Help a tiny nook work harder for you. If you’re spending more time away from the office, you need to make the space you do have feel more versatile. It turns out that you don’t need a separate home office to get it done. Take a cue from Emily of Small Stuff Counts and find some home office inspiration from her DIY—transforming a forgotten corner of a room into a spot where she can work, craft, or pay bills. This open space plan also makes it easier for parents to work while still being able to keep an eye on the kids.
“When we first moved in, our front room was this awful yellow color and it became this place where all our furniture and junk accumulated,” says Emily. “I really wanted to create a space to work, get rid of the clutter, and paint over the yellow. While I absolutely needed a place to work, because I work full time from home, I still wanted it to feel open and be a multipurpose space for my family. Plus, it’s the first thing people see when they walk into our house, so I wanted it to look pulled together.”
Emily got to work ripping up the old carpeting and replacing the flooring, but she also painted the walls white using one of our most popular colors, Whipped. A warm white, it didn’t feel too sterile but still helped brighten the room and gave it a cleaner overall look and feel—even with toys scattered around.
Solving for visual clutter in a space helps a room look more pulled together, so she also upgraded to a desk with storage and a sideboard that tucks away all of her office supplies and crafting gear. “Now, I feel like the space is so much brighter and it lets me hide and organize everything I need without putting it too far away,” she explains. There’s also plenty of space for her toddler to play now too!
While there’s definitely challenges to balancing working with your kids at home — mainly keeping kids quiet and entertained enough so you can hop on the occasional call or video chat — there’s ways to work around it.
“Keeping her close to me while I’m working lets me keep an eye on her and this modified home office allows her to be stimulated with crafts and playtime throughout the day,” says Emily. Here are a few smart ways that everyone can balance work and play!
Emily’s Best Work from Home Tips:
- At the beginning of the day, she jots down a few activities that her toddler can do on a sticky note at her desk. “Coming up with ideas before I’m in the middle of something really helps me switch gears at a moment's notice,” she says.
- Move toys around so your kids can play near your desk and switch up what toys are available to them. When you rotate your kid’s toys (keeping only a few out and tucking the rest away) it creates excitement when the new toys come out of storage.
- Take breaks and switch between more passive and active activities. “If my daughter is coloring for a while, when we take a break we try to go outside and do something where we both move around,” says Emily. “It helps us both!”
- Treat your schedule more flexibly and work when you can. Emily explained that she does wake up earlier than the rest of her family to get in more focused work time. It also frees her up to take more mini breaks throughout the work day.
Related: If you love this home office makeover, you might also like 5 Must-Haves For A Productive Work-From-Home Space.