There are tons of advantages to working at home – you can stay in your pajamas all day if you want. But the most important thing to consider is your office. How do you set it up so it’s productive and doesn't interfere with family life?
Consider Your Space
Ideally, an extra bedroom or den would be the best place to turn into an office. You can shut the door when you're working and create a clear division between your living space and work space, which is something that many work-at-home moms have trouble maintaining. Don’t have an extra room to make into an office? Maybe you can carve away a corner of the garage, living room, or even use an outdoor storage shed. The point is that you have a consistent space to work in that provides you with the mentality to stay on task when distractions at home (such as the laundry, chore list, kids, and pets) may be calling your name.
Consider Convertible Space
Sometimes a convertible office space may be the solution to your office needs. While carving out a corner of the living room for your office is a viable solution if you lack the luxury of a separate room, your office will always be open to the rest of the family and their home activities, providing distractions for all. A large closet with doors may be just the solution. It might sound crazy, but a closet can easily be turned into a functional office space. First, remove the closet rod. Then, add a few shelves, some for storage and some for reachable, everyday items. Install another shelf at sitting height that you can use as a work surface. Get a nice chair and you’ve got yourself an office that you can close off when it’s not in use.
You can even purchase or build a Murphy bed-type office: desk by day, bed by night. The desk folds down for use during the day as your office and at night you pull the bed down and the desk is hidden under the bed. It’s a perfect space saver! Visit www.murphydeskbeds.com for options.
Make Your Space Appealing to You
Most work-at-home moms will need a desk, chair, file cabinets and computer - the standard office furniture. Counteract the boring necessities with office supplies that are not only functional, but pretty. Get some nice-quality storage baskets to organize incoming and outgoing paperwork. A tall basket can work as a trashcan. Use pretty dishware and glassware for storing pens and pencils, paperclips, and sticky notes. Tack up an inspiration board with clipped images and words from magazines that inspire and encourage your work and goals. For a finishing touch, always keep fresh flowers around for a bit of nature.
If you do have a room to yourself, paint it a favorite color. Or, consider creating a complete color palette for the space. Whether it’s the paint color you put on the walls, the pictures you hang or the antique furniture you buy, there are many ways to make the space reflect your personality and style. Pinterest has great images to inspire any decorating style. Doityourself.com has tutorials and ideas for all sorts of home improvements you can do in your home office, from building shelves to installing molding.
Whatever you decide, make sure you enjoy spending time in your office. It’s where you spend most of your waking hours. But regardless, you can still brag to your friends about having the world's shortest commute!