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11 home office hacks to get the most out of your study space

By Michael Crump | 01 August 2016

Working or studying at home can seem like a dream for most. Often, it remains just a dream too. But its a reality for some. Albeit, not always a glamorous reality. Online students must replace the classroom with their own home and so setting up the perfect space is super important if you plan on getting anything done.

Books and papers pile up on your desk and create an unsightly mess in the middle of your house as work and play get muddled together and you lose track completely. Don't let that happen to you. Keeping a clean, designated space is key to making the most of your home office area - whether that's an entire room, corner or even just a desk in your house. Getting the most out of your space is tantamount to keeping productivity at an all-time high. That and your own concentration and self-discipline of course. If you already work and study at home, or if you're thinking about returning home for work and study, it's time to overhaul your home office space and get into gear with these 11 Home Office Hacks:

What are some good home office hacks you've heard of before? 

Clip it, Clip it Good

Use bulldog clips to organize cables or old Lego people to hold cables for you. Not only is this a super simple solution to tidying up messy and confusing cables but it also looks really cool. You could dip the clips in white paint to make them a little more *stylish* or leave them as is for an industrial look. Using Lego people is a novel idea too, just make sure the cables aren’t too thick to fit in their hands. Then you’ll just end up with Lego stuck to the side of your desk. Though, that could look cool too. Whether it’s still practical or not is another question.

Get On Up

Convert your desk into a standing desk or use an exercise ball. Use what you have on hand or go all out and buy a standing desk set-up that allows you to switch between seated and standing. The benefits of being able to switch means you can take a break from standing if need be. This means you can ward off becoming physically tired, and not just mentally tired, during work. Using books, boxes and desk tops or shelving is a cheap, easy solution to creating your own standing solution so dont forget to try and make the most of what you already have.

Take Note

Create a DIY chalkboard using a part of a wall or spare timber sheets and utilise any surface you can for note taking. Though you better make sure you can first do that, especially if you’re renting. Temporary paneling is a smart idea and a cheap alternative. This can be as easy as selecting a surface, like a spare sheet of timber or an old mirror and painting it in chalkboard paint or as complex as setting up a temporary wall and turning part of the surface into your new chalkboard and wrapping it in a nice border. For a more temporary solution, look for a roll of stick-on- chalkboard paper.

Put a Lid On it

Use old jars, cans and bottles for storage and place them strategically for more storage. Here, you can kill two birds with one stone by recycling and creating simple storage solutions. Make use of empty jam jars, beer bottles and cans from last nights’ dinner by washing and cleaning them and then filling them with all the stuff lying around your workspace, like pens and clips.

Be a Bookworm

Use hardback book spines to create hidden storage boxes – just keep one cover and one back cover attached. Cut the spines off old hardcover books and glue them to a box, creating a false backing that will fool even the keenest eye. Place them close enough so it looks as if there’s a stack of books and for a real trick, use book ends. There you go, your own secret book box.

Raise the Bar

If you use a laptop, create a stand that elevates it from the desk with PVC pipe. Measure and cut enough length for a strong frame and find the right joints, put it together and paint it or leave as is and presto, a PVC laptop stand that’s good for ergonomics and economics.

You will need three equal lengths of PVC pipe that are as long/wide as your laptop and six elbow joints to piece together the pipe and hold your laptop on the stand. Paint the pieces whatever colour you like and put everything together, making sure its all secured so nothing falls apart!


Get Inspired

Place inspirational art or design around your workspace to remind you of why you’re working so hard. Or try a little something funny that will put a smile on your face when you’re stressed out. Think grumpy cat or Keep Calm and… posters and soon you’ll be flying through your work with a grin on your mug. Even including photos of your family or loved ones is a really good idea. Just don't put anything up that might have the opposite effect.

Less is best…

…but have everything you need. There’s a line between sparse and emptiness. Make sure everything you need is within reach but hidden or placed so as to keep your space tidy and stop your head from cluttering as the mess piles up. Do a spring clean and throw away or store anything you absolutely don’t need, like that flyer for Chinese takeaway. You can order food online now! Use any of the above tips to organise, de-clutter and store things.

Work Zone

Keep your workspace a designated work only space so that you can switch off. This separates study and work from the rest of your home, where you’re meant to rest and relax. Place your study space in a corner of the house or in an area that is clearly defined from the rest of your floor plan if possible and make sure its near cupboards or storage that can act as both a place to store things and a boundary. Make the space yours and be proud of it.


Let There Be Light

You should also keep in mind that this space be positioned near natural light, which is said to help increase productivity. Have your space near a window or opening that is flooded by natural light during the day and well-lit at night so that you can harness the same productivity no matter what your schedule is.

Brighten Up

Dress your space in bright colours too. These can promote positive emotions and hopefully increase your productivity at the same time. At least, that’s the hope. Yellow, light blue and even green can connote positive emotions and lead to increased productivity. Just don't go overboard and choose a colour that is overwhelming and in your face, you want a colour or shade that calms you down and boosts your mood.

Do you have any other home office hacks that you would include?

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