How to make the ~perfect~ home office

Dec 3, 2014

Many of us freelancers work from home -- and that means battling all sorts of tempting divertissements. But with just a few tips and tricks, you can turn your messy home office into a lean, mean, productivity-promoting space! Check out these 10 quick-fixes for developing the ideal home working space; you can thank us after!

1. An important step in building the perfect home office is eliminating all distractions. How important is your kid to you, anyway? Seven years old is probably old enough for college -- ship the little noisemaker off and get some work done.

2. The home office should help you reduce stress -- not increase it! Create a relaxing, Bikram-yoga-studio-like environment by turning up your home thermostat to 100 degrees and inviting half-naked strangers to stretch on your floor.

3. Organization and discipline is key to an efficient workflow. Try loudly berating your files, drill-sergeant style, to make them effortlessly fall in line. If that doesn’t work, insult their mothers. If that still doesn’t work, cry.

4. As any good interior designer will tell you, quality materials are everything. But then, we can’t afford an interior designer, can we? Hahaha. Ha. Ha. Sigh. Want to split the van to Ikea?

5. You know what spruces up doctor’s offices? Bowls of lollipops. Maybe put out a bowl of lollipops and some copies of US Weekly.

6. Set aside a specific space for “work only” purposes. Unless you live in New York City, in which case you live in a closet, store shoes in your oven, and may have to also make your “work only” space your “work+sleep+eating+yelling-at-the-neighbors+trying-to-kill-rats-with-a-broom” space.

7. When you’re a freelancer, a home office can transform into a “travelling home office” with just a few quick alterations -- like putting your home on wheels. Voila!

8. Scientists have found that citrus smells may awaken the senses and invigorate the mind. Keep a half-peeled orange in your home office; occasionally tape it under your nose.

9. Beware pesky “productivity killers”, like Facebook, Twitter, and the mysterious man who leaves a trail of mangled bodies covered in Excel sheets and to-do Post-It notes.

10. Lighting is an important component in creating any cozy working nook. However, the nice police sergeant has specifically told you to stay away from matches.

Isn’t reinventing your home office easier than you ever thought possible? After taking a look at our ten terribly helpful tips, we bet your working space is looking better and better every second! Or if these tips don't hit the spot, why not share some of your own in our Hive, Freelance lifestyle: Best practices!

Kate Hamill is a freelance writer, playwright, and actor. She lives in New York City and consumes a truly frightening amount of Sriracha daily. Follow her on Twitter at @katerone.