Decorating Dilemma: Home Office
Lifetime Moms channel leader Stephanie Elie is in the process of moving to a new home and she asked me for some tips on creating a home office. Here are suggestions for multitasking mamas like Stephanie.
If you are lucky to have an entire room for your office - you are golden. If not - create a spot for your office nook and separate work from the rest of your home. Maybe you can find a spot in your living room, a nook in your bedroom, or even right by the kitchen. Wherever you set up your office, make everything you need for work easily available to you and separate other items. Don't mix your household bills with your business invoices, and have your work related business cards separate from the cards for your dentist etc. This space is for work - not for running your household.
If you have an actual office, I recommend a double desk. I know, I know, you would like to have a work space just for you, where nobody else in the family ever comes so you could just work alone. Me too. In reality, being a work-at-home-mom isn't always that easy and we get stuff done while we often have a kid or two, or in Lifetime Mom Audrey's case four, running around. Create a double desk in your home office with either one wall length desk, or two separate desks on two walls so the kids don't actually have to run around - but they have their own spot in your office. Or your husband can have his own desk, too, and they leave YOUR desk untouched. It's also a great idea to have a small secretary table or wall mounted drop-down desk as the backup desk for the kids. These type of desks are also great if you don't actually have a separate room for a home office, but want to create an office nook in a living room, bedroom or other space in your home.
An open office, like Stephanie will have, is actually nice because you can keep an eye on the kids while working, and you can create activities for them close by, when needed. The downside of open offices, or incorporating them into other rooms in the home is that if your office is messy - your home looks messy too. Try to create your home office in a space where you have enough storage space for your work related items.
Organization & Making It Pretty
Create an organizing system. There will always be paperwork, even if you don't own your business. Contracts, invoices, receipts and even business publications, business cards and brochures can pile up. I like open shelving for home offices if you have an office room. But if you just have an office nook in your home, you can turn non-office-furniture into office storage for all of your business papers. Your office is in the kitchen? Get a beautiful armoire and hide your business papers inside it. Think outside the traditional office furniture - and utilize what you have. One of the best ideas I have seen for organizing business papers in a small home office was hiding them inside a coffee table that had a lid on hinges. I personally have one of those large kids' play tables with drawers under it as a coffee table in the living room - and my business papers are hidden in there. When you have a low budget, you can also get inexpensive wire shelving and cover it with pretty fabric to match your home and hide all of your business essentials.
Make sure to check out some inspirational pictures of home offices that I collected on Pinterest.