Staying organized while running a business from home
Running a business from your own home can be a real boon. You don’t have to pay to rent a separate office space, you skip lengthy commutes, and you may even save money on property taxes.
However, if you’ve worked from home (WFH) for any length of time, you’ll know that keeping your work and personal life separate can be a real challenge. It isn’t long before you start finding packaging in your living room or begin to answer emails while you should be relaxing with your family.
Take control of your workspace by getting organized. Even a few simple steps, like creating a cloffice, can help you regain a sense of calm and keep your home clean while operating a business from home.
Separating Work and Play
Working from home can give you more leisure time and help you save on expensive rent for coworking spaces or offices. However, the dream of WFH can quickly turn into a nightmare if you fail to separate work and play.
Start by “zoning” your home into business rooms and relaxation rooms. This will create a powerful psychological boundary between work and rest that will serve you well during the busy work week.
If, after “zoning”, you realize that you have unused rooms, consider creating a dedicated space that you can visit when on “break” from work. For example, if you love nothing more than getting lost in a good book, consider creating a reading room.
Creating an at-home break room means that you can rest from work without having to get caught up in family matters during a stressful workday. This can be a lifesaver as a business owner, as you already have enough on your plate without having to cook lunch for your partner in the middle of your work day.
Separating work and play can help you avoid legal trouble, too. For example, if you have started a baking business, you’ll need to keep all your professional pots, pans, ingredients, and baking trays separate from personal-use items. Having business-only equipment will be helpful when it's time to file taxes and can save you some serious headaches when your kids decide they want to cook up a cake.
A home office is essential if you want to run a business from home. It’s all but impossible to be productive if you’re working from kitchen counters, living room couches, beds, and dining room tables.
Currently, homes with an office are in high demand. This is largely due to the rise of remote work and the shift towards suburban living. While you can’t control macroeconomic factors, you can make it easier to find a house with a home office by looking in metropolitan areas. Metropolitan properties have fallen in value in the past few years, meaning you may find a perfect business home in the city today.
Once you’ve secured your home office, you’ll need to prioritize storage and find creative ways to make more out of your square footage. Start by laying out your essentials (desk, chairs, bookcases) then think vertically.
Going vertical can make use of previously unused space. Install hanging storage units and wall hanging units to free up room on the floor and open up your area. This will help you pack more items into your space and will innately organize the room that you use for work. If you have a taller space, consider installing some sliding ladders to reach the shelving. A sliding ladder takes up minimal floor space and gives your home office a dignified, academic feel.
In an ideal world, you’d be able to keep the reams of paperwork and files on a digital database rather than cluttering your home with documents. However, as a business owner, you are almost certain to receive paper versions of important documents.
Make the most out of your storage space by personalizing the boxes, filing cabinets, and containers that you use for important documents. If you have the budget, consider bringing in a craftsman-like a carpenter or a joiner to create fitted storage units. A bookcase or fitted cabinets will make your space that much easier to manage and can add serious value to your home.
If you’re working on a tighter budget, keep an eye out for budget ottomans and credenzas. These furniture items serve a dual purpose and can transform your office into a space to meet with clients and business partners.
Operating a business from home can be challenging. However, turning your spare room into the WFH setup of your dreams needn’t break the bank. Start by zoning your home to separate work from play. Once you’ve established clear boundaries, focus on installing sneaky storage like hanging shelves and overhead cabinets. This will free up space for luxury items like ottomans and fitted cabinets that will add value to your home and make you proud of the space where you work.