Managing a household or running a business out of your home requires a centralized hub to hold all your paperwork, whether you’re heading a small internet business or tackling Mom duties for five kids. Relegating a specific area in your home helps you contain your work and not let it spill over into other spaces. Directing your business or household-related activities to a targeted workspace raises productivity and allows you to enjoy all the other areas in your home work and hassle-free.
Find your niche. You may have an extra room in your house to set up a full-fledged desk and filing system, or an extra closet where you can install some shelves, a writing surface and fit a stool underneath. No matter what size your home is, clearing out a corner to fit a desk, at the very least, is a minimum requirement for setting up your workspace. A nook under the stairs or a corner of your bedroom that you can fence off with a freestanding screen can work just as well as a dedicated room.
Divide areas. The trick to creating a functional space is knowing what you’ll need. Most home offices will require space for a computer, file and supplies storage, and shelves for books and reference materials. Maximize your space by aiming to have all these basic areas within reach from your desk chair. Keep in mind that your tech space should be relatively near a power source, your file and supplies storage should be within reach of a wastebasket, and your shelves should be easily accessible from a standing position.
Clean it up. In an ideal world, all gadgets would come without wires for an ultimately clutter-free desktop. These days though, every home office owner has to deal with the potential mess brought about by phone chargers, power cords, USB connectors and other messes. Centralized charger stations allow you to tuck all the wires into just one storage unit, leaving only your gadgets exposed. Wire ties and guns also provide inexpensive solutions that can prevent tangled cords from cluttering up your space.
Stock up. No matter how digital your business is, it always helps to keep a set of standard office supplies handy. Post-it notes, a stock of ballpoint pens, scissors, staplers, punchers and paper clips are always useful. Keep these items in a utility tray in your desk drawer, or store them in baskets, bins or tin containers to keep everything tidy and accessible.
Branch out. While generally a functional space, your home office is no different from any other room in your house—any decorative elements you can add to inject some personality will definitely help enhance your work nook. A vase of fresh flowers or a scented candle can help refresh your senses in the middle of a busy day, while a cork board filled with trip souvenirs, family photos and concert tickets can help balance a wall calendar filled with appointments and meetings. Counter utilitarian items like your computer and filing cabinets with accessories in a color palette you love to make your office a space you not only work in, but one you love as well.
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Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.