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Setting up for Success in Your Home Office

Last week I moved my home office.  I am still at home, but just in a new place.  When I first started my business, I took over an alcove on the first floor.  For a little over a year, I called this tiny space home.

Recently, I outgrew my alcove.  That coupled with my kids’ growing need for a computer-friendly space for homework and dare I say it, my need to set boundaries at home between work and family life forced the move.

It was determined that my headquarters would take over a 2nd floor room that basically remained unused.

Transitions are often hard for many people, especially when it involves leaving a space they are comfortable working.  My old space was all carved out and had a fabulous built in desk area and a lot of shelves and I was used to it!  My new space was barren.  I needed a desk and some seating and shelves and a bookcase and a phone line to start…

Additionally, moving my home office meant that I had to go through the PARAMOUNT stack of papers on my old desk.  I can assure you that this was a task that I had put off for many weeks.

I am proud to say that I did it, bought a desk, got the phone working, and fabulous new seating if you happen to want to stop by.

Here are 5 TIPS that made setting up my new home office go much more smoothly:

  1. When deciding on furniture, put FUNCTION first. Originally, I picked a desk based on looks until I realized that it offered me very little actual work space.  I ended up choosing a desk that really allows me to spread out.
  2. Put aside a block of time to set up your office. It is too hard to work in an office that is not ready to be worked in, so mark your calendar off for a few hours and prep your work space.
  3. Consult with an expert. I often try the DIY route, and end up needing help anyways which costs me TIME.  I decided to spend a tiny amount of money up front with an ‘organization’ person.  Honestly, the whole project took 3 hours with the help, and my paperwork was cleaned up, office set up and ready to go, and rather than buying new shelves we discovered shelves that I had in the basement that worked perfectly.  By lunch, I was back to work.
  4. Having a door makes a BIG difference. Although my alcove was private, it was missing a physical door.  After only 1 week with a door on my home office, I cannot believe the HUGE difference it makes.  When it is family time, I shut the door and leave work in there.  It was too tempting to brisk by the alcove and check emails and messages.
  5. Keeping paperwork behind closed doors is a major luxury. With the help of my ‘organization’ expert, I transformed a closet into my filing area with shelves and a filing cabinet.  Having a door to close allows me to leave my office looking fresh and neat for meetings and video calls.  If you can do it, I say go for it!

For more on the actual move and the before and after photos, you can visit here.

Here is to BIG productivity and success in my new space and yours…

About the Author: Rachel Blaufeld