Paper and more paper....
Last week, I took advantage of the fact that my daughter and her best friend were in Massachusetts with my mom downhill skiing. No. I didn’t have parties or eat caviar on bellinis, while sipping champagne. I cleaned and organized my home office. 4 bags of paper for recycling and 2 files boxes for the Salvation Army later, I had papers filed, my supply shelves reorganized and like items grouped together, which meant all my craft and beading books are on the bookshelf with my beads, sewing box and fabric scraps. This got me thinking about how I can structure my office to meet my needs— work and crafts. As I explore this conundrum of turning one space into two spaces, Alice Robertson, a professional organizer, reached out to me with an article on the very subject of organizing an office. The article is posted below. Thanks, Alice.
Creating an Office Space When You Have a Small Home
Creating an office space at home can be beneficial in many ways; it can help you keep track of all your responsibilities, give you a place for correspondence and paying bills, and allow you to have your own area to work in when you telecommute. With so many Americans taking jobs that allow them to work from home these days, it’s a good idea to have a quiet office area to work in that won’t be a distraction and interfere with your productivity.
If you have a small home, however, it can be difficult to make a space of your own. The key is to get organized, utilize storage solutions, and plan well to keep distractions to a minimum. This might include talking to your family members and setting rules about when you’re working so as to not be bothered. Remember, just because it’s a small space doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish!
Keep reading for some great tips on how to create an office space when you have a small area to work with and to learn what you need to get started.
When you have a small space, chances are you’ll be better off if you start by decluttering the area. Even a small amount of belongings can make a huge difference when it comes to taking up room. The good news is that you can donate many things that you don’t have a need for anymore; check with local thrift stores or shelters to see what they’re looking for, especially around the holidays. If you come across things you don’t need but aren’t ready to part with, consider renting a storage unit. This is a great way to hold onto your cherished belongings without having them take up room. Just make sure you do a little research before making a decision, and keep in mind that the average price for a unit in New York City is about $94.57.
Finding storage solutions that will work with the area you have is important, and you may need to get creative. Fortunately, there are many tricks and tips for this very thing, from using a shoe organizer on the back of a door to hold office supplies to going vertical with your shelving. Do a little research to see what might work best for your specific needs, and remember that many of these can be done on a budget. If you need to purchase some vertical shelves, IKEA offers many different options, which range in price from $60.50 and up.
Utilize a Closet
When you don’t have much space to work with inside your home, sometimes you have to think outside the box. A good-sized closet can work wonders when you need a place to put a desk; the key is to make sure you have another spot to put clothing or anything else that the closet currently holds without cluttering up the other rooms in your home (this might be a good use for that storage unit). Install shelving for storage and make sure you can fit cords in for your computer or laptop; add lighting (you can find overhead closet lights for as little as $14) and a chair and you’ve got an instant workspace.
Lay Down Some Rules
One of the most important parts of creating an at-home workspace is setting some rules, especially if you have a family or if the office is in a well-trafficked part of the house. Let everyone know that when you’re at your work area, you don’t want to be disturbed. This can help reduce stress and will allow you to get things done without interruption.
Planning for an at-home office can take some time, so try to be patient as you go through the process. It may require some research and preparation to get things exactly how you want them, but once you get it figured out, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without a space of your own!
You can find Alice on the web at Tidy Home.