Monday, February 24, 2014

How to Create a Home Office

A home office can be as small as a folding file or as large as a room. If you're running a business out of your home, you'll obviously need much more space and equipment than a family looking for a corner to file papers and tend to correspondence.

The important thing to remember about creating a home office is to make it suit your family's needs. For example, if your children need to use a computer, you'll want to set up space that can be shared -- not a corner in your bedroom. Likewise, equipment and supplies should be selected for versatility.
Creating Office Space
Use a wall or part of a wall to set up an office. If you're extremely short on space, mount shelves on the top portion of a wall to store files and use a table that can be folded down.
Use a screen to set off a corner of a room and create office space. While not ideal, it may be the best space you can find.
Find a niche -- under the stairs, on a landing, or in an odd-size room or hallway. Use a roll-down window blind to enclose the niche when not in use.
Convert a closet into an office with a folding door. If there is no power inside the closet, have it wired to provide good lighting and an electrical outlet. This works particularly well in a guest room closet. Keep a portable wardrobe hanger on hand for guests when they arrive.
Replace a double bed with a sofa bed in an extra bedroom to allow space for your office.
Outfitting a Home Office
Equipment is almost secondary to some of the intangibles that a home office must have to work properly. Along with good lighting, make your office a place that you like. This doesn't require a lot of space. In fact, sometimes it's easier to plan a small space than a large area. If your office ends up looking like a sterile cubicle in a high-rise, you're not going to want to spend time there.
If you intend to outfit a room, draw up a floor plan before purchasing equipment. Use a 1-inch scale, and draw in windows and doors. Then plot various design arrangements for such items as your desk and computer.
Plan your work space so you have room to keep items such as the phone within reach while still retaining space to jot notes.
Make sure you allow room for file cabinets to open. They're deeper than a desk.
Use bulletin boards to hold reminders, calendars, and a "To Do" list. Put the board where you can see it easily.

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