We’ve all seen those amazing home offices on Instagram that look like they popped out of a model home. You may have even drooled a little at some of those pictures. Having the perfect home office seems like a dream to aspire to for many of us freelancers and entrepreneurs, but you may need to rethink that a little bit.
Home office tidiness depends on your personality
Pro tip: some people thrive on having chaos in their environment. You may or may not be one of those people, but whether or not you are, you can still use this to your advantage.
You need to know your own personality and habits when it comes to home office tidiness. If you’re like me and you don’t care if you’re surrounded by piles of paper, your podcasting microphone that you haven’t actually used in a few weeks, snacks, and various sundry office and non-office-related items, cool. If you’re more of a neat freak and everything needs to be in its place at all times or you can’t concentrate, that’s cool too. The key is knowing this about yourself and putting it to work for you!
Make your home office usable for you
The goal here is not to have an Instagram-worthy home office. Honestly, if your home office is “perfect,” you may spend more time keeping it tidy than actually doing work in it. The goal of your home office is to get work done, after all, so don’t get bogged down by perfection! If you are a neat freak, your best bet may be to make a minimalist office so that there’s less to keep tidy.
That said, if you do thrive in chaos, make sure to tidy up your home office on a regular basis. I struggle with this myself, so I understand how hard this can be. It’s worthwhile to make a tidy-up appointment on your calendar once a month or every two weeks or however often it takes, though. If you don’t keep things in check, it can get away from you quicker than you may think.
Wherever you fall on the home office tidiness spectrum, just make it YOURS. The minimalist office can actually be quite beneficial for both ends of this spectrum, too. For perfectionists, it means that you can have a pretty nearly “perfect” office without spending all your time keeping it clean. If you work best in chaotic environments, a minimalist office environment can force you to stay tidier because there just isn’t much to get messy! Experiment with different office setups (without spending too much time making these changes, of course) and see what works best for you.
Don’t wait for the “perfect” home office!
So all of that to say, if you do wait for the perfect home office, you may never actually start anything. It’s easy to get caught up in working on the surface of your business rather than getting your hands dirty and doing the work to make that business grow. Crafting the “perfect” home office is a great excuse to procrastinate doing that work, right? After all, once it’s “perfect,” you’ll have the ideal working environment with everything you need at hand, so you’re bound to get so much more accomplished. (Haha!)
Okay, here’s another reason not to focus on that Instagram-worthy office: you can waste a lot of money on cute, “perfect” office supplies. I don’t know about you, but while I usually hate shopping, my two weaknesses are kitchen and office gadgets. I could spend forever in Bed Bath and Beyond or Staples looking at kitchen and office stuff. Because let’s be real, who DOESN’T want one of those amazing TUL notebook systems?? (I sure do!) But if we end up focusing on those office supplies that will make our home office “perfect,” we’ll miss the bigger picture.
It’s easy to beat yourself up when your home office doesn’t look like the ones you see in magazines or on Instagram and Pinterest, too. It’s often the same principal as airbrushed print models, though: what you see isn’t always what you get! You have no idea how long it took someone to get their office looking that perfect. (Or maybe they just got those shots at IKEA!) Who knows if they actually work in that office, either. For all we know, they could have an Instagram office corner and their actual workspace looks like a tornado blew through. Or maybe they do use that office space, but they spend 50% of their “working” hours keeping it looking perfect. Whatever it is, don’t judge a book by its cover – or a girl by her Instagram office.
So let’s not get bogged down by the idea of having the “perfect” home office. Just get to work and let your home office grow with you! Use your home office to actually get the work done and it will be doing its job – and so will YOU.
Leave a comment with your thoughts on having the “perfect” home office! Here are some ideas:
Where do you fall on the tidiness spectrum? Is your home office spick-and-span or does it look like a war zone?
What could you change about your home office to make you more productive?