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Starting a Business from Your Dining Room

Finding space to start or run a business in the modern home is challenging. To help get you going, we’ve teamed up with professional organiser, declutterer and author of Start with Your Sock Draw Vicky Silverthorn. Here, she gives us her expert advice on how you can transform your dining room into a successful and adaptable workspace.

The most versatile room in the house

Not everyone has the luxury of an office/study when working from home, so if you’re lacking this space, the next best option is to use your dining room or kitchen table as your working area. I can assure you it can work just as well as any home office!

From an organisational perspective, you need to ensure that you have your system spot on so you avoid clutter and piles of paperwork, and that you create a workspace you can easily revert to a dining area at the end of each day.

Keeping organised

Gone were the days when we need to store masses of paperwork, but if the nature of your business means it still needs plenty of documents printed, then the main thing is to make sure you can control this with ease.

By day, there’s no issue with sprawling what you’re working on over your makeshift desk, but as the evening draws in you need a quick solution to get your dining space back.

  • Try using slim-line A4 document boxes with neat labels such as ‘action’ ‘current work papers’ and ‘to file’ so you can easily transport them in and out of view.
  • For storage of paperwork you don’t need to access each day, but still need to keep hold of, use a compact filing system such as drawer files. These can tuck away in a corner without encroaching your space. Think compact – think minimal.
  • I love the Ottavia Sideboard; it’s great for storing paperwork and any stationary you may need. Remember to keep supplies to limited amounts and buy as you need rather than stockpiling a mass of envelopes and paper, which will only take up valuable space.
  • If you need a printer, buy a compact one. You can get units which fit wonderfully into a small cupboard or shelving unit, and with the modern world requiring fewer hard copies of documents, it’s not worth getting a large multi-function model if it’ll rarely be used.
  • Make a tech tray. Chargers, laptops and tablets part of our everyday life now, so be sure to give these a home within your storage space. A shallow basket ensures you can pull it all out and set it on your table when needed.
  • Cover your table. Your beautiful new dining table will get worn away faster if you are working from it each day. Buy a good-quality, fold away cover or use large table mats with a cork underside to put your laptop on.

If you had this Cargo Portsmore Extending Dining Table you’d really want to keep it in top condition. I love this table for several reasons and would happily have it as my work table. It not only looks beautiful but it’s extendable, so for me to be able to pull all my work out (laptop, action tray and the like) and keep it neat, tidy and in view is the ideal! Cramped working isn’t at all fun so I would use it in its full glory by day and make it more compact again by evening.

  • When you’re working from home, discipline is an important part of your day. Don’t forget to take regular breaks and shut your screen when you do take some downtime, to avoid the temptation of glancing at any incoming emails.

At lunch, clear your table and be mindful to stop as you would if you were in an office environment. Use the fact you’re at home to your advantage, and make a healthy lunch to keep you going throughout the afternoon. Or perhaps even get out and have a stretch and walk!

  • Health and safety still needs to be a consideration, even if you are working at home. Add some extra support to your chair and make sure you are sitting at the correct height for your screen.

For laptops I recommend a stand which elevates your screen – purchase an additional stand-alone keyboard and mouse so you are sitting in the correct position.

Start building the versatile dining space of your dreams today, with Harveys Furniture.

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