Working from home can be tough, but when you do not have a specific area dedicated to that work….you are now talking impossible. Today we are going to learn how to set up a home office in a few simple steps.
When one area of our lives spills over into another, clutter is not far behind. Remember the definition of clutter. Any items that do not have a specific purpose or home. So, if we do not have a specific area for working then our work tools tend to migrate to all areas of our home making it impossible to be productive.
If you work from home, setting up a specific space for when you work is key to your focus, joy, and productivity.
Take blogging for example.
I used to work wherever my tush landed. My bedroom, the back porch, our recliner in front of the TV. This was all fine and good when I was testing the waters to find out if blogging could actually work for me, but once it became a full-time job I knew I needed to make a change.
If you want to know more about blogging, just hit reply and I will give you my story of how I went from a casual blogger to full-time income earner!
Once I decided to get serious and set up a dedicated work space, that is when the real magic began to happen.
I noticed a difference in my focus each day. I was much more driven to get things done and to take steps towards making more money and a name for myself. I began to check off milestones at a much faster rate. And my income tripled in less than one year.
Wait, all of this because I decluttered a room and set up an office?
You better believe it!
Let’s look at it this way.
Say you have a kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes, counters covered in paper piles and randomly scattered chaos. You have boxes in the corners full of mismatched things, a cluttered fridge, and pantry.
Would the state of your kitchen encourage you to tackle a gourmet meal (including dessert) for your family?
Or would it instead cause you to rush in grab anything close so you can just get food on the table quick?
I am sure you said rush in because who wants to cook in a clutter like that?
No one really.
The same is true for our work-from-home space.
If you want to get the creative juices flowing and the productivity cranked up a notch. If you want to reach goals systematically and pull in an income that will help to support your family. Then a dedicated work space is not only a good idea, it’s imperative.
Well, great….so how do we do it?
Oh, I am so glad you asked!
How To Set Up A Home Office
Step 1. Pick the best spot.
Take a stroll around your home and choose a space that you can dedicate for your work. A corner in your bedroom, a section in the family room, an office, or any full room you can completely take over.
You want to choose a spot that you can fully dedicate to working for a long period of time. This is not a temporary thing. So, for example, the end of your kitchen table will not be the best choice.
You need a place where you can spread out and really work so try to pick a spot that has the room you need.
Step 2. Let’s do a little visualization.
Take a look at your space and visualize the specific work you plan to do there. Ask yourself these questions.
- Can I see myself working here?
- Do I have room to really create?
- Will I have to put things away every day so it does not interfere with our family life?
- Can I lave half projects out without the risk of things getting disturbed?
These questions are meant to confirm if the spot you chose will work. If so go ahead and move on to step three. If not you will want to back up to step one.
Step 3. Zone it all out.
Make a list of areas or zones that you need in your new space. By writing them down you will ensure that your space includes all the areas you need.
A few zones to consider.
- Planning zone
- Creativity zone
- Record keeping
Step 4. Clear it out.
Now that you have your spot all picked out it’s time for the fun!
Remove anything that doesn’t belong in that space. Put any trash and recyclables into bags and get them out. Grab a couple of clothes baskets (my decluttering tools of choice!) and put any items inside that need to be put away in other areas of your home.
Put clutter that you come accross into a donation box. Once that box is full get it taped up and in your trunk now. We want no second thoughts here!
Keep on going to you have things completely clear of all things to do not belong in your home office. Starting out clutter free is key here so stay with this step for as long as you need to.
Step 5. Clean things up.
Do a quick clean up so you have a nice inviting pallet to work with. Sweep the floor, wash the walls, dust the trim, and clean the lights and shelving if you have any.
Ninja tip: If you want to really step it up, add some fresh paint and new curtains.
Step 6. Back up to step three.
Now that you have a fresh and cleaned out beautiful space to work with, it is time to refer back to your list of zones in step three. Bring in any pieces you need to set those zones up.
A desk, a table or two, shelves, or any other items you can pull from other areas to free up space there and organize your new space here.
So, if you need a planning zone you will want a few pens, your calendar, highlighters, a bulletin board or anything else that will help you to really plan out and stay focused.
Before heading out to the store I love to shop my home first. Just take a quick stroll around your home with all of your zones in mind. See if there is anything that is not being utilized that you can pull into your new workspace. Think outside of the box when you are doing this. We do not want to break the bank here, just set up a workspace that will help you to focus and be productive.
Step 7. Organize each zone.
Once your framework is set up and in place, you will then want to take things one step further and organize each zone.
Layout and organize things in each area so they work and flow best for you and how you think.
Remember, what works for one person might not work for another, so you are in charge here. Baskets, bins, desk organizers, jars, boxes, or totes. Whatever draws your eye and helps you to keep things in their places.
Now is not the time to incorporate a complicated organizational system. Keep it simple so it works!
Step 8. Don’t stop there!
Bring in a few supporting items to help you be your absolute best when you are working.
- A dry erase board for projects, urgent to-do items, or weekly goals and motivational quotes.
- A shelf to hold action binders that house your most important projects.
- A large wall calendar to keep you on task both in work and in the home.
Step 9. Make it a space you love.
Bring in a few things to pretty it all up and make it a space you love to be in! Now is the time to let your personality shine. It is important to create a space that you enjoy being in so don’t hold back here.
If you have a quirky desk goat, bring that baby out so you can enjoy it every day.
Wait, am I the only one with a screaming table top goat?
Pull in things you love so you enjoy the space you created. No stifling allowed, keep it fun make it pretty and enjoy the space you made.
By setting up a work area this way you will not only separate work from home but you will give yourself definition as you go about your day. I found that once I had a dedicated space for my work I was able to have a completely different mindset and I was able to up my focus level to where I needed it to be.
But….what if you do not work from home?
No worries my decluttering friend!
You can use this process for creating a crafting space, a sewing room, a homeschool area for the kids, a hobby room for the Hubby. Just about anything when you think about it!
‘You are simply giving clear definition to an area of your home to spark creativity. The sky is the limit to what you choose to use it for!
What tips do you have for setting up a home office in your home? I would love to hear them!