Work-At-Home Moms often get stressed when thinking about creating a home office for themselves or their business. Where would you put the space? How would you fill it? How much would it take to create the office space? There are many questions that work at home moms have about creating an office. Hopefully this article will help on understanding home offices.
For many work-at-home moms, their home office is wherever they decide to plop their laptop down for that day. It may be a coffee table in the middle of their living room, a kitchen table or bar area, their bedroom or maybe even outside on the patio. The majority of work-at-home moms do not have a home office or even a specific home office area designated for their work. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, all work-at-home moms need a place to themselves where they can work and get tasks done without little or no interruption or distractions.
While most of us fantasize of a beautiful home office specifically built as an extension onto our homes, most of us do not have the disposable income to make that happen. Most of us have to find a spot to set up shop right in our own homes, which can be a hard task. The majority of work-at-home moms live in an apartment or a home that is at least 2,000 square feet, and finding a space amongst all else we have going on in our home is tricky.
So, where can you put a home office?
Did you know that you can turn a spare closet into a work-at-home mom's office? I have known many work-at-home moms that turn a spare closet or a bedroom/coat closet into their home office. It's simple to do this low-cost and with things you may have laying around the house. The desk? Custom make your desk to fit into your space with a piece of painted plywood and spray painted filing cabinets! This will save you money and the time it would take you to actually go out and find a desk that would fit into your closet space. This gives you more freedom to work with the little decorative details that will help you feel more at home in your new closet turned home office! Use an antique vase for pencils, hang some coordinated shelving and cabinets that will hang on the wall and give you more desk space. The ideas are actually limitless! The best part is, you can close the doors to your home office when you're done using it!
Designate a corner of your bedroom or family room. This is one of the most popular options, but you have to make the space your own. You can purchase a corner desk or even create one from scratch and even paint your space a color you feel would be soothing to you. Frame the corner with moulding purchased from a home improvement store and you can have a tasteful home office in any corner. The moulding framing the area will make it feel like your own little office and it will look elegant to any guests.
Double Duty other rooms for your home office! Yes, guest rooms can also be a home office. You can either contain your home office in a guest room closet or you can even just set up shop right in the corner of your guest room. If you actually think about how many times a year you use your guest room, you can probably count those occasions on one hand! Why keep this room closed when you're not using it? Turn one wall into your office, using the wall space for shelves, adding a small desk and a filing cabinet, it will allow your guests to have a desk to use when they visit and use the guest room, but it will also allow you to have your office space.
There are many other places you can create your home office, a shed, garage, basement or attic. The important part of creating a home office, is that you have the space you need to concentrate and to build your brand or business. That should come first and foremost when thinking about where to put your brand new home office.
What do you need in your home office?
Planning and figuring out what to put into your home office is usually a tricky task. Many don't know what peripherals to add or even what design elements to use. As in any home improvement or interior decorating project, planning is usually the hardest and most tedious part of the entire project. You really have to get the creative juices flowing to find out how to design your home office and the strategic juices flowing to block out the exact places for your decor and furniture.
The category of your business and the direction you want to go with your business is the leading factor in what you actually need. Some mom bloggers can get away with just a desk and some important inspiration and reading information that they can use for their business. Others may need a lot more.
Basic things that you definitely need in your home office would be:
- Desk and Chair (duh)
- A bookshelf for any inspiration or work literature
- Some wall shelving
- Desk storage
- Computer or laptop (duh, once again!)
Now that we got the common sense down, let's move on to more specifics.
If you're a blogger, chances are you'll only need a desk, some storage for your notebooks, inspiration and writing utensils and a printer/scanner. An important decor piece would be a dry erase board for ideas or a bulletin board for ideas, inspirations and notes for deadlines. Depending on the popularity of your blog and if you feature product reviews or not, you may need a phone. (Some can just get away with using a cell phone for this type of work.)
If you telecommute as an at home call center rep, independent sales person or even a business owner you will definitely need a computer, possibly a fax machine, a scanner/copier and a landline telephone. Depending on the services and the company's requiremtns, you may also need a locking filing cabinet for this type of work. Keep a bulletin board for your reminders, offers for the company you work for and possibly a dry erase or chalk board for important notes. Shelving is important as well as desk organization to keep from papers and clutter getting stored on your actual desktop.
Basic tips for your home office
- Make sure the color that you choose for your walls is soothing and something you can concentrate with. Some people may be able to work in brightly colored atmospheres, while others have to have a pastel or subtly painted space in order to find the mindset to work.
- Decorate your home office with things you love. TJ Maxx and Marshalls usually have some great colorful and sometimes vintage/antique desk and storage accessories for great prices. That way, you can accessorize and decorate without breaking the bank!
- Your desk can get cluttered enough when working at home, use wall space and shelves to help you organize things you would usualy keep on your desk. It's important to not have a cluttered atmosphere when you're trying to concentrate. Keep only what you need for that specific task on your desk.
- Don't clutter the room with too much furniture. Buy only what you need at that time. Start off with one book case and when that fills up, move to two. The mistake people make is buying 2 or 3 bookcases at one time and leaving one unfilled. It will lead to more clutter being thrown on that book case and may make the room look too crowded. If you need another piece in the future, by all means purchase one when the other is filled!