It’s hard to believe that many Canadians have been working and learning from home for about ten months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to creating a home office or student learning space, we’ve had to get creative to set up a dedicated area. You don’t even have to be a do-it-yourself (DIY) person to make it happen. I’m definitely a “DON’T do-it-yourself” person, however, there are many ways to tap into your imagination, and seek solutions with these simple tips.
Select your space
While you may not be able to add physical space to your home (especially if you live in an apartment or condominium), the first thing to do is take stock of the space you have. Can you get rid of clutter or temporarily move furniture you don’t use often? Consider choosing a corner in your apartment or bedroom and add a small desk and a comfortable chair. You can also use your dining table. However, you have to be dedicated to keeping it clutter-free so you can hide your work and computer when it’s time to eat.
Move on up
You may think that you don’t have enough space for anything other than a desk. However, if you cast your sights on your empty walls and gaze upwards, the possibilities are endless. Add wall-mounted or modular shelves to store books, paper and supplies. Pegboards and bulletin boards are also innovative ideas as your child can easily change what they display to match their semester or their changing style.
Cancel the clutter
Try to maximize the top of your desk space by keeping it clear of papers and debris. Instead, keep items in drawers or use bins to keep them orderly. You can find portable organizing bins at the dollar store or craft supply stores. And don’t forget to think outside the bin! Art supply boxes are amazing to house your child’s pencil crayons, paints, erasers and much more.
It’s all about you
There are many options when it comes to personalizing your office space to make it an attractive study zone:
- Hang vibrant art to energize your space.
- Grab a cozy throw, especially if you practise the Danish tradition of “hygge” (all about comfort!).
- Add items that you already have around your home like small vases, flowers, and your favourite business books.
- Add your children’s artwork, notes from their friends, their favourite TV or movie character, and a motivational saying.
- Add an inexpensive beanbag or comfortable chair that you can move to when you’re reading reports or textbooks, or brainstorming ideas.
Embrace the seasons
Looking for a seasonal refresh? Consider decorating your workspace at the start of each season.
- Add a vase filled with decorative ornaments and battery-operated fairy lights in winter. Stay away from candles and holiday lights as these can pose a safety hazard.
- Spring and summer – tulips, botanical prints, and freshly picked flowers can spruce up your space.
- Fall – mini pumpkins, leaf rubbings and a bounty of jeweled-toned colours can usher in autumn.
Shed light on it
Choose a spot for your desk that gets a lot of natural sunlight. If that’s not possible, make sure you have an office desk lamp to help illuminate the area and prevent eyestrain. Ensure you buy bulbs that are Energy Star certified and meet Canadian government standards.
Create connections to work/school
Try to incorporate your office or school environment. Keep your company’s vision and mission framed; post your company’s tag line; displaying team pictures from your favourite work events; frame a photo of your classmates; and display your school logo.
If you haven’t taken the time to give your office space a little refresh, don’t beat yourself up. Take small steps and soon your home office will feel like the unique you that you are!
How have you made your home office work for you? Tell us in the comments.
This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.