Alice Robertson-May Guest Blogger
Alice Robertson recently created Tidy Home as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years. Alice loves helping others, and she knows having a clean, organized home can do wonders for stress and mental health.
As the world has recently found out, it is entirely possible for some industries and positions to go remote without a significant decrease in productivity. And many professionals, including those in creative services and information technology, may find that they are more efficient when they are not distracted by the constant clamor of the office. If you’ve found yourself suddenly working from home, and your home is a small space, keep reading for ideas on how to make your home office the best room in the house.
If you are truly pressed for space, look for an area in your home that can be used for more than just work. You might, for example, incorporate both your professional needs and your crafting addiction in a single space. HGTV perfectly illustrates that anywhere can be an office and craft area, including an extra closet.
Make room for storage.
One of the biggest struggles that most people have when they are in a tiny space is storage. And when you are adding an office, storage may get even tighter. That’s okay, because with a bit of creativity, you can add storage spots just about anywhere. You might, for example, move your bookcase behind your bed or add a storage shelf over a window.
Add your office essentials.
Obviously, you need a desk and computer, but don’t forget about other things that you would normally have in your office. If you have an ergonomic chair or adjustable monitor, these can help you feel more professional, even if you’re sitting at home in your pajama pants. Something else to keep close is a coffee maker. It is easy to get sidetracked heading to the kitchen for a cup of Joe. You’ll notice the dishes need to be washed, the floor swept, and dinner started with each trip. This is a distraction you can avoid, but before you buy a new coffee maker, do your research and find one that fits your space, price, and tastes. Bonus if it can also be programmed to have your morning “go juice” ready and waiting when you start the day.
The Ninja is one of our favorites for a little caffeine boost any time of day.
Determine your budget.
Unfortunately, adding a home office is an expense, and one that you will have to incur if you want to continue to earn money. Make sure to set a budget, which is crucial if you plan to build an addition or completely remodel a room to meet your new work-at-home needs. Home Stratosphere explains further that your total budget will be influenced by your decor choices and any furniture you must buy to complete the room.
Set the house rules.
One of the greatest challenges of working at home, particularly when you have a small house or apartment, is navigating the delicate balance between home life and work life. If you have children, this is amplified tenfold. Talk to the kids about your new situation, and practice “emergency drills” for those times when you get a pressing phone call during the day. More importantly, make sure the kids know that mom or dad’s workspace is off limits, even if it’s in an area where they previously had free rein. It may also be beneficial to have a conversation with your employer about flexibility. If they have specifically asked you to begin working from home, you may have some leverage on the hours you log in.
Working from home is about to become the new norm for millions of Americans. You can get a jump on the trend by preparing now, even if you’re limited on the space you can use.
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