7 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Office

For years I’ve wanted my own home office; a space of my own where I could create, dream and build my business. A space without daily life distractions – you know, household chores, yard work, or, my favourite, the TV. I’ve always found it very difficult to concentrate at home and actually get my work done at a decent pace.

But no matter how much I wanted it I never had the room for a home office. Until now!

We moved into our first three-bedroom home this summer. Nick and I took the master bedroom, Sid took the second largest room, and I claimed the third bedroom, a teeny room at the back of the house facing our little yard, to be my home office!

I’m still settling into my new creative space, trying to find where everything goes and how to make it more colourful and full of personality, but I’m quickly learning there are a few things I need to consider when setting up my home office.

Light

Lighting is so important as a creative entrepreneur. I spend a lot of time drawing and painting and I need to be able to see what I’m doing. I also take a lot of photos of my passion projects in my office, which look better when I use natural light (der).

But lighting is also important because it makes me feel a lot happier. My office has a big window that lets in a lot of natural light, which will really help me feel better once winter takes over.

One thing I know I’m going to need to invest in is more artificial lighting. My office does not have an overheard light and I only have a little, vintage duck lamp in the one corner. It’s a weird, cute light but it isn’t very bright. It’s also up for sale in our vintage shop, so once that sells I’ll really have to go out and get me some more lighting!

Inspirational Art

Every office should have inspirational art!

Depending on whatever your personal style is, you should look for pieces you enjoy and will motivate you to get shit done. It’s definitely one of the perks of having a home office compared to having your own office at a company someone else owns – you can totally decorate it anyway you want! You can paint the walls neon pink, or black and white stripes, and you can display art that’s cute and pretty, or vulgar and humourous. Like whatever you want!

I’m really feeling the need to splurge on some artwork to make this space more inspiring and lively! #Goal

home-office

Storage

No matter what you use your home office for, you’re going to need storage because every home office needs some organization. Y’know, bookshelves, dressers, drawers, filing cabinets and closets. I personally have two small drawers for storing my work in, a huge dresser for storing all of my paper and sketchbooks and camera equipment. I have a utility shelf in my closet that holds bins of craft supplies. Next on my list is a bookshelf. One day.

So, true story. I honestly did not realize how much stuff I had when we moved. All of my art, crafts and business supplies were piled in boxes for a long time, so when we moved and I started unpacking the things I had accumulated over the years, it was kind of like Christmas TBH. I found sketchbooks, pencils, tie-dye, every kind of paper and more. Serious hoarding was going on and I had multiple of things, things there’s no need to have multiples of, because my space was unorganized and I could never find anything. And honestly, that’s just no way to run a business.; it’s wasteful and time-consuming. Don’t let this happen!

Desk

Do you ever feel like people’s desks really say something about them? Well, I bought the biggest desk ever off of Kijiji about a month after we moved in. I knew my office was small, but I wanted a giant desk. Like, a U-shaped desk. I thought of getting an L-shaped desk but it wasn’t big enough. Then I found a giant U-shaped for $50 so that worked out perfect!

The reason I wanted a big desk was because I like to have my work all spread out around me; I wanted to be able to work on big paintings on one end, and blog writing on another end, and still have space for my daughter to create. This desk works for me.

When it comes to selecting a desk for your own space you have to consider what you’re going to use that desk for and how it will fit in your home office. If you have a large room to work with you’re basically free to choose any desk you want, but if you only have a portion of a room, or a small room like me, you might be more limited but you can still find something that will work for you.

For most people a small, rectangular desk is all they need.

Plants

Someone donate houseplants to me! I have a few downstairs but my office is in desperate need of some greenery!

Having plants in your home office will help reduce stress, increase productivity, clean the air and increase creativity. Most require very little maintenance and are basically just a win-win.

Some plants you might want to consider:

  • Aloe vera
  • Spider plants
  • Cactus
  • Succulents
  • Ivy
  • Rubber plant
  • Snake plant

If you’re like me and basically kill all the plants, I can honestly say the above are actually pretty damn difficult to kill.  So there are no excuses. Let’s get some plants up in here! And FYI, I’m currently making my own macrame plant holder which will soon be in my home office! Yay!

home-office-4

Utilize Space

No matter where your home office is – a teeny closet under the stairs, a room all to yourself or a desk in your bedroom – you need to figure out how to best utilize space.

For example, I’ll probably have to find a small bookshelf that can fit under my desk because there really is no where else to put one. Using the floor space under your desk is a great way to utilize the space you have. You should also get shelves or cupboards that are vertical rather than horizontal, or wall shelves, instead of taking up too much floor space. Little things like that really help you make the most out of what you have.

This might take some time, to be honest. You could set up your office, and a few days later realize it really doesn’t work for you. That’s okay, just move it around until you find a set-up that does work.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is so important, yet few people actually consider it when they’re setting up their space. If you’re at your computer a lot you need to think about things like putting your computer at the right distance away from your eyes, sitting at a height that aligns your arms and wrists to your keyboard properly, and finding a chair that isn’t going to hurt your back.


Do you have any tips for setting up a home office?

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10 Comments

  1. These are all great considerations! I am in need of (re)setting up our/my office area. I’m soon going to start a little job at home and there are some requirements which mean I Have to be/stay in the office during my working hours! One of my biggest issues is with storage so that I *can* organize things 🙂

    • cole.n@hotmail.ca Reply

      Thanks! I totally get the storage thing. All of my storage right now is temporary until I can something nicer looking, but at least it’s a place to put things. What kind of job are you starting?!

    • cole.n@hotmail.ca Reply

      Lol! Mine was my kitchen table for years. Even though I have an office I often work from the couch, too lol

  2. I can’t think of anything else for a home office, you covered most of everything. One thing I plane on doing in my studio space/office is to add a floor mat. I am thinking about painting one or just purchasing some sort of rug.

    • cole.n@hotmail.ca Reply

      That’s a good idea! I have an area rug under my desk which definitely helps keep my feet warm but really doesn’t help for a rolling chair haha

  3. Such wonderful tips! I definitely think about all of these when fixing up my office. I am however currently lacking in the storage department though. 😛

    ❀Riah
    The Wanderful Soul Blog

    • cole.n@hotmail.ca Reply

      Thanks! I’m totally lacking enough storage, too.

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