work

home office suggestions

An estimated three million American professionals never step a foot in an office outside of their own home and another 54% say they are happier that way.
— Kenneth Rapoza , Contributor to Forbes.com
image from CountryLiving.com

image from CountryLiving.com

This idea of work-life balance is a relevant topic in our culture. Many of our jobs are shifting to places outside of the traditional office. Often times, this means our homes become our offices. This offers us incredible freedom while at the same time presenting new and unique challenges. Your home or apartment may not have a full scale office, suitable for all of your supplies and the space you need. Whether you have an entire room, a closet, a nook or just a desk- here are some suggestions to make your workspace work for you! 

PURGE

Chances are, your work space may have accumulated excess items that don't really add function or beauty. Those things can go. Challenge yourself to fill a box or trash bag with items that you don't "love" for your home office area. By freeing yourself up, you will be better able to enjoy the pieces you keep. The decrease in clutter may help to allow mind space for more creative or productive work. 

WHAT'S IMPORTANT?

Gather the necessities to complete your unique workspace. Think through the items you need: a computer, telephone, files, calculator, pens, calendar, etc. If a primarily empty desk space is important to you, consider shelves and storage under your desk. If you like to visibly see all your key tools for the work day- find a tray to contain those items or an open shelf above the desk. A few items of inspiration can allow you to not only use your space efficiently, but to enjoy it. Do you love art, books, words, or white space - incorporate it into your work area. 

CHALLENGES

image from RealSimple.com

image from RealSimple.com

  1.  Limited on space- incorporate a folding screen to divide a room into two separate spaces.

  2. Cord control- use this system to keep cords in place.

  3. Mailing station- pretty baskets or containers can keep your various mailing supplies together. 

home office must-haves

Whether you work from home full time or not- chances are you need a space to handle paperwork, pay bills and get personal tasks done. We have a few suggestions for your home office space, even if you don't have a separate "office" room in your home. We know that space, furniture and budgets are all constraints here but we hope these ideas help you create a space that is productive and also a space that you love. Here are some must-haves for your office space.

SUPPLIES

  • Notepad- If you are on a call or making plans, you need a place for those thoughts and numbers to land. Maybe a legal pad or clipboard would work for you, or maybe you are a sticky note lover. 

  • Stationary and mail- Having the essentials on hand will set you up for success. Stamps, note cards, return address labels, and envelopes are the keys. 

  • Pens- It's always helpful to have at least one highlighter and Sharpie available. Find your favorite writing tools and stock up so you don't spend time searching for them. 

  • all the littles- We're talking paperclips, staples, rubber bands, tab dividers, etc. A drawer with dividers and different size containers is the perfect home for these supplies. Or if you'd prefer them to be visible, pick up a stylish tray to place on top of your desk as your "control center". 

SYSTEMS

  • Contact Information- When you meet a new friend or get a business card, what do you do with that information? Create a system that works for you, maybe you have an album on your smart phone where you take pictures of the business cards you collect. Or maybe you have a box that functions as a  small filing system (alphabetically by name or type of service they offer) for contact info. 

  • Calendar- Similar to contacts, you have the choice of paper or electronic. Some people like to use both. The great thing about using your phone calendar is the reminders and alerts that keep you on track. Planners and agendas are great for seeing your week at a glance and scheduling your days. Here's a link to some fun printable calendars. 

  • Files- Again the question of paper vs. electronic is up to you. If you purchase an inexpensive scanner, you can digitally upload all of the papers that you need, in folders on your computer. If the traditional paper filing system works for you, go for it. Make sure to get folders that will allow you to separate and categorize the items you need to organize. Think colors, labels and dividers here. We love working with clients to come up with a personalized system that works best for you. 

COMFORT & INSPIRATION 

  • Seating- Never underestimate the power of a comfortable chair. What you can do in a nice padded seat compared to a hard and rigid chair will surprise you. It's worth looking for just the right chair and spending a little money on. If you enjoy standing while you work, look into standing desk options. 

  • Natural Light- Windows are ideal in any space that you will be spending time as they allow the sunlight to warm the room, energize your mind and get you going! If windows aren't present in your space, find a few lamps that will create warm and inviting light. 

  • Plant(s)- It's life-giving to have a real life plant in your workspace. It's something to tend to, but it also reminds you of growth, our need for nourishment and the fragility of life. Find a little low maintenance succulent to start with. 

  • Inspiration- We feel strongly about creating a space you enjoy. As you dream up this home office, what are the colors you love? Decorate with a few of your favorite prints or art pieces.


If a home office seems unattainable or like a far fetched dream, let us come help create an office space in your home with you. We love empowering our clients through a personal and orderly work space. 

Before

Before

After

After

Also, don't miss our Labor Day Special - One FREE Month of Organizing when you sign up for monthly organizing this weekend! 

On the job

January has been full of fun for HYD. We've had the privilege of organizing two home office areas, several closets, a couple of kitchen pantries, creating a playroom, overhauling a sunroom, and we're in the middle of helping organize, pack, and remove items from a mother-in-law's former condominium.

Every job has had it's own challenges and each homeowner had their own ideas and plans for the space we worked in. This is the part of our job that calls us to be good listeners and creative problem-solvers. We want to invite you to join us through our journey with some of January's clients thus far & let you see some of the photos and the reviews & quotes we received along the way. Because maybe you'll see yourself or a loved one who could truly benefit from a helping hand like the one HYD can give.

HOME OFFICE

Our first stop is a home office redo of a working mom of three school age kids. She's got a great space to work with, a tight budget, and an eagerness to get a system. Our goal was to not only create the space, but put in place routines that will help keep it ordered and functional while not breaking the bank on all kinds of new gadgets, storage containers, etc.

Before - Home Office

Before - Home Office

In the before, you'll see lots of extras lying around that aren't related to the office. With a little clean-up, purging, and rearranging (plus finding a fantastic donated shelving unit) we were able put together a much more functional area for the whole family to utilize.

Home Office - After

Home Office - After

The only purchased items to finish off the space were the woven file box on the bottom shelf of the shelf unit and the wire tray on the desk for active bills, school papers, and to do items. All the other baskets, frames/photos, etc the homeowner already had. We look forward to checking back in with her to see how things are going.

I actually sat in here and worked this week!
Money well spent!! So great to have these ladies help organize my space and take control of my domain again!!

SUNROOM

First of all, what a wonderful space to work in! This client was overjoyed to get to cash in her gift certificate she won in our December giveaway by asking for our help in creating a sunroom for reading, thinking, snuggling, and just enjoying. We were more than happy to help. Having just moved into her new home with her husband and two littles, she was very open to suggestions and ideas of how to make the space work best. She had lots of family furniture pieces to work with along with a wonderful selection of plants given to her by her late grandmother.

Sunroom - Before

Sunroom - Before

Again, such a fabulous room to work with but it can also be a challenge when you have so much room to want to fill it up with furniture, plants, and accessories just because you have the space. If we're going a peaceful getaway type room, cozy and comfortable are part of the goal but order and simplicity must be included as well. The plants also bring great color and life to the room but too many can cause the room to feel messy. We took great care to find the right plants for the right spaces throughout the house so that each one can be enjoyed and properly cared for.

Sunroom - After

Sunroom - After

Once we walked through the house and basement to see what furniture pieces we had to work with and where some of the extra plants could be enjoyed in the house, we then started the great rearrange! Creating a breakfast nook for quiet mornings, a desk near the windows for thoughtful contemplation, a couch and seating area for great conversation, and added a much needed bookshelf (located on the left wall) to house all the books for snuggling up and reading.

HYD was SUCH a gift to my house! They created space where there was only plants and stuff mashed together. They created atmosphere by giving important items a perfect place to fit in the sunroom. HYD also gave me “permission” (you know how you cling to things that should be let go of?) to get rid of. Now I can’t help but to walk into the room and just look around in awe, loving my new space, and enjoying sharing it with whoever drops by. Thank you SO very much HYD! I will be recommending you many times over (and asking you to come again for sure!)

PANTRY

The last leg of our journey today takes us to a home of a family with two little ones and twins on the way! Lots to prepare for here. As mom and dad plan ahead, they know systems will be one of their greatest allies in surviving four little ones. HYD took on the kitchen pantries. With limited cabinet space, these homeowners need to make their two pantries work well. Our job was to make sure everything had a home, it was easy to access, and the littles had kid-friendly items down low so they could get their own snacks, etc. Below are the before shots of each pantry.

Once we got a good look at all the items in each pantry, we realized that we needed to consolidate, purge, and regroup many of the items. We designated the pantry on the right as the snack and non-cooking pantry. It's full of the grab-n-go items like snack bars, juice boxes, dried fruit, crackers, nut spreads, etc. Easy for the babysitter to find what he or she needs to feed hungry preschoolers.

The pantry on the left is now the designated appliance and cooking pantry filled with appliances, canned goods, pasta, root vegetables, cookbooks, and other small appliance-type accessories like batteries and light bulbs now contained in clear storage bins for easy access.

Adding the storage containers to the grab-n-go pantry was key. It's much easier to access the items, see what you have, and if labeling is your thing, the blue area on the front of each container is a dry erase area for easy labeling. 


This is just a glimpse of what we've been up to this month. We hope you've gotten inspired to find that space in your home to tackle and bring new life to. Creating order where there was once none can be such a springboard for freedom in other areas of your life as well. Don't wait, make room in your schedule today to purge, reorder, and create the space you've always longed for. If you need help, we'd be glad to give it, whether it's a little or a lot.