Home may be where the heart is, but sometimes the business lives there too. Not the kind of business you should leave at the office, but the one where business and home are one in the same. It’s just one little version of work-life balance, for work-at-home moms, it’s all about efficient use of square footage (and a few rules).
1. Set up a coffee or card table in the corner of the dining room or just off the kitchen. Make sure to allow a buffer space for drinks and food.
2. Repurpose a breakfast nook as a close-by work area. A steamy morning beverage and work go together like a wink and a smile.
3. Use a laundry shelf or kitchen cupboard to store in-process papers and office supplies. Motivation to de-clutter, yes?
4. Use one corner of your bedroom as a little office nook/area. Some people advise against mixing your workspace with your sleeping space, but I say it may be the only square footage you have, so make the best of it. And then go to bed.
Make Your Own Workspace
5. Designate one side of a bookshelf as a stacking area for your books and materials you need to access. There’s no law that says a piece of furniture can only be used for its intended purpose. If there was, all those home ideas on Pinterest wouldn’t exist.
6. A large, smooth board set across an armchair was my saving grace for cutting, pasting, and creating classroom supplies when I was a teacher. It allowed me to watch a movie while getting my getting the work done. Use the same thing, or an old tabletop. When it’s not being used, store it behind a bookcase or under a couch. Nowadays, companies call these “lap desks,” and charge money for them.
7. Place office supplies in several locations of your house for easy access: the kitchen junk drawer, a decorative box on a shelf, and in your nightstand.
8. Purchase a home office cabinet with a pullout shelf to use as a desk (and doors that close on the whole mess).
9. Put your current work projects in a decorative box or crate to carry around as needed. It’s a nice catchall when you need to clean up quickly, and can be set in a corner as part of your home decor. It’s thinking of out the box. Or in this case, inside of it.
10. Store paperwork and office supplies in a business briefcase or bag you can carry around the house. You can always hang it on a coat hook when you need it put up and away. Haul it to the car for those long, long waits in the school pick-up line.
Lay Down the Law
11. Make a Hands-Off Work Rule. Just like the one for those porcelain figurines you have on the hallway mantle. It won’t always work (check out this post at Flavorwire.com, and scroll down to the….5th image. Yep, there it is). Thank you, Tina Fey, daughter, American Express, and the photographer who took that photo. That’s what the home office looks like with kids, even when there are rules. Also, be inspired by how messy some of those offices are. Those people are successful at doing what they love.