The ideal work space for your home business can be anything from a desk tucked in your kitchen to a complete room transformed into a home office. The key is that the work space must allow you to be productive, efficient and happy in your work environment.
Below are tips on what to do and what to avoid in organizing your work space for your home business:
Do find the best location for your work space.
Don’t set up your office where it should be; put it where you want it to be (read the article Choosing the Right Location for Your Business). If you are planning on claiming your home office as part of your tax deductions, be sure to read the IRS guidelines on what qualifies for a home office tax deduction.
Do find the best layout for your work space.
Try to arrange your space in an L-shape or triangle, with a swivel-style desk chair in the middle of the configuration. With a spin of your seat or a slight roll backward or to the side, all essentials are within arm’s reach.
Don’t skimp on comfort, especially when it comes to your desk chair.
Choose one with a cushioned seat and back, adjustable height so your feet are flat on the floor, a back that tilts and curves, and wheels on the bottom to get around easily. Read the article “How to Select Your Home Office Chair.”
Do organize the equipment on your desk or table.
Group equipment and furnishings into different centers of operation. These might include your computer, phone/fax, mail handling area, and worktable.
Don’t be stingy about storage space and lighting.
Put in as many cabinets, cubbies, and shelves as you can without crowding your workspace. Illuminate individual work areas with their own direct lights.
Do plan with portability in mind.
Cordless phones and laptops allow you to move your work close to your children, if necessary. Other portable conveniences are furniture on casters, baskets that can quickly be repositioned when needed, and a rolling cart to easily transport files and correspondence so you can work in the kitchen, family room, or even outside for an hour or so.
Do de-clutter your office.
Remove at least one item which you don’t use at least monthly. Take those personal items off your desk. Throw away pens that don’t work. Reduce your ketchup/salt/napkin supply by 90%.
Do take inventory.
Review your supplies and make a list or place an order. If you store inventory for your home business, consider the space, safety and security of these items
Do take time to improve how you do things in the office.
Ask yourself questions like:
- How can you make better use of your computer?
- Can you develop a spreadsheet to help organize some aspect of your job?
- Do you need to find and register for a computer class? Do it today.
Recommended Books on How to Organize the Work Space:
- Crisp: Organizing Your Work Space, Revised Edition: A Guide to Personal Productivity
- Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life
- Organizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life
- Eliminate the Chaos at Work: 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity
- Organizing Your Home Office For Success : Expert Strategies That Can Work for You
- How to Select Your Home Office Chair
- 10 Common Home Office Mistakes
- How to Create a Home Office that Works
- 5 Common Home Office Mistakes and How to Fix Them
- Hiding the Tangle of Cords On Your Desk: 3 Containment Strategies