Ready to work from home full-time? You're going to need an awesome home office to work at!
Today I've got a few tips for you on how to set up your perfect home office when you're starting a freelance business---plus a handy home office checklist for ensuring you don't miss anything!
Tips for setting up a home office for your freelance business:
1) Assess what supplies you already have.
You might be surprised at what you already have kicking around your home that would be useful to use for your home office. After all, there's no need in going out to get 5 packages of post-it notes if you already have a drawer full of them, is there?
(Actually, yes there probably is. One can always use more post-it notes ;))
Take some time going through your home and bringing out all of the office supplies you can find. Lay them out on your bed or on a large, cleared table. Compile a list of everything that you already have for your office, and then you'll be able to go from there to determine what home office supplies you are lacking in.
Pssst... wondering what home office supplies you might need? Download the FREE home office checklist now.
2) Consider what you need (and don't need!) for your unique freelance business.
After you've compiled your list of what you already have, I want you to pause and think about what you *need*.
You might be tempted to go out and get a white board and clipboards and binders---but even if you don't already have those things, you might realize that those supplies aren't what you even need to have for YOUR unique business.
For example, you might personally prefer to use a bulletin board over a white board, or file folders instead of binders.
Or maybe you have a use for all of those things.
Or maybe you won't need any of them.
Don't be afraid to take a good hard look at your freelance business to anticipate what you might need and what you won't actually need. Every person and business is different---you need to figure out what kind of organizational systems and home office set-up are right for you.
— Sagan Morrow (@Saganlives) August 26, 2016
3) Organize your home office based on priority items.
Once you have all of your home office supplies, you'll want to actually organize everything to get your home office set up!
And here's the trick: don't just put things wherever there's a free spot for them. Nope! I want you to be strategic about setting up your home office.
...and that means to organize your home office based on your personal business needs and priorities.
For example, if you use the stapler a lot in your business, don't hide it at the back of a drawer that's difficult to get at. Instead, make sure it's much easier to access. You don't want your workflow to be interrupted just because you can't find a basic office tool!
Consider what kinds of supplies you are constantly reaching for and need to easily access. Keep them within arm's reach and ensure they are always accessible so that your work is more streamlined and on-task.
Get 5 tips for setting up your home office (plus a home office checklist for freelancers!)
4) Create good habits.
How often do you clean and tidy your home office and your workspace?
...Come on now, be honest!
When was the last time you dusted your office or checked what's underneath that pile of mail in the corner that you've been ignoring?
It's HARD to remember to keep your home office neat and tidy, but it will do wonders for your productivity levels! Plus, when you keep your workspace clean and clear of clutter, you will WANT to get started with working each and every day.
Make your home office a haven that you love to be in. One of the ways you can do this is by cleaning and tidying your office space regularly. If you can manage it, try to do it at the end of every day, or in the middle of the day when you need a break from work. Otherwise, be sure to do this no less than once a week, or your home office could get cluttered and messy very quickly!
5) Only keep in eyesight what you really need for your business.
This last trick might surprise you, but it's a useful way to keep your brain focused on your business.
Basically, the idea is that pretty much everything on your desk and around your home office will be related to your business and/or current projects you are working on. Make a point of "hiding" (putting away) stacks of papers or old documents that aren't relevant to the direction your business is taking or the projects you are working on right now.
You might be wondering, "but what about photographs of loved ones, or plants? They don't have anything to do with my business. Do I have to hide them from view in my office?" No! Things like that can stay---just LIMIT the number of them. Instead of having 10 photos of your family, try having just one or two. Limit those little extras so that your home office remains primarily a space for working, while still allowing some of your personal interests/joys in life to shine through.
When you do this, you'll find that you are able to stay so much more focused on your business and the projects at hand, and you'll be less distracted---which means you'll produce higher-quality work. Win-win!