By Dian Mills
Whether you work at home full time or just need a place to keep your paperwork organized and pay bills once a month, a dedicated home office space can make the difference between harmonious productivity and disorganized madness. Creating the perfect balance of function and inspiration can be tricky, though, so here are a few great ideas to ease you into operational zen mode!
First, nail down the basics. Where will you locate your office? If you’re lucky enough to have an entire room to dedicate, then it’s smart to invest in a really great lock. Most of your electronic equipment (and all of your personal and business-related paperwork) is likely to be stored in there, so secure it (and your peace of mind) with a Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt. This sleek, attractive lock has everything from an intelligent auto-lock feature (in case, like me, you’re so wrapped up in your business that you often forget to do it yourself) to a built-in alarm that chases off anybody who dares to mess with your door! Find out where to get your digital bouncer at http://consumer.schlage.com . It’s also a good idea to invest in a powerful shredder to keep your information private, even when you don’t want it anymore. The petite Fellowes 73Ci is a beauty and a beast, with a 100% jam proof system and heavy duty cross-cut blades to pulverize everything from sheets of paper to DVDs. Track down your nearest dealer at http://www.fellowes.com.
Now, what are you going to sit on? Are you going to sit at all? Give yourself the option of dancing while you type with the WorkFit-P height adjustable laptop stand from Ergotron. Elegant and ergonomic, this cool mini-desk is the perfect size for your MacBook (or almost any laptop) and is attached to an arm that lets you go from curled up in a chair to doing the Can-Can without missing a keystroke. Free your mind and body at http://apple.ergotron.com . If you choose to remain seated, do your back and buns a favor and set up your seat with Technogel Seat and Lumbar Support pads. Perfectly shaped and lined with an innovative soft-solid gel material, they support and cushion your posterior and lower back to keep you comfy all day (or night) long. Find yours at us.technogelworld.com. You probably have a computer, but how about partnering it with the Swiss Army knife of multifunction inkjet printers? The Brother™ Work Smart™ Series MFC-J870DW prints, scans, faxes, copies and can core a pineapple in three seconds flat! OK, it might not stretch to the coring, but it does the rest with ease. It’s also very compact, sleek and economical enough to make you wonder why you ever did without one. Get yours at http://www.brother-usa.com.
The one thing you’ll use constantly in your office space is the air, so your lungs will thank you for making a couple of smart additions to the décor. A great air purifier is the first step. The size of your space is a major consideration here. If you’ve repurposed a walk-in closet or other wildly cozy space, then the Duux Air Purifier is for you. Small and stylish enough to sit on the edge of your desk, it features a HEPA filter, ionizer, oil tank (to add aroma if the mood strikes) and a softly glowing blue light to keep your spirits bright. Find one near you at http://www.duux.com. If you managed to snag a larger room (or a spot in one), then go for the Fellowes AeraMax™ 200 purifier. This sleek, futuristic-looking model has a HEPA filter with AeraSafe™ antimicrobial treatment that will grab everything from cigarette smoke to the influenza virus for up to 200 sq.ft. It even monitors air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed. Click over to http://www.fellowes.com to find your nearest dealer. Clean air is great, but now it needs a little softening. The Honeywell Design Series Ultrasonic Humidifier is beautiful and quiet, with adjustable output control and enough oomph to deliver an ultrafine cool mist to 500-800 sq.ft. for up to 48 hours per fill (available at most major retailers).
Now that your space is set, secure and snug, let’s brighten it (and you) up! Let’s start with you. No matter what time of day you’re in there, there’s a good chance you’ll be wishing you had a hot, fresh cup of coffee in your hand. The Keurig® K10 MINI Plus Brewing System is small and pretty enough (it’s available in 14 colors!) to fit in perfectly on your desk and strong enough to produce a perfect cup of whatever you fancy in under two minutes. Peruse the parade of gorgeous options at http://www.keurig.com. Now it’s the room’s turn! The secret weapon of the organized is labeling, so name everything in sight with the Brother PT-D200. It’s easy-to-use array of fonts, symbols, frames and patterns (along with plenty of pre-designed label templates in the Deco Mode gallery) let you quickly create a label to fit your mood, preview it in the graphical display before printing and save it for the next time that mood strikes. Available at most major office supply retailers and http://www.brother-usa.com. An office isn’t an office without diplomas and motivational posters on the walls, so frame a few and grab a package of Command™ Picture Hanging Strips. These simple yet mighty little guys will hold up almost anything you want to hang (just be sure to choose the right strip size), then come off easily with absolutely no wall damage. Check out their extensive line of harmless hangers and hooks at office supply retailers everywhere and http://www.command.com. Finally, have a little fun with supplies. You’d be amazed how many bright fun colors pens, pencils, clips, folders and books are available in this season. Leuchtturm1917 has beautifully made, high quality notebooks for all your new office’s needs in an array of colors that will keep you smiling no matter what the day tosses your way. Stock up on all their practical magic at http://www.leuchtturm1917usa.com.
Now that you’ve got a happy, healthy home office, get in there and take over the world (or at least catch up on all that filing you’ve been hiding under the couch)!