8 Steps to Set Up the Ultimate Home/Work Space

published Oct 6, 2017
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(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

As many Apartment Therapy writers and editors can attest, working from home is awesome…as long as you have a home office that actually works for you. It doesn’t have to be big. Just a corner of a room can make a perfect workspace, but there are a few essentials you can’t go without, including natural light, ergonomic design, smart storage and, of course, reliable internet access.

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

1. Set Up Plenty of Storage

It’s hard to work when piles of paper and empty coffee cups are strewn across your desk. Wall-mounted storage pieces are great for small spaces. If you’ve got the room, shelves and cabinets are ideal for keeping books, binders, and papers off your desk, and there’s always the good old-fashioned filing cabinet if you’ve got a lot of paperwork.

2. Let In the (Natural) Light

The benefits of natural light include mental stimulation and regulation of our bodies’ circadian rhythms. Place your desk near a window to make sure you’re getting good natural light on a daily basis. If you’re short on sunlight, see this post on 5 ways to maximize your home’s existing lighting.

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

3. Get Good Internet

You can’t work well if you don’t get good internet service. (Especially when you’re on deadline! “I lost my connection” may be the 2017 equivalent to “my dog ate my homework,” but it turns out editors don’t really care about dogs or bad wifi, no matter how real they are…) The fastest and most reliable option is a fiber-optic network, like Verizon Fios. Just enter your zip code to see if Fios is available in your area.

4. Bundle Your Services to Save Money

Fiber-optic networks serve many types of internet-enabled devices, from smartphones to tablets to TVs. You can opt for standalone internet service, but by bundling your internet, TV, and phone or just your internet and TV, you can save a lot every year — plus it streamlines your payments so you’ll have fewer bills to manage.

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

5. Opt for Ergonomic Design

You don’t have to go crazy with ergonomics, but a few simple rules will keep you healthy while you work:

  1. Choose a comfortable chair that allows you to rest your feet solidly on the floor while sitting. For starters, check out our list of 10 surprisingly stylish office chairs.
  2. Make sure that the top of your computer is at or slightly below eye level.
  3. Place your keyboard on a sturdy surface. As you type, your forearms should be parallel to the floor and your wrists should be neutral.
(Image credit: Diana Liang)

6. Go Wild with Greenery

Just like natural light, plants provide many health benefits. Studies have shown that they help to clear the air, reduce stress, boost creativity and even improve your productivity. No green thumb? No worries; check out this post for a list of low-maintenance plants.

7. Clear the Cord Clutter

As our devices advance, why do we still have so many cords and chargers to deal with? Until cord-free technology is commonplace, make do with solutions that organize and disguise those ugly wires.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

8. Make It Personal

It’s the small things that matter most. Give yourself a little lift every day by decorating with family photos or flowers, or splurge on that notebook-and-pencil set you really love. Don’t be afraid to mix things up; you might consider adding an inspiration board where you can rotate pictures that inspire your creativity.

To set yourself up for success, check out special offers on Fios at verizon.com. Bundling today will get you free HBO service for two years or multi-room DVR service free for two years with a two year agreement. Plus up to a $500 credit to help cover your early termination fee!

This post is sponsored by Verizon Fios.
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