No matter what size home you live in, there is always a part of it that you use for work. This might be personal creative work, freelance work, or you might be one of the increasing numbers that telecommute. Your workspace can be a happy place with these fun tips.

Consider The Physical Space

Pick the room in your home that makes the most sense for your needs. If you are a freelancer who has clients over, think about the path to your office and nearest bathroom. If you are an artist, think about your lighting needs. If you are a telecommuter, think about noise when on conference calls.

I realized that I spend more time and have more stuff in my office than in my bedroom. Therefore, I made the master bedroom into my office. It gives me more space, direct access to the bathroom, a bigger closet, and is the furthest away from the living room with all of its many distractions.

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Set Up The Right Mental Space

Pick a theme or a name for your workspace. This helps make it a bit more fun and can help guide your decor. It can be playful or serious depending on your personality or nature of your work. One of my friends calls his space “The Imaginarium.” My relatives have a “Command Center” and a “Sandy Beach Arts Area” to name a few.

My home office is “The Museum” and I am its curator. I rotate what is on display and hang art on the walls. An added benefit is when I find something I want to buy, I can quote the wise Doctor Jones.

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Make Optimism And Reality Friends

The biggest secret that I have learned over the years when it comes to setting things up. If you spend a bit of time planning at the beginning, you can trick your future self into staying organized. When you start out, you have such optimism and energy. It doesn’t last. Your elaborate color coding system and excel file tracking system is no match for the junk drawer and the pile building on your desk.

My desk is set up where I have an inbox basket for “things I don’t need anytime soon, but will file someday” and an “if this basket isn’t empty, you need to do something with this now.” I also have a “no, I need a pen, not sharpie or highlighter” cup and a “which color sharpie or highlighter should I use” cup.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a nearby trash can. It makes such a difference to your mood. This way the empty drink cans are in the trash and not a visual reminder that you are on your fifth energy drink.

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Shiny Happy People In A Shiny Happy Place

You have picked a place, named it, organized it for your lazy self, and now it is time to decorate it. Using your theme, add decor that makes you happy. This might be photos of friends and family, posters, action figures, an inside joke, or some good art. When you look away from the screen, you want to see things that make you smile.

Above my desk, I have some Sherlock posters created by Outnerdme. My desktop wallpaper is artwork by Christopher Balaskas. The knick-knacks on my desk include Groot, Sadness, the Doctor, the TARDIS, the Impala, a couple of rebels on tauntauns, and a little cup that says “EEK” so I drew in a “G” in front of it.

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Here is what following all of the above looks like when I followed these tips:

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The decor was provided by visits to artist alley at various comicons, Loot Crate (regular and Firefly), Society6, supporting various Kickstarters, and the other usual places.

Your Space, Your Way

No matter what you may do for a living or for fun, you can have a workspace that makes you want to be there. A place where no matter your level of exhaustion you can still find what you need. If you are an organizational freak or messy, these tips can help you make your space your “Home Office Sweet Home Office.”

Originally submitted for a Writing Challenge: What’s The Most Clever Life Hack You’ve Ever Learned?

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