Even the smallest of homes has the potential to work as an office. In fact, you don’t need a designated room. You might not even need a desk. All you need is the right attitude and the ability to separate your space from the rush of daily, family life.
Do I need an office space?
The challenge with working from home and having a family is that you have plenty of distractions: tiny, destructive distractions that have just started walking and colouring in the walls and would tug on your arm all day if they could. By carving out a small space and designating it as your work area, you can explain to the kids that whilst you are working – ie sitting in that area, or using it in a certain way – you need the house to be a little more quiet than normal.
Or maybe get a sitter for a few hours …
Whether you’re a freelancer, blogger, or just trying to keep on top of family finances and paperwork, it can be really helpful to give yourself a spot to work – even if you only get peace for fifteen minutes at a time!
1- Be Space Thrifty
You don’t need a spare room. Your desk could be in the corner of the living room, in the hall landing, in the garden shed… think outside the box and you could stumble across a brilliant place to get your best work done at home.
2- Time is as important as space
When my own mama was studying for her university degree as a mature student with four kids, she would study in the car waiting for my brother to finish football, on her lunch break at work, and after the youngest had gone to bed at night.
Depending on your own goals, you might feel as though it’s going to be impossible to achieve what you have in mind with the time you actually have. However, I promise that it can be done, with a bit of clever organisation. Always remember that doing a tiny bit little and often is far better than putting it off and getting stressed out.
3- Start with what you need, finish with what you want
If you’re anything like me, you will have an entire pinterest board dedicated to stationery and pens but you haven’t so much as thought about how you’re going to get an extension cable to power your laptop on your desk.
Whilst it’s brilliant to be enthusiastic, it’s essential to set a budget. I love the simple decoration in the example above, from using the headphones as decoration to the carefully planned layout of calendar, flyers and even bank notes.
Your decoration doesn’t have to be expensive and your desk, like this one on wheels, doesn’t have to be huge, grand and impossible to shift when you need the space.
- Keep it in-style
By this, we don’t mean trawl the interiors magazines but do this by all means if you enjoy doing it. Rather, we mean to keep in-style with your current decorating scheme. It can be tempting to go for clean, modern lines but if you are putting your shiny, futuristic desk in the corner of a cosy, vintage-style living room then it’s going to bother you pretty quickly.
Go with your own style and don’t feel like you have to make it look like a work cubicle.
- Shelf up
When floor space is restricted, consider shelving to hold the essentials without encroaching. Keeping the desk clean of papers will reduce the overall feeling of clutter – even if you just have a dedicated ‘current stuff’ boxfile that you can quickly pop the papers in between work sessions!
- Divide and conquer
If you can create a physical divide to separate your work space from everywhere else, then it will really help to create a sense of privacy and focus when you are working. I have had desks in hall cupboards strewn with fairylights and cut flowers to boost up the darkness of the space, whilst being able to keep the door ajar and create a cosy work space.
Could you fit curtains around your desk? Do you have a window alcove? Could you invest in a folding screen? These are all things to consider when creating your home office space.
Are you feeling inspired? Are you planning a home office yourself and got any more tips to offer? Please comment – we’d love to hear from you!
Bio: Sara works for Storage Vault, a self-storage company based in Glasgow. She loves writing about storage and organisation, and figuring out how to make a rented flat a home! If you are looking for self-storage in Glasgow, or would like to ask anything, please visit our website.