If you live in a small apartment, you may be intimidated by the thought of working from home. However, if you take things one step at a time, you can turn even the most limited living space into a productive, creative, and balanced work area. Here are some of the best ways to create a home office, even if you’re living in a temporary living space that you don’t own.
Designate (Even a Small) Space
Practically every home office article starts with something like “designate a workspace” — and with good reason, too. If you don’t want your work and personal lives to overlap constantly, you need to have an area that is just for work.
This is, of course, difficult to do in a small apartment. Even so, it’s worth trying. But you don’t need to turn your one bedroom into an office and start sleeping on the sofa. You can set up a desk in the corner, work at a table in the living room, or whatever else works for you.
The point is to find one area that is specifically for work for the majority of your workday. This also means trying to keep the couch for recreation, your bed for sleep, and the kitchen table for eating. Keeping your activities compartmentalized (geographically speaking) is critical in finding work-life balance when working from your apartment.
Get Rid of the Clutter and Organize Your Space
Once you have a dedicated space, you can begin to work on creating a functioning office. Before you start setting up desks and plugging in monitors, though, start by giving your apartment a thorough once over.
Begin by getting rid of clutter. Once you’ve cleaned your space, make sure that everything in your office is organized and has a specific place. Also, consider adding various decor elements — such as a painting or potted plant — that can spark your creativity and keep you calm, cool, and collected as you work.
A messy workspace has been shown to significantly influence things like emotions, behavior, decision-making, and even cognition in general. If you want to focus and be productive at home, make sure you have a clean, organized space where you can work.
Finally, once you have your home office space clean, decluttered, decorated, and organized, create a schedule to help you keep it that way. Routines and schedules can be a lifeline when you’re stuck at home.
A good schedule gives you structure and helps you avoid slipping into a sense of apathy. Along with your actual work-from-home schedule, make sure to create a routine for cleaning, organizing, and keeping your workspace functional.
Address Your Environment
There are several other areas of your work-from-home environment that you want to consider beyond organization and cleanliness. For instance, make sure to tend to:
- Lighting: You want to have suitable, quality lighting — with natural illumination included whenever possible — around you as you work. This can help with your emotional state.
- Air quality: You’re going to spend the bulk of your time in your apartment if you’re both working and sleeping there. Find a good air purifier, air things out regularly, and generally work to keep the air you’re breathing clean.
- Soundproofing: You may be able to hear the neighbors from time to time. Keep this in mind when selecting the area for your workspace. Also, try to use things like curtains and weatherstripping to create soundproof barriers. You may also want to have a good set of sound-canceling earphones handy, too.
Lighting, air, and sound are all essential aspects of your work environment. As such, they should be kept at the highest possible quality in your at-home workspace.
Finally, remember your workplace ergonomics. You may be hesitant to invest in fancy office equipment, but this is one of the best areas to spend your money — particularly as a renter.
You don’t want to make major changes to your actual living space in the name of a home office, as you may be living in a different location before long. However, a sitting and standing desk, a chair with lumbar support, or an ergonomic mouse and keyboard are great investments you can take when you move.
Making the Most of Your Apartment Office
Living in a small apartment can feel stifling, particularly if you also have to work from home. However, if you take the time to create your home office thoughtfully, you can make the most of even the smallest spaces.
Always start with a dedicated space, no matter how tiny. Declutter and clean both initially and regularly. Tend to things that are in your control, like lighting, air quality, and basic soundproofing. Also, take the time to invest in decor that inspires you and helps you focus as well as ergonomic work equipment.
If you take your time and spend your money wisely, you can turn even the smallest apartment into a work-from-home haven that is uber-productive and optimized for work-life balance.
We hope you found this blog post Creating A Home Office in a Small Apartment useful. Be sure to check out our post The Perfect Home Office For Working Remotely for more great tips!
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