If you want to freelance from home, you’ll need a space to get all your stuff done.
Designating a certain spot in your home as your work area is a must when it comes to the motivation and productive mindset you need to work from home.
This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you don’t have a home office. In fact, I’ve been working from home for years without the use of an office.
There was a brief stint after we bought a new home where I had the use of a spare bedroom, but I had to give it up after the arrival of a new baby.
You know what? It’s actually no big deal. I quickly transitioned my desk to my bedroom, and it’s honestly no different from when I had an entire room to call my “office.” I’ve found that it’s not so much the amount of space you have but what you do with that space that matters.
No matter where you’re working, here are some things you need to set up a spot that’s ready for work.
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Claim Your Own Space
While it may be tempting to clear off the breakfast dishes and set up shop on the dining room table, I’d really advise against it.
Setting up your own space allows you to get in “work mode” and makes it easier to separate your work life and your home life, which is an important part of working from home.
This doesn’t mean you need a huge area – just work with what you have. It may be a desk tucked away in the corner of your bedroom or a spot cleared out in the attic.
Think About Your Needs
If you’re trying to find the best spot in the house to set up your work area, take a few moments to consider the type of work you’ll be doing.
If you know you’ll require a noise-free, distraction-free environment for maximum productivity, you’ll need to designate your space far from the playroom or kitchen.
Maybe you’ll be doing a job with a lot of web calls. If so, think about what the people on the other end of the camera will see. If possible, set up your desk so that your webcam points to a blank wall or an unassuming bookshelf.
You’d rather have something boring in the background than a messy bedroom or a cluttered kitchen table.
Find a Good Chair
For a long time, I sat at my desk using a simple folding chair before I finally decided to spring for a typical “office chair.” What a difference! This is a purchase I wish I had made from the get-go.
When you work from home, chances are you’ll be sitting at your desk quite a bit. The right office chair provides comfortable, ergonomic support. This is a must if you’re going to be sitting for long periods of time. I chose a simple swivel mesh back chair like this one.
Consider Natural Lighting
It’s no secret that natural light makes you feel more awake and productive. There have even been studies that show the numerous benefits of natural light in an office setting.
If you can set up your work area in a space near some windows, take advantage of this opportunity.
No such spot in your house? Don’t let the lack of natural light deter you. Instead, invest in a bright sunlight lamp like this one which comes as close as you can get to the real thing.
Another good option is to get a lamp that has adjustable brightness, like this one. The dimmable option is easy on the eyes, which is a nice feature when you’re working for long periods of time.
Get Rid of the Clutter
No matter where you set up your spot, a clutter-free workspace is key to productivity. In fact, Harvard researchers found that a messy desk makes you less efficient and more frustrated.
If you want to be able to concentrate, get rid of all the extra papers, pens, and coffee cups before you get to work.
Create a Filing System
Now not everyone who works a freelance job will be dealing with a lot of paper, but some will. If you do have work that requires things like invoices and billing, staying organized and on top of the paperwork is crucial.
Do yourself a favor and create a filing system before you even get started. This will save you lots of time and hassle in the long run. A basic file box might be all you need to stay organized.
Want something more chic? I just love this filing system because it holds everything together but is stylish enough for anywhere in the home without screaming “office.”
Add Some Greenery
Looking for yet another way to boost your creativity and productivity? Add a plant. A plant not only looks good (provided you care for it), but it can even make you happier. Other studies have shown that plants brought into a work space made employees more productive. Talk about a win-win!
As you’re setting up your home office, I recommend limiting the time you spend browsing sites like Pinterest. While you can get some good tips, you’ll also see lots of setups that are totally unrealistic for your budget and your household.
Don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t overdo it. As long as you’re able to create your own designated workspace to the best of your ability, you’ll be ready to get started on your freelancing journey. Happy working from home!
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