Rethink your office space and how it functions for you

office

Recently, I was on my way to a client’s home. We were finishing up the transformation of his home office. Like many of my home office clients, he had compiled a bunch of mismatched, inexpensive pieces to furnish his office space. This client is a busy man with lots of paperwork attached to the various business ventures he is involved in. He was in great need of different furniture that would make his space function better.

Why do we do this?

We spend on the furniture that fills the rooms of our homes that we seldom use, like a formal living room and dining room. Typically these are spaces that we use for guests. At the same time, rooms that we spend hours in each day, hold our cast-offs. The stuff we didn’t want to get rid of but doesn’t really work for us.

What does this say about how we are treating ourselves?

If you spend a lot of time in your home office each day or you live in the family room or kitchen, look at how you are “living”. If you are putting up with furniture that doesn’t work for you it is probably making your life harder and more complicated. Think about changing things around. You will immediately see and feel a difference.

We spend on the furniture that fills the rooms of our homes that we seldom use, like a formal living room and dining room. Typically these are spaces that we use for guests. At the same time, rooms that we spend hours in each day,… Click To Tweet

Yesterday’s client now has a completely transformed office, with well-functioning furniture pieces. This will make it easier for him to work. Not to mention that the space looks great and he will probably enjoy the time he spends in the space much more.

It has me thinking – maybe my home office needs a change?

 

Need more ideas on how to set up a home office that ROCKS?

Setting Boundaries in Your Home Office

Home Office Safety Checklist

 

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

19 Comments

  1. Janet Barclay on August 30, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Wow, you’ve hit the nail on the head! My office has two pieces of furniture that were purchased intentionally for this room, and the other four were repurposed (one was given to us by a family member who no longer needed it). It’s pretty functional for the most part, but doesn’t feel very professional!

  2. Janet Schiesl on August 30, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Janet. It’s hard to spend money on “just the office”, but I think it makes a big difference in your mindset as a professional. A lot of the furniture in my office was acquired second-hand, but it all functions well. I have enough storage and work space. I have also changed a lot of things in the space as time as gone on, so it still works for me.

  3. Olive Wagar on October 9, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I recently changed my office work space by purchasing two 6 foot tables that I placed in an L shape. One look has my printer & laptop & the day’s current work. The other is my work space with lots of room to put out books & papers as I am working & reading. Along the back are magazine holders that I use as project files for upcoming speaking engagements.
    Works great for me!!

    • Janet Schiesl on October 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Olive –
      Sounds like a great set up. I love having a lot of space to spread out too, so I have a shelf made for my desk. It spans the back of the desk. I am able to put my two monitors on top and am able to slide my keyboard underneath, so I have space to write or lay other things out. I never thought of using magazine holders for current projects. I use wall pockets that are close enough to reach when I am sitting at my desk. As long as everything stays organized, then it works for you.

  4. […] Rethink your office space and how it functions for you […]

  5. Linda Samuels on April 11, 2022 at 8:49 am

    This scenario completely resonates with me. For years (decades,) my office functioned, but not as well as it could have. Like you described with your client, I had “collected” pieces of furniture from other times and they didn’t fit or function well in the space. However, my husband promised to design and build a “Linda space” one day. Several years back, that day came and it was so incredible. He worked with me to create exactly what I needed, sized for me, and in my favorite color scheme. It was a life changer. I LOVE working in my office. I’m more productive and so much happier too. If you’re thinking about redoing your office, go for it!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 5:59 am

      I’m so glad you got an office you love. So many are now working from. It’s time to rethink this much-used space.

  6. Laura on April 11, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Yep! I can relate – I have nice pieces that were meant for an office that isn’t really used and definitely need to upgrade but don’t want to spend the money on office furniture lol! For no good reason! After reading this and the comments it’s really giving me the itch to update and upgrade! 🙂

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 6:01 am

      Great Lauren. I have several “used” pieces but did purchase a desk just for me. I love it and think it helps me be more productive while working.

  7. Diane N Quintana on April 11, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Recently I moved into my new home. I arranged and rearranged the furniture in my office. I pulled in furniture from other spaces that better reflected how I now need my office to function. I am so happy I took the time to do that. I love my office. Every piece of furniture has a purpose.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 6:03 am

      That’s great that everything has a purpose. I need to work on that. I have some things that I wish I could store out of the way, but the closet in the room is already full. I see my own decluttering project in the future.

  8. Sabrina Quairoli on April 11, 2022 at 9:42 am

    Ah, the home office. We tend to transform a space from something else into a home office. So, we may keep the things in there that are intended for other purposes. Thanks for talking about taking ownership of your home office and acknowledging that making a change to a more functional space is taking care of yourself.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 6:04 am

      Your comment reminds me of when I started my business. My “office” was a folding table in the guest room. As time went on I decided that it needed to be an office and not a guest room. We seldom have overnight guests and I use the office every day. I’m so much happier now that the space functions as an office.

  9. Seana Turner on April 11, 2022 at 11:22 am

    I spent a couple of hours on Saturday with a client who is now working from home. We tried different furniture arrangements, and discussed how some of the pieces in her room were not serving her well at all. Basically, she had taken over a bedroom, and aside from the desk, the rest was bedroom furniture.

    After allowing ourselves time to really “think,” we came up with a plan that works well for Zoom calls, and will also make the room feel more like her office. It was a lot of fun, and I think she will feel better working from her space once the new pieces arrive.

    In the meantime, we also figured out some options that didn’t work so well, and even that felt good!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 6:06 am

      Seana, I just commented to Sabrina that I used to work in my guest room. I’m so happy that we converted the space into a true office. It works so much better for me.

  10. Julie Bestry on April 11, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    I suspect the lack of intentionality with home office space comes from the fact that most people don’t set out to have a home office in the first place. When I moved here 24 years ago, I just needed a little desk on which to put my computer with a drawer or two for stationery and stamps. But 20 years ago, when I started my business, it was out of necessity and I lacked the wherewithal to invest in office furniture, and of course we rarely set out to buy utilitarian things unless we feel an urgent need for them. Conversely, when people marry, they (even now) register for china and crystal and silver they’ll never use, and when they buy and furnish a home, they focus on the aspirational spaces, like dining rooms and living rooms out of societal pressure to do so.

    Meanwhile, I sold my overstuffed sofa when I moved cities 24 years ago because it was going to be too hard to get through the narrow doorway and up the narrow staircase in my apartment. For months after the move, I shopped for a sofa until one day I realized, I’m not the entertaining type and I’m a sit-on-the-floor girl. So, cultural expectations be damned, I have no sofa! 😉 And to my mother’s chagrin, I have a third-hand dresser, and no matching bedroom furniture. Meanwhile, I’m 20 years in business and still working, extremely slowly, toward intentionality in creating the ideal office, which uses the space that’s “supposed” to be a dining room..

    I suspect intentionality reflects what you value, in your space and in yourself.

  11. Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2022 at 6:11 am

    Julie, I’m glad you found what works for you. Imagine you purchased a sofa and dining set (or bedroom set) that you won’t use and just have a move around it for YEARS! Much better to have the space in your home work for you!
    I need an office separate from everything else to be somewhat productive.

  12. Katherine Macey on April 13, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    It’s amazing the effect that getting organized can have on mood! Creating a space intentionally instead of haphazardly using what’s on hand makes a difference, and the items that don’t fit can be donated to help someone else along and reduce waste.

    I’m glad your client has an office that puts them in a working mood now!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 14, 2022 at 8:53 am

      Yes. We’ve seen the total makeover effect on TV shows. It does make a difference. Not everyone needs or wants that, but having equipment that works for you is important.

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