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Last Updated on December 26, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
If you want to make a go of starting a business this year, you need to know how to set up a home office. Setting aside space for yourself to work can make or break your productivity. Trying to write emails on the couch in between a pile of laundry and your kid's pile of toys is not the way to stay organized or motivated. I thought I would share a few tips that have worked for me as I have turned my blog into a profitable work from home job.
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What You Need for a Home Office
Before I get into my tips for setting up a home office, I thought I would share a few things that have helped keep me organized and motivated over the years.
- Desk Calendar: While I use a digital calendar when I have to, I much prefer to have a paper desk calendar to keep in front of me. I find it keeps me much more organized.
- Computer: This is an obvious need when it comes to a home business. It is better if you have a dedicated computer just for work rather than trying to fight your kids and spouse for time on the computer.
- Small filing cabinet: You will need a small filing cabinet for business paperwork. Invoices, travel expenses, forms, tax information, etc can all be stored easily in a small metal filing cabinet so they can be easily found.
- Desk organizer: It is easy for small items to get lost if you don't keep them organized. Invest in a desk organizer for paper clips, pens, paper, post it notes, etc.
- Paper shredder: You will find that there are tons of things that can be shredded in your home office. Invest in a strong paper shredder. Then, check out my post about uses for shredded paper to get rid of it all.
How to Set up a Home Office
Now that you know what you need for a home office, you need to dedicate a space and get started organizing it. Your home office doesn't have to be an entire room. Even just a corner of your kitchen or a large walk in closet you don't need can be a good start on becoming more productive. Here are some tips on how to set up a home office that you will actually want to use this year.
Prioritize your comfort:
If you aren't comfortable, you aren't going to want to work in your home office. Invest in an ergonomic chair and add a fan or personal heater to get the temperature just right. If you buy cheap, uncomfortable office furniture, you wont want to actually work in your home office.
Keep things at your fingertips:
While setting up your home office, make sure you have what you need at your fingertips. You don't want to have to get up a million times a day to find the scissors or an elastic band. Keep things where you need them to help maximize efficiency. Check out my DIY desk organizer if you are working on a budget.
Don't forget the decor:
Consider painting your home office in some bright colors. Bring in plants, baskets, and functional decor. While decorating may not make you work harder or smarter, it will definitely make your office hours much more enjoyable.
While natural lighting is ideal, any lighting is better than sitting in the dark. Trying to read in the dark causes eye strain and headaches. If you can set up your desk near a window, that is ideal. Open the blinds and let the sun shine in. If you don't have a window, use desk lamps and overhead lighting to provide as much light as possible.
Use Pinterest responsibly:
I love Pinterest, but don't get caught up in perfection. Often what you see on Pinterest cost a lot of money and took a ton of time to create. Your space and your budget may not be as flexible as what you see on Pinterest requires. Do what works for YOU and don't worry if it is Pinterest perfect.
Bring in lots of storage:
Clutter is unproductive in the home office. Store your extra office supplies, copies of invoices, and whatever else you need in bins, boxes, and baskets. Keeping your clutter out of site will result in increased productivity. You will also know exactly where that extra box of pens is when you need it.
Now that you know how to set up a home office, they key is to get started and make it happen. Make a list of supplies you need and tasks to complete. However, don't get bogged down in too many details. Take small steps and your business is bound to success!
Have any other tips for setting up a home office?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.