Ideas to Make a Temporary Home Office for Adults OR KIDS!
If you’re a veteran at-home-worker like me, you likely have a well-established home office. However, these days, many people will be trying to carve out space amidst toys, miscellaneous furniture pieces and free-range toddlers. I’m here to help.
Because there are SO many different layouts, personal needs, space and furniture limitations, these ideas are for mass appeal, rather than specific needs and will hopefully get you thinking about how you can create your own special workplace during these challenging times.
IDEA 1 PICK A SPECIFIC SPOT
Take a look around your home and find a spot that is not currently being used for something important.
Remember, this is just for now – not forever. Don’t be afraid to steal some space that’s being used for something else that SEEMS important, but maybe isn’t as important as working space right now
- A closet that isn’t vital to your everyday existence. If you have to clear-out clothes and boxes, do it. You’ll then have at least eight square feet (if not more) of space all to yourself.
- The corner of a secondary room. Main rooms like kitchens and living rooms are often the HUBS of household activity. Check out your secondary rooms to see if there’s a corner that can be re-purposed as your own personal office space
- If you have a large laundry room or mudroom, these can also be great places that are a bit quieter than primary rooms (maybe not when the washer is running, but you know what I mean)
And while I know that space is at a PREMIUM in many homes, if you can help it, don’t choose your island as your workplace. Islands are hubs of activity and if you want to be constantly shuffled and interrupted by kids, snacks and more, then it’s a GREAT place to park yourself. Also, sitting at an island will do a NUMBER on your ergonomics.
If you’re setting things up for kids, don’t use the dining table if you can help it. Space needs to be DEDICATED to work, for your sake AND theirs and this shouldn’t need to be cleared away to eat a meal.
IDEA 2 PRETEND IT ISN’T TEMPORARY
If you get in the mindset that it’s for the long-term (and you never know), you’ll be more likely to put some extra thought into your space, to make it as comfortable and functional as you can while you’re using it.
TIP 1 Buy a half-decent chair
Budget-allowing, buy a proper office chair, rather than stealing a dining chair. You might’ve been spoiled by your office chair at work, and trust the Ginger, if you don’t pay attention, you’ll be sorry in a few weeks. What proper looks like to YOU and your personal needs might be different from mine, but I’ve found that the fuglier the better. Most good-looking, sexy office chairs don’t have the best support in place, whereas the standard black office chairs are often more ergonomically-friendly, even if they are butt-ugly.
If you have kids, ergonomics isn’t always the most important topic, although it still matters. So, if you’re on a budget, grab a chair that’s around your home, but ideally NOT a chair that gets used for other things daily (remember, we’re thinking long-term here, not short-term).
I’ve picked out a few chairs that have almost EVERY ergonomic function you could ask for, short of a wine-holder.
This first one DOES come in other colours…
If you prefer a happy medium between style and comfort, this one is kind of cool and apparently it’s ribbed, for your pleasure…
But if you just want something cute and easy (you’re talkin’ to the right gal), this one would do the trick and it’s a GREAT price…
TIP 2 Buy a desk
I recommend finding one that should you go back to work, you can put it in your kid’s room, sell online or repurpose elsewhere.
Wayfair has some great options for simple, affordable desks, for example:
IDEA 3 ADD COMFORT & FUNCTION
Seeing as you’re already out of your comfort zone and in your pyjama bottoms (or no pants at all if you’re my husband, Tim), it’s important that your workspace FEELS good, and it doesn’t take much to make a space feel special.
BTW, several of these office photos were created from 99% IKEA furniture!
A few ideas for the basic home office:
- Container to hold pens/pencils
- File folder – and make sure you use it, even if it’s not your usual filing system
OR, satisfy the above with a handy lil’ unit like this HERE. You might also want to consider…
- Lamp, especially if it’s a low-light room – THIS ONE is actually really cute
- Corkboard – a lifesaver for all those random papers floating around (affordable corkboard HERE or HERE)
- Whiteboard (HERE). You can kill two birds with one stone with THIS one
- Box of wine and a funnel
- A plant. Mmmm, this one is so important. I’m always shocked at the visual value a plant brings to almost any surface. Steal one from somewhere else in your home, pick one out of your garden or grab a wee one at the store. And I recommend you name it. You’re more likely to bond with it and not murder it due to lack of water if you name it.
If you have kids, have them help. Ask them to pick two things that they’d like at their desk area, pieces that bring them comfort. This could be a framed photo or a decorative figurine (for example).
IDEA 3 HAVE A TIDY ROUTINE
At the end of EVERY day, I encourage you to make it a HABIT to tidy things up. This will pay off every morning as you get to start the day fresh.
IDEA 4 MAKE A SIGN
That’s right, time to get crafty! If you have kids at home, I HIGHLY advise you make a sign, or even better, have your KIDS make a sign, there’s nothing like free child-labour to make the day go by faster. Hang the sign on the door if you have one or on your back if you don’t. This will be VERY important for those times you really have to gear-down and focus. Talk to your kids about why it’s important and what it means when that sign is up – it means there’s NO messing around.