Creating a Stylish (and Cleaner) Home Office

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This guest blog is brought to us by The Safety Mom, Alison Jacobson. 

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 10 years now and have worked from a home office the entire time.  I’ve moved four times in those 10 years and each time I’ve done a serious upgrade to my office.

The first time it was a chair with an ottoman in my living room.  Then it was a small desk in my bedroom. Next, I did a serious upgrade and had an area of my basement.  Finally, I have a true home office – with a window, plant and even a door!

For me, the trick has been creating a good vibe no matter how large or small my home office is.  There are also some things you can do to be sure it’s healthy as well.  Here are a few tips:

Good lighting is one of the most important elements if you work all day at a computer like I do.  Especially on dreary days or during the winter I need good lighting to keep me energized.  Natural light is great but use some task lighting and ambient lighting to fill in when it’s dark

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Chaos is not creative! I’ll admit, clutter builds up around me.  I feel that if I’m spending time organizing I’m not being productive.  I know, in truth that’s not the case.  Not only is it easier to function in an organized space but it’s less stressful and cleaner!

  • Regularly clean the keypads on your computer and calculator. Use a disinfectant wipe and Q-Tip with rubbing alcohol to clean all the keys and crevices.  Also, use compressed air to clean the rest.  Here’s a tip – for particularly grimy spots, try a pencil eraser.  The rubber is great at getting the dirt off!
  • You can also use office equipment and accessories that remain cleaner between these cleanings – to take a little of the pressure off of you.  Look for computer accessories from Fellowes that feature antimicrobial technology means added protection for your peripherals.  Artistic also features a full line of desk pads with added product protection for a cleaner workspace; and if your work (or office playtime with your kiddos) requires the use of rubber stamp products, check out Cosco products.
  • Whether it’s file cabinets, bins or shelves figure out a system that works for you.  Once again, make sure you regularly wash down these surface to keep them germ and dirt fee

Plants not only serve as a great way to introduce a sense of calm and beauty but they clean the air.   The peace lily is super easy to care for (trust me if I can’t kill it you won’t) and is an air toxin killer.  All it needs is plenty of water and a modest amount of sunlight. Preserve these conditions at all time and you’ve got yourself an all-natural air purifier that will remain hard at work 24/7!

Along with plants consider using a humidifier but just be sure to always clean it properly to avoid mold and bacteria building up.

Pick a color scheme that reflects your style, calm and laid back or supercharged.  I highly recommend looking at some Feng Shui books to get some ideas.  Selecting desk accessories in a fun color can easily brighten up your space.  Just be sure to regularly clean staplers, pen holders, and business card holders as they are another place where germs from hands will build up.

If your workspace also has a door, the selection of your door hardware is a subtle place where you can show your personal style, and select a cleaner product.  Kwikset door hardware comes in a variety of finishes, colors and styles, including both knobs and levers, that feature added protection against product degradation.  You can also choose keyed and privacy hardware options, so you can keep your workspace locked if needed.

When you are deciding on flooring for your personal workspace, think form AND function.  If you prefer carpet, consider The Cleaner Home Collection from Phenix Flooring.  This revolutionary carpet features a variety of technologies that work for you, so you don’t have to – in beautiful, luxurious colors and textures that compliment any decor. Plus, the line features built-in technology to protect the product from the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.

If your style calls for hard surface flooring, Torlys Smart Floors offers a complete selection of luxury vinyl flooring and tile in designs and styles to fit all your needs.  These beautifully crafted, durable flooring products feature the Torlys patented CorkPlus underlay to provide warmth and quiet comfort not typically found in laminate flooring.  The underlay also features an added layer of protection against mold and mildew growth.

For those of us lucky enough to have a home workspace that gets a lot of natural light, don’t forget to think about window coverings to keep the space comfortable, no matter what the temperature is outside.  Curtains are always an option as a design element, but window shades can often provide great flexibility and easier-to-clean surfaces. Sheeweave by Phifer provide sun control, but still, allow you to enjoy the natural light.

Creating a beautiful, functional and healthy home office doesn’t take a great deal of time or money – just a little creativity and vision.

For these and more great tips on creating a home workplace that works for you, join our Twitter Party on Thursday, July 29 at 1 pm. Follow #WorkingLikeCrazy for your chance to win great prizes from our partners.

Check out TheCleanerHome on Facebook or visit @SafetyMom on Twitter for more information.  

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