Creativity needs fertile soil to flourish — whether you’re a graphic designer, a content writer or an artisan who is creating beautiful objects. One of the most important things that allow your creativity to thrive is maintaining a peaceful, serene and neat workspace. As many, if not most, creatives work from home, it can be a bit challenging to keep stuff under control and to maintain that calm, peaceful and neat interior that ensures productivity and efficiency and yes, creativity. Here are some ideas on how to carve out the perfect space for your work at home:
- Take time each week to declutter your workspace
Whether you’re lucky enough to have an entire home office or home studio for your work, or you managed to organize your workspace in a corner of your living room or bedroom, it’s important that you declutter your desk and work-related areas regularly. A great practice is to conclude your work week by sorting through papers, files and other materials, discarding the ones you’re done with, and preparing your workspace for the following Monday. This strategy applies not only to actual physical stuff, but to emails and electronic documents as well — peruse everything, answer emails you might have overlooked and set yourself up for a productive week ahead. This end-of-week ritual helps you keep stuff and tasks under control so that you don’t end up stressed and overwhelmed.
- Rent self storage
Working from home has many perks, but it can make life overwhelming at times. That’s particularly true for artists and artisans who use various tools and materials for their crafts — but it can be an issue for anyone, even those who need just a desk and a laptop for work. Whether you need to store a variety of materials and supplies for your work, or you need to free up some space to create a home office, self storage is a great way of keeping your working and living space neat and tidy, and your belongings safe.
Residents of big cities are all too familiar with space-related challenges — let’s take San Francisco, for example, a city well-known for its strong creative industries sector, as well as for its rather small apartments. Renting a 5’x5’ self storage unit in San Francisco hovers around $116 per month, and it allows you to store boxes with various papers and documents, different materials and tools, small furniture, or other items that make your home feel cramped, such as out-of-season clothing or sports equipment. Of course, you can rent a larger unit should your storage needs be greater. Make sure you find a facility that’s located as close as possible to your home so that you can easily drop by the unit to pick up and drop off items. This way, you’ll have your work-related supplies and materials on hand while still being able to enjoy a calm, relaxing and uncluttered space at home.
- Beautify your work area
Don’t underestimate the importance of enjoying your workspace — how could you be creative and productive if the space you use for work is drab and uninspiring? Choose a color palette that speaks to your soul, add small decorative pieces and pictures to personalize the area, make it cozy by using warm materials like wood and textiles, and throw some potted plants into the mix. The more comfortable you feel in your workspace, the more productive and creative you’ll be.
Related article: Improve your performance by improving your work environment.
- Pay attention to lighting
Proper lighting is obviously essential when it comes to your work area, whether it’s a home office, art studio, crafts room, or something else. The first step is to have good natural lighting, so, if you’re in the position to be able to dedicate an entire room in your home to work-related activities, make sure to pick the one that’s positioned to receive plenty of sunlight. If not, try to set up your work area close to a window. Artificial lighting is as important as natural lighting — make sure you use lamps and lightbulbs that allow you to do your work comfortably. Installing a dimmer switch is a good idea as well — occasionally you might need plenty of light for a certain task, while at other times you might prefer a lower intensity of light that allows you to relax or meditate.
- Invest in ergonomic, good-quality workstations and chairs
If you work from home, there’s a very good chance that you are spending almost the entire day sitting, which is bound to take a physical toll on you. Make your life more comfortable by purchasing a good-quality office chair and an adjustable workstation that allows you to work both sitting and standing. A standing position is beneficial in many ways, as it takes the pressure off your lower back — being able to alternate between sitting and standing while working will help you stay comfortable and focused throughout the day. Also, don’t forget to take regular breaks to do some stretching, light exercises and maybe even take a short walk. This helps you both physically and mentally.
The space you work in is of the utmost importance, and if it’s well designed and adjusted to your needs and preferences, it can make a huge difference in terms of productivity and creativity — so make sure you create and maintain a great one for yourself!