Thursday, December 9, 2010
Avoiding the home office? There, there, now.
Do you have an office in your home for your business? Better yet, do you own a home-based business? Now, be honest: Do you DREAD going into that home office to work?
Many an entrepreneur's creativity and productivity have been stifled by their depressing surroundings. The good news is that if you spruce up your surroundings, you generally energize your professional output as well.
Start 2011 off right by making these "environmental tweaks" to your office now:
1. Get organized!
Purchase pretty baskets or canvas bins at your local discount store and organize your "stuff" that inevitably accumulates in the office. A friend of mine runs a marketing business out of her home (photo above) and has canvas boxes with lids for everything from software, office supplies and note cards to crafting projects and homework supplies for the kids. She uses larger canvas baskets for computer hardware, cords, cables and all the things she wants to hide from view but easily find when she needs them. So, what used to be overloaded and crowded bookshelves are now neat and easy to find "treasure boxes of supplies" (her term, not mine!).
2. Slap on a fresh coat of paint.
Google any decorating blog and at top of every low-cost-high-impact decorating to-do list will be "painting." Changing up the color of your walls can make your furniture, artwork and even mouldings look new and different. Before painting, make sure you wipe down the walls to get rid of what is likely years worth of build-up. But don't fret! Here's a handy little trick to try: Wet a Swiffer cloth, attach it to your Swiffer long-handled floor duster and run it up and down your walls. Voila! It's amazing (and the best tip I learned this year!).
3. Re-arrange your furniture.
You don't necessarily have to buy new furniture. Just try to "relocate" the furniture you have. Hate the thought of moving furniture again and again until you get it just right? Well, referring back to my little anal-retentive marketing friend, give this a try: Measure each wall in the room, (including the proper location & size of windows, doors and the like). Then, measure the length and depth of each piece of furniture. Using some graph paper, draw the room to scale (properly placing windows, doorways, etc.). Using the same scale and some construction paper, cut out pieces of furniture. Now play (it's like a grown-ups Barbie Dream House!). Try different placements within the room, taking into account ingress/egress, lighting, etc. You'll happen upon a layout you like and your helpers will be thrilled that they only have to move heavy items once! Oh, and another tip: Try to leave enough space between furniture pieces and walls for your vacuum to do its job.
4. Speaking of lighting...
Another small change that can make an enormous impact in a room is proper lighting. Ideally, you are in a space that gets some natural light, but with or without it, proper overhead, decorative and task lighting is essential to both productivity and mood. The lighting should be installed with attention to its adequacy at different times of the day and night. In addition to being kind to your eyes and helping your productivity, there is something to be said for the feeling of being bathed in the warm glow of light.
5. And MY favorite part: WINDOW TREATMENTS!
Even if everything else in your room is neutral, your window treatments are your chance to infuse your personality and style into your room. Whether through color, texture, layers, coordinated pillows and seat cushions and the like, this is where the drama, softness, creativity, fun, charm or other tone you are trying to create in the room is showcased. Ideally, you want to work with someone who has access to a variety of different fabrics and materials for you to experience, and who is not afraid to guide you in choosing the custom ingredients for your pièce de résistance!
Five steps. That's it! Now get busy and here's to a productive and creative 2011!
at 6:25 PM