Those of us who work from home—whether it’s occasionally or full time—understand the need for a well-stocked and organized home office. Creating a space that is all at once inspiring and relaxing is important for the promotion of productivity and the reduction of stress. Read on for our best advice on setting up the perfect home office.
Designate an office space. If you’re not lucky enough to have an entire room to set up your home office in, find a spot that you can designate as your workspace. A corner of the guest room, a small, unused closet (just remove the door!), or a stair landing/loft area are all perfect spots. Just make sure you have access to electrical outlets and the WiFi access and cell reception are good.
Make a plan. Measure your office area so you’ll know what you need in the way of furnishings. Even if you have the perfect office setup in your mind, space constraints might require you to do things a little differently. Ideally, your home office should have a different vibe than the rest of your house, which contributes to the feeling of “going to work.”
Shop around for ideas. Take a stroll around your local office supply store, big box store, or bargain store. You can find great ideas for office supplies and decor at places like TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. If you don’t have an idea for the overall feel of your office, a little window shopping can help you figure out what you do and don’t like. There’s also a wealth of ideas on Pinterest!
Customize your workspace by using various pieces to make up the desk. For example, if you have a small table that you really love but also need drawers or shelves, buy a separate drawer set or storage cart and situate it under the table for a modular type of desk that you can switch up anytime you feel like it.
Install proper lighting. An office with lots of natural light is ideal, but if you’re short on windows, make sure your overhead lighting is sufficient for your type of work. Include a desk lamp for extra light or for those days when the overhead lighting feels too harsh.
Create an inspiring space. Give the walls a fresh, custom paint job. Go with a calming hue if you need an office that deters stress. If your job is a creative one, choose a fun, inspiring shade to keep things lively. Hang artwork that makes you happy, or hang a mood board so you can switch out artwork and inspirational articles/quotes from time to time. Stock your home office with fun office supplies that’ll bring a smile to your face when you need it. Add a plant or two to bring a little life to the space.
Go vertical if you’re short on space. Use shelves, baskets, or other hanging organizers if you don’t have much room on the desktop. Keeping horizontal spaces nice and tidy helps you feel more organized overall and leads to a more productive workday. We love this DIY ladder shelf as an example of how to take storage vertical in an updated way.
Get comfortable. One of the most crucial pieces you’ll buy for your home office is a desk chair. You’re probably going to spend a lot of time in it, so make sure it’s comfortable and promotes good posture. This is one area where splurging might be a good idea. The last thing you want is to feel hunched over and achy after a long workday. If your legs are on the shorter side, add a footrest under the desk for your dangling feet. This helps correct your posture and lets you keep your chair at the right height for the desk.
Don’t forget a trash can. Believe it or not, this is a little detail that tends to get overlooked. Trust us; you’re going to want a small trash can in your office. If you do forget one, you’ll either end up amassing a trash pile somewhere on your desk or you’ll have to keep getting up to throw things away in another room.