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As a crochet & knit designer / tech editor / web designer, I do the majority of my work from home. A functional home office is critical to me for getting as much done as possible. If you have a home office, or are thinking of setting one up, keep these critical points in mind for creating a premium work environment.

If you crave natural sunlight, don’t set up your office in the walk in closet. I don’t care if that’s where you have space. If you don’t like the space, then you won’t end up using it. Period. Also keep in mind whether you need quiet (something upstairs perhaps) or like to be around the household activity (kitchen area).You may have to compromise some, but you should be able to find something that will work for you.

Unless you’re blessed with an extra full sized bedroom, chances are you will have to store some of your office supplies/materials away from your home office. My home office set up is in my bedroom (on the 2nd floor), but the vast majority of my knit, crochet, and crafting supplies are set up in the basement. How do I make this work? Anything that I will likely use once a week or more gets a spot in the upstairs home office. That means the filing cabinet, pens, graph paper, stitch dictionaries I frequently refer to, a calculator, etc. For items I use less frequently, I keep them in the basement area. You may use a spare closet for your storage, but the idea here is basically that you only keep very frequently used items in the main space and move less frequently used items to the storage area. As a designer, I constantly have a lot of projects going on. I have one bucket I use to hold in-progress projects near my desk. Once a project is done, the remnant yarn gets moved down to the main yarn storage boxes in the basement.

In theory, you want to actually work in your home office. You might think that means it should be bare of frivolous items so that you don’t get distracted. I would actually argue the opposite. Decorate your home office with items that appeal to you. You want to create a comfortable environment where you’ll want to work; not a stifling area that you’ll want to avoid. My father’s home office is the perfect example of this. On the shelves above and surrounding his computer desk are toys- everything from Mr. Potato Head to a stuffed animal from the latest animated cartoon film. He loves being surrounded by toys, and consequently he really enjoys sitting down there to work.

Do you have a home office? What do you think makes it work best? What’s your biggest home office problem? Are you just getting ready to set one up? Do you have any specific concerns?