Office space may be at a premium in your home. When this is the case, it is essential that you use every inch of space to its full potential. An organized office leads to more productivity and less stress. Finding ways to effectively use the space you do have is not as hard as some may think. Here are six tips for setting up a compact home office.
1. Identify the Space for Your Home Office:
This may be any area in your home from a closet to a stair landing. If you will be spending a great deal of time in this space, try to find an area with more space and a better view. Guest rooms or dining rooms shouldn’t be overlooked in this process. Remember that an armoire or other piece of furniture can be used to hide your equipment when not in use.
2. Determine What You Will Need:
Certain things are a must in a home office. This includes a computer, telephone, printer and fax machine. When choosing equipment for your office, look for items that will serve more than one purpose such as multi-function printer/scanner/fax. This will allow you to fit more items into your compact space. Remember that computers need to be kept at a cooler temperature. If this may be a problem in your area, a laptop is a viable alternative. Phone systems which double as answering machines are another item that should be placed at the top of your must-have list. Desks with built-in filing cabinets should also be considered.
3. Use Every Inch of Vertical Space:
All too often, this area is neglected. Install shelves on the walls wherever possible. The shelving unit can hold books, projects that are not being worked on at the moment, your multi-function machine and much more. Many storage solutions are available for other items too. Writing utensils may be stored in a basket on the wall and letter trays take up little space on the desk, but a number of them can be stacked to give you more room.
4. Store Irregularly Used Items:
If you find this is the case when working in your home office, consider storing these items in an alternate location until they are required. Make sure they can be easily accessed and, if you find you are using certain items on a regular basis, move them back into your home office. You can move other things out at that time. Needs change over time. Make sure you adjust to these changing needs and accommodate them.
5. Keep Essentials On Hand at All Times:
You may not be using them on a regular basis, but they still need to be where you can access them in a moment’s notice. When this is the case, look for furnishings that can be moved around. A great example of this is a filing cabinet on wheels. Files may need to be on hand so they can be pulled if a client calls. The rest of the time they may just sit. Consider purchasing a rolling file cabinet. This can go under your desk when you are not working and you can easily pull it out when a client calls or comes in.
6. Choose Each Piece of Furniture Carefully:
A large, cushy office chair may seem like the perfect seating arrangement until you bring it home. Once it is set up in your office, you will quickly notice how much room it requires. Look for chairs that will slide completely under your desk when not in use and desks with keyboard trays that slide out. This tray may double as a writing surface also.
When setting up your home office, there is one other thing that needs to be remembered although it will not affect your ability to work. Make sure your home office is decorated in a way that will make you want to spend time there. Look for appealing colors and textures and incorporate them throughout the area. A compact home office does not have to be boring. Best of all, if your office is in an enclosed space, you can go outside the norm. Use accessories and items that you would not want for your entire house, but love anyway. Now that your office is set up in a way that makes work easy, you may want to spend a great deal of time there.