Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fitting a Home Office When You Have No Space

So you live in small house or apartment and now you need a home office either because you are studying, or starting your own business or even have a flexible working arrangement with your boss. The issue is, of course, where are you going to fit this new home office? Very few of us have entire empty rooms waiting for us to find a use for them as a home office.

The good news is that, if you are running the typical computer-based business you really don't need much that much room. In fact with a laptop - you don't even need a dedicated desk area - the kitchen table of the couch will do! For most people tough a dedicated work area is a must - so where to find this.

Re-purposing the spare bedroom is probably the most common solution to adding a home office. Either getting rid of the bed or replacing it with a folding sofa or even a bunk platform will probably give you enough space for ample work room. The addition of an Internet connection, possibly a phone line and good lighting and you are all set to work!

Another option is to take an under-utilized space and re-purpose it. The teenagers never use the basement games room anymore? Sell the pool table and reclaim the space. Eldest son moved out but retained their bedroom "just in case", and so they don't have to move all their clutter - provide free moving boxes.

Alternatively reuse a corner. An under stairs area can convert to a usable office cupboard - or even the corner of a landing or the garage. If you are setting up an office in an area used by others make sure you include some way to hide the space - and to avoid small items - like pens - disappearing. An office behind a cupboard door can be very practical - and when visitors come they won't even know that it’s there.

If space is at premium also look to your equipment: laptops take up far less space than a conventional computer - and these days cost very little more. Also a modern thin-screen monitor is much easier to fit in a corner than the now old-fashioned CRT monitors. If you need a fax, printer and scanner - buy a multifunction unit which will do all these functions in the same space as just one printer. Look for a wireless modem and wireless printer to keep cable clutter to the minimum.

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