Back to School: Setting up and Organizing a Home Office


Back to school is a great time to evaluate all the spaces in your home and how these are functioning. While the debate continues on the success of working from home, we have all learned the importance and value of setting up a home office. A home office gives you a dedicated space to work productively and keep up with the details, papers, and stuff that go along with work and home administration.  There are several parts of setting up your office you will want to consider as you create a workspace that works for you.



Decide on what space works best for you! Some families relinquish the dining room to become an office, some families work well in the midst of the media area.  Decide if you need quiet, paper management, and printing capability, and what tools you will use to work.  You are ready to set up your space after thinking this through.


Desk, chair, and ergonomics

Those who have worked in a dining room all this time might have back pain. Choose an ergonomic option that gives you good support. Lighting for work and Zoom are considerations. Your desk should be ample in size to not only hold your computer but also have space to work. Look at these as strong foundations for a good setup.


Paper management

Function and beauty are both important for your office.  Your command center with mail and actionable papers can be located in this space to keep all paper together. Establish a paper management system for your files with easy access using a file cart or a file bin adjacent to your desk. Lateral file cabinets are easy to access and can also work as a credenza for storage behind your desk.


Bookshelves with attractive notebooks, magazine sorters, and bins help you create storage for each office supply. Projects can be stored on a shelf in an attractive container. This is the spot to store back-to-school supplies for your kiddos to access. Label the storage containers and shelves for everyone to know what is stored and where to find it.



Technology and internet speed are crucial to your success. Be sure to have ample space on your hard drive and fast internet. Back up your computer routinely with an automated system and have a backup internet option in an emergency. Set up your printer and scanner for daily use. Corral your cords with attractive coverings.



Multiple workspaces help everyone be more productive. School-age kids can work alongside you during homework time with an additional chair and laptop. If your partner works from home, an additional desk or partner desk can be a part of this space. You can include headphones for those who need quiet or a microphone for Zoom. Your home office can be set up for you and your family with double duty for your work and homework too.


Setting up your home office will give you the opportunity to be most efficient and productive at home.

4 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I’ve always had my things organized in a desk in my kitchen. However, I found last year, with multiple people working from home (and hence, wandering around), that this wasn’t sufficient. I needed a more private space, especially for my coaching calls.

    So, I called the electrician and had an internet connection put into the wall in a corner of my living room. Not as many people go through this space, and the height of the work surface is perfect for zoom and writing.

    I still store and charge my things in the kitchen desk, but this provides an alternative space when I need focus.

    Sometimes, you gotta think outside the box!

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    The pandemic certainly complicated our work-at-home needs. With many more people continuing to work remotely, having distinct workspaces to accommodate everyone in the home can be challenging but not impossible. As you suggested, the key is understanding what each person needs and how they work best.

    My husband helped me design and build my “Linda” office ten years ago. Aside from it, including my favorite color, all factors were taken into consideration (lighting, chair, storage, files, paper management system, functionality, and technology. I functioned for many years in a less-than-optimal space, so I especially appreciate having an office that is where form, design, and function all mesh beautifully.

  3. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Good point @Seana! We have added a lot of connectivity in a variety of ways in our home offices and other spaces. That is a necessary accommodation given our new access and needs.

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