Maximizing Space in Your Home Office

When you work from a home office, organization and comfort are crucial. In order to be more productive, you need to create a home office space that allows you to focus on the task at hand and get it done. If your office is cluttered, messy or furnished with the wrong items, you may struggle to be productive working from home.

But revamping your home office doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. Here are a few tips if you’re looking to get more from your home office space.

1. Create Your Layout

You may dream of a home office complete with giant bookshelves, a huge desk and a big leather couch. But while this may be your dream office, you may not have the space for it. If you’re trying to fit too many things into your space, you may end up feeling a bit claustrophobic.

Take a look at the space you have and what you can realistically fit within it. Double-check the location of your electric outlets, permanent light fixtures and windows. Modify your layout to make the most of the space you already have.

2. Pick Your Furniture

Once you know what kind of space you’re working with, think about what furniture makes the most sense. If you’re working in a small space, you may want to consider multi-functional items. You should also consider what the home office may also be used for, such as a space for your spouse to work as well.

Before purchasing any furniture for your home office, consider what it would be used for. While you may love the way a certain table or chair looks, if it doesn’t fit the needs of your work, it’s only going to take up space. Knowing how you are going to use each item before you buy it can prevent your space from becoming too cluttered.

3. Maximize Your Wall Space

When considering the space you have to work with, you may be forgetting one major area — the walls. Getting certain items, such as bookshelves, off the floor can give you more free space in your home office. By hanging shelves, you can create the illusion of more with less room.

You can also create a bulletin board to help you keep your desk clear. By hanging important documents on your cork board, you don’t need to worry about papers getting lost in the shuffle on your desk. You can keep them all right where you can see them.

4. Go Digital

Bulky filing cabinets and drawers can take up a lot of space in your home office. Not only that, keeping hard copies of documents only makes files more difficult to locate and easy to lose. If you frequently need to refer to old documents, or you just have a lot of documents to store, consider archiving them digitally, instead of maintaining paper files.

While there may be some items you need to keep physical copies of, keeping everything else in the cloud or on a jump drive can help you free up space in your home office.

5. Hide the Wires

Having wires running all around your home office is not only unsightly, but also dangerous. Tucking your wires away or even hiding them with a decorative cord cover can help you keep your wires under control and your home office more organized. You can also use some clever tricks to hide your wires, such as using mini clips to secure them to your desk.

You may also choose to use wireless printers, keyboards and other pieces of tech. While you’re probably not able to go completely wireless, minimizing the amount of wires can help you maintain a clear work space.

6. Make Smart Colour Choices

When trying to maximize your home office space, you may not think about the colours of your walls. While certain shades won’t actually make your office bigger or smaller, they certainly can create that illusion. If your home office is a dark or overpowering colour, it may feel smaller than it truly is.

If you want your home office to feel bigger, consider painting your walls a lighter colour. Creating a focal wall can also help you include colour in your home office while still making the space seem larger.

7. Don’t Forget Lighting

Proper lighting can truly make or break your home office space. If you don’t have the right lighting in your home office, it can feel small, dreary and lifeless. But if you create a well-lit space, you’ll look forward to going into your office every day.

Consider a mix of overhead lighting and desk or floor lamps. Be sure you have enough lighting on your desk, but that it isn’t so bright that it makes it difficult to focus. You should also try to get as much natural light in your home office as possible.

Creating the right home office can take some trial and error, but understanding what works best for you will be worth it in the long run. If you’re trying to get the most out of your home office space, consider these tips — but don’t forget to get creative!

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum

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