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Determining How Much Room Your Home Business Needs

May 12, 2008
Before jumping right into a home business, think about how much available space you have in your home that can be dedicated to the business. Many home businesses can get by with very little in the way of floor space and if you do not expect a lot of foot traffic, essentially performing your work on the internet, then you probably do not need a lot of floor space to provide a good working environment.

On the other hand, you do not want your home office space to be so cluttered with your business equipment and supplies that there is not enough room to change your mind. Working in a confined area can be very frustrating and can quickly take the allure off the notion of working at home. Many people really like to spread out while they work and others are happy with just enough space to hold what they need, but whichever personality you have, the space needs to be neat, clean and organized.

You do not always have to settle for the smallest room in the house if you are planning to isolate your office from the rest of the house, nor should you chase everyone out of the family room so you can have a bigger desk and way more file cabinets than you will ever use. Get out your pencil, paper and measuring tape and make a drawing of what your ideal home office space should look like and then adjust it to fit into the available area of the house. It is never a good idea to use the kitchen table as your home office desk, but if you have to use the kitchen, find another table that fits so you don't end up with food stains on your work.

As a general rule you will need a desk, typically about four-feet long along with a chair in order to work comfortably in your new home office. A single filing cabinet for your record keeping may also have a top large enough to hold your computer's printer, fax machine or other type of office equipment, requiring no additional floor space. You will also need a trashcan and a shredder, but finding a shredder that fits on top of the trashcan also saves space and you can find something else to do with all of your empty coffee cups.

Depending on your type of business, you may have a need for a larger table on which to layout larger projects. However, unless it will be used on a daily basis, you can find other accommodations when it is needed. Using the kitchen table once in a while is not forbidden, provided you clean it up before dinnertime.

Realistically, an eight-foot square room may be all you need, but after a few days it may feel more like serving a sentence than going to work. You will want it to be open and airy, but put any windows to the side or behind your chair to minimize distractions. Additionally, never, ever, not ever should you use any additional office space for storage. Once boxes of junk are put in place, they are going to be there for the long haul.
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