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Working from home is a growing trend. You have the freedom to work when you want, as much as you want.

You can take the afternoon off to watch your son’s soccer game or attend your daughter’s dance recital.

Many people see this as the ideal situation and work hard to achieve the goal of having a home office. But what do you do when space is tight? How do you create a workable office if you don’t have an extra room?

What’s Your Budget?

First, decide what your budget will be for the home office project. A large budget might allow you to enclose your garage or finish out a sunroom or basement. A popular trend is using a small shed in your backyard that you convert into office space. But these ideas are costly and often not possible.

Smaller budgets require more creativity. This is especially true when you’re already cramped for room in your apartment or a small house.

The second step is deciding what you need in your office.

What equipment will you need? A computer, a printer, a desk or table with workspace?

Once you know how much money you have to spend and what you’ll need in your home office, it’s time to make some shopping decisions.

Finding the Space

  • Look around your house and get rid of things you haven’t used in over a year. This can clear up some extra space and raise some cash.
  • You may need one space to serve multiple purposes. Do you have a guest bedroom with a queen size bed? Get rid of the bed and buy a pull-out sofa or a futon. The room can act as your office except for the few times a year you have family or friends staying.
  • Your house may have a formal dining room that you rarely use. Sell the big table and buy a desk.
  • A storage closet can be turned into workable office space by using some imagination.  When you’re done working you can close the door and no one knows your desk is messy.
  • You may be able to create work space under a stairway.
  • Carving out a corner for your office in your bedroom or family room is often the only solution.

Using the Space Efficiently

Here are a few ideas for using your space efficiently:

  • Have storage containers to keep everything organized. This will keep your paperwork from overtaking the space and looking messy
  • Use online resources such as Dropbox to store and share your work
  • Buy books on your Kindle or Nook to reduce the need of bookshelves.
  • Get printer with multi function capabilities so you don’t need seperate machines taking up space.
  • Put a cork board on the wall for notes and reminders
  • Store pens and paperclips in a drawer organiser
  • A white marker board is good for capturing your brilliant ideas or helping you remember important deadlines.
  • Floating shelves can provide extra space by going tall instead of wide.
  • Folding a desktop down from the wall can provide extra work space when needed, but can be put up out of the way when you’re done. You can use hinges to secure it to the wall.
  • Modular units can be purchased in many configurations that will appear to be expensive built-ins.
  • Let everyone in the family know this is your work area and when you’re here you can’t be disturbed because you are at work
  • Keep everything in its place so you don’t have to spend your work time looking for things.

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