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Set Up an Office for Your Home-Based Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 23, 2010

Starting a home-based business can be both challenging and rewarding. As your business takes off, you’ll face several challenges, including how to create an effective workspace. Although your new, home-based office may have little space for anything more than a desk, credenza, bookcase, and file cabinet, remember that it’s not about how much space you have; it’s about how you use that space.

• Set up your home office using the arrangement that’s best for your space. Choose among the L-shape, parallel, U-shape, corner, or reverse-corner arrangements. The one you select depends primarily on the size of your office, the type of furniture you have, and how much work surface you’ll need.

• Save space within your home office by using all-in-one equipment that faxes, prints, copies, and scans documents in color. The smaller footprint of these machines makes them ideal for most space-challenged home offices.

• Make each piece of furniture serve two purposes. For example, a lateral file cabinet can contain important documents while supporting your equipment, along with a desktop file holder on top. A storage stool can hold files or supplies inside, as well as provide extra seating.

• Add shelves above or next to your desk to gain more storage space and reduce desktop clutter. A tall bookcase with adjustable shelves can serve as a room divider in a family room or guest room, if necessary. Adjustable shelves make more sense than fixed shelves because they eliminate wasted space above and below the shelves.

• Set up your home office in a way that fits your working style. If you follow "out of sight, out of mind" thinking, use a desktop file holder for your active files. Keep track of supplies by storing them in decorative containers on your bookshelves.

• Reduce piles of magazines in your office by keeping only a year’s worth and storing them in magazine holders by type of publication. When a new issue arrives, recycle the year-old issue. Consider eliminating magazines altogether by subscribing to online versions.

Lisa Kanarek
Author and Blogger

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