Working from home sounds like a glamorous lifestyle, but for the most part the reality lies in a laptop at the end of the kitchen bench, a dining table that no one can dine at any longer because of the piles of paper scattered from one end to the other, or at best a pocket of the home that is termed the ‘office’ but rarely gets worked in because it looks more like a storage container on an episode of Storage Wars. An organised and inspiring home office is a necessity if you want to be productive at home. That doesn’t mean you need a huge elaborate space, but I think a desk that is solely dedicated to ‘work’ and doesn’t have to multipurpose as anything else is a must. I believe that a home office should be equal parts functional and inspiring, but you need to start with the functionality first and then add inspiration and style around it. A functional space encourages organisation and makes it easy to maintain, like my theory on the rest of a home everything must have a place or a purpose.
How to create a functional home office
Take down everything of your desk and organise it into 3 piles
1. Items you use frequently (everyday or at least a few times per week)
2. Items you use sometimes (items you use once a fortnight to a couple of times per week)
3. Items you use rarely but like to have close by (if you haven’t used it in 3 weeks it goes in this pile)
Group 1 items are going to live on your desk or at arm’s reach. If it’s something you use frequently you shouldn’t have to get up and go on a hike to find it.
Group 2 items are going to be stored on shelves or in cupboards within the room. They do not need to live on your desk as they’re not necessities and only create clutter.
Group 3 items are going to to be stored away, if your office is a bigger space and has good storage they may be stored in here, if not look to store them out of your office. If they are decorative items that you like to have out, then use them in the styling section and try to bring them out on a rotating basis rather than all out at once if you have a bit of a collection.
With each group of items, sub group them into piles based upon the product and its size.
EG. all loose sheets of paper together, books and magazines together, small stationery like paper clips/pins together, washi tape together.
By grouping things by size and function you can easily see what size and type of storage you’ll need. Think about how you can collate sub groups together to store them and save space on your desk.
EG. Loose documents can all be stored in a binder folder with tab sections, magazines and notebooks can go in a magazine holder, jars can be used to store smaller items
Boxes are your best storage friend. For anything bulky collate items that are similar in nature (eg. all of your cords and cables) and store in boxes.
Once your home office is functional it’s time to make it a space that inspires you to create your best work. My 3 tips for creating an inspiring home office are
Make it personal
The best bit about it being your home office is only you have to love it and there’s no rules or restrictions. So infuse your own style, think about the colours you incorporate, they might be your branding colours, seasonal colours, a colour that inspires you.
What inspires you
Your home office needs to be a place that you want to walk into each day and encourages you to create your best work. Include elements that inspire you, images, magazine tear sheets, words and quotes. Think about your home office as a full size inspiration board
Bring it to life
Add indoor plants or fresh flowers. Why? A number of studies have shown that working in the presence of plants can improve memory, concentration and productivity, so it’s a win win looking at the gorgeous foliage and ticking the productivity box
Once you’ve created an organised and inspiring home office you’ll want to walk in each day and create your best work, in fact you might not want to leave – you can blame me for that productivity boost later!