When you walk into your home office, what do you see? Probably a desk with a computer, a monitor or two, a printer, headphones, and other hardware necessary for conducting business, along with a bookshelf piled high with papers and projects. There may be a bulletin board or white board thick with notes and to-do lists. In other words, you see a busy office with lots of things to attend to.
Across your home, you may have similar clutter. Stacks of mall, kitchen utensils piled high on your counter, and a dining room table that doesn’t have a lot of room. You might also have cabinets that need work. You can look to have your kitchen cabinets assembled so that you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself!
If this is what greets you when you walk through that door, you may be tempted to turn around and walk out. Of course, you need all that stuff to get the work done, but does it have to take over your home completely? Is there no chance of relaxing and enjoying your space?
Let’s take a look at how to go beyond the notion of de-cluttering and organizing for work efficiency and overall comfort.
A Pleasant Palette: Just like a painter’s palette, your home is a jumble of colors and textures. Your senses are overwhelmed when faced with so much confusion. Putting some order to that explosion of stuff can help soothe you and reduce stress. We’re not talking about cleaning or organizing here; we’re talking about visual calm.
You can easily find inexpensive solutions to create a pleasant palette in your home. This may include using boxes covered in matching or complementary colors and patterns to store the items visible to the eye. You may also want to consider hanging nice curtains over your open shelves, closet, or other work or storage areas. Now when you walk into your house, your senses are soothed with pleasantly decorated spaces instead of crazy clutter.
A Cozy Corner: Small homes don’t typically allow a great deal of space for relaxing, but if you’re creative, you can usually find a corner to commandeer for comfort. Even if you seldom take advantage of your cozy nook during your work day, the sheer vision of it can help ease stress.
Choose an over-stuffed chair and place it in a corner of your home office away from your desk. You can also use extra pillows on a chair to create an over-stuffed chair appearance. Make sure you have an ottoman to rest your feet for a true cozy experience. Include a side table to hold your tea and a book for the perfect place to take that fifteen minute break you’ve been promising yourself. Think about hanging a soft drape between your corner and the desk. Stress can’t help but melt away when you sink into your little corner hideaway.
A Soft Serenade: Your work may require a lot of noise; video and phone conferencing, clacking of keyboards and machines, etc. There is no getting around this stress inducer. However, having some soft sounds in the background has been shown to calm the nerves.
There are many choices when it comes to creating soothing sounds in your home. Playing music is one option, of course. If you can’t concentrate with your favorite crooners singing their hearts out, perhaps some instrumentals would be in order. You may also want to try sound machines. There are many physical machines and computer programs to choose from, most of which have sounds anywhere from waterfalls to crickets to wind to chimes. Having nature or an orchestra serenade your work day can definitely help soothe and relax.
When you feel stressed the moment you go through that door into your home office, you know things need to change. Creating a these simple calming effects will take your home office from a harried horror you try to avoid to a happy haven you can enjoy.