3 Steps to Falling in Love with Your Home Office

Home Office AFTER

How does your home office make you feel? If you have the sort of business where you have clients in, are you embarrassed to let them see it? One of my organizing and redesign clients said, about her cluttered, drab room, “I feel like I’m going to prison every morning.” Oh no, that’s terrible! Depending on how you use it, you might be spending more time in your home office than you do sleeping in your bedroom! (Which, by the way, is the other most neglected room in the house for décor, but that’s another story.)

So, what can you do? Here are 3 steps to falling in love with your home office:

  1. DEDICATE a space for your “office” even if you don’t have a spare room with a door that closes and a proper suite of office furniture. Your “office” can be as simple as a small table and chair with a file box underneath. Any dedicated space is better than storing your supplies in a closet, and dragging them out to the kitchen table whenever you need to work. Even worse is leaving them out and not having a place to eat dinner. A dedicated space makes it easier to work, and legitimizes and honors the work you are doing. And, darn it, you deserve your own space!
  2. DECLUTTER using the S.P.A.C.E. method, and spend a few minutes each day putting your things away and preparing for the next day. You need an uncluttered desk, or table space, so you can actually do work there! This is prime real estate, so keep only things that you use every day within arm’s reach. Store extra supplies a little farther away. For this you will need adequate storage. Be creative; a nearby closet with labeled containers, or an old chest of drawers, will work just fine. Eliminate mystery piles of paper by sorting them daily into an action file. Create and maintain a simple filing system and remember the 80/20 Rule (you will only ever need 20% of the papers you file). If your file cabinet drawer sticks, you will enjoy filing even less than you already do, so fix it, or get a new one! And think twice about bringing new stuff into your space, like business networking freebies.
  3. DECORATE your office. Add color and inspiring artwork. Paint is cheap, and artwork can be too. Find a large, ugly painting at a thrift shop or discount store and cover the canvas with a piece of colorful fabric (staple it on the back). Voila, art! Choose whatever soothing, or energizing, colors make you happy. Rearrange your furniture for better flow. Make sure you have enough ambient and task lighting. Add a plant. Add guest chairs (or subtract them, if it’s crowded and they’re not needed). Do you have a nice area rug hidden away in your garage, like my client did? Do whatever it takes for you to feel good about your space and want to spend time there. Your productivity and peace of mind will thank me!

 

Home Office BEFORE

What have YOU done to make yourself fall in love with your home office?

If you hate yours, what will you do now that you’re thinking about it?

Please share with us by leaving a comment!

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Copyright 2013-2015 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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Comments

  1. I had to chuckle when you mentioned “mystery paper”. I have a box on my desk that holds materials to read including magazines, books and computer print-outs. I’ve gone through it many times and filed everything possible, but the box is still overflowing. I’m feeling quite guilty about that…

    Then I read about the sticking file cabinet drawers. And I actually have a solution–rub bar soap on the runners to lubricate them. Bye-bye sticky drawers!

    • Moreen, sounds like you at least don’t find overdue bills and missed opportunities in your mystery pile! As for file cabinets…I have seen them go wrong in so many ways! (bent, cracked, falling apart, no hanging frame inside, no space for a hanging frame inside, no file cabinet or box to begin with…) I went with “sticking” for simplicity’s sake…but that’s a good solution for it, thanks!

  2. I used to have “orphaned” framed pictures and similar items tucked in the spaces behind the door and between the filing cabinet and the desk, and a closet full of equally useful stuff. I got rid of most of it and it felt great! Then, I asked a professional organizer to come and help me come up with a better furniture arrangement. She pushed my desk about a foot closer to the window and moved my husband’s closer to the opposite wall, giving us way more floor space and feeling less crowded altogether.

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