All home offices need two elements: work space and storage space. Your work space is typically your desk. We have found that the ideal desk size is between 48-60 inches long and about 24 inches deep. It’s long enough that you have room to place your computer, phone, coffee and document on, but not so long that it becomes what we call a “flat surface magnet” for clutter.
Desks with drawers are great! But if drawers become a black hole of miscellaneous office supplies for you, then a desktop organizer or pegboard mounted above your desk can be a great way to keep frequently accessed office supplies within arm’s reach.
When you go to place your desk in your office, you might find it most comfortable to place the desk facing the door or at least perpendicular to the door. Most people find it a bit unnerving to sit at a desk with their back to the door and may find that they avoid sitting at their desk if the desk doesn’t face the door.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on office furniture, we recommend you spend a bit more money on your storage furniture than on your desk. Desks don’t need to hold a lot of weight, so they can be made of cheaper materials. But bookshelves and filing cabinets do hold a lot of weight (paper is super heavy!) and they will bend, bow and break quickly with frequent use and too much weight in them.
We always recommend The Container Store’s filing cabinets because the drawers fully extend and they fit nicely underneath a desk.
It’s nice if your home office has a closet where you can place shelves to hold your backstock of office supplies (no need to 20 stacks of Post-It notes in your desk!), your business cards and marketing materials, your reference materials and related hardware and computer equipment.
Lastly, we like to place a comfy, upholstered chair or loveseat in the corner of the home office so people have another place to sit and work on their laptop besides their desk. It also becomes an inviting place to read and write. Be sure to place a good reading lamp and end table near an outlet beside your chair.
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