian file cabinet and make it a work of art or at the very least, something more pleasant to look at. The Expedit shelving system from Ikea is another easy way to take care of storage. The cube-shaped shelves accommodate books, binders, and storage boxes. Hiding your work stuff is really nice to do, especially if your work area is visible from your regular living space. This shelving unit can even double as a room divider if you have to locate your office space in a regular living area of your home. Running it perpendicular to the wall creates a divider, separating off your work area from the rest of the room.

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