If you live near in, or near an Australian city, you’ll know that often rooms are small and the real estate comes at a premium. You may be lucky enough to have a garage, but no car, as driving around int he city can be expensive and parking limited. Your garage could be chock full of stuff you don’t need and your garage space can actually become an amazing home office!
Step One: The Cull
That’s right. It’s time to get into that garage and throw away all those paint cans which are dried up, tools that have rusted up and general ‘stuff’ which has built up over the years. That surfboard which lost a fin, the old pet bed your dog grew out of, a threadbare tent, a bicycle you haven’t ridden in years. Sort through the junk and work out what you can sell and what you can throw away. You’ll be surprised the cash a garage sale or a few items put on eBay will get you, and you can use this cash to finance your home office makeover!
If you have paint, chemicals, or a large bunch of stuff, organise a local rubbish collection so that liquids are disposed of safely and it’ll also save you a day taking your trash to the local waste centre.
Step Two: Weatherproofing
Your home office will no doubt have a laptop, pc, printer and phone in there and electricity and water is a very dangerous and hazardous combination. Double check that your garage is waterproof without any leaks and insulate any drafts. You may want to put up plasterboard on the walls rather than exposed brick and look to insulate doorways. You won’t want to spend time in a drafty cold room.
Next, look at the lighting. A garage is likely to have little lighting or a cheap fluorescent tube. This won’t help you when you need to work and can make the space feel stark and cold. Look for a light fitting which will help you work and not add any eyestrain, also choose a softer, warmer coloured light bulb.
You may also want to think about some heavy duty carpet tiles to make the space more comfortable and welcoming.
Step Three: Furnishing Your Home Office
Now it’s time to plan the layout of your office! Think about the lighting, the space and the door for drafts. A standing desk is a great option and offers flexibility and a healthier posture. Think about your power points and where they need to be. You want your wires hidden and tucked neatly behind the desk to avoid trip hazards, you also need enough points, so think about that before you get the electrician in.
Also, think about your internet connection. Do you get a strong signal in the garage home office, or do you need a WIFI extender?
Kmart and other stores offer fantastic home office solutions which look great and are very affordable. Invest the bulk of your budget in the desk, chair and electrical equipment. Storage and soft furnishings can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home office. A brightly coloured rug, some artwork and desk solutions can bring your garage space to life and make it look like a real office! You can even add a small futon for when guests stay over.
Converting your garage into a home office can bring many benefits. You have a quiet space to focus without distraction, and you are still at home with access to the rest of your house and the kitchen for coffee breaks! It can be an efficient use of space which can give you many different usage options if converted properly. Remember, if you are using your office to run your own business, you may need council approval.