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Tips on Making Over A Home Office

(NewsUSA) - Most people have some type of a home office. Whether it's used for work, managing household finances or helping the kids with homework, there is usually a room designated for a computer, printer, filing cabinet and other office supplies.

If you haven't spent much time planning your home office, you may wind up with a cramped, cluttered, uncomfortable space that simply doesn't inspire productivity. Genevieve Gorder of TLC's "Trading Spaces" has a few tips for getting your home office in workable condition:

* Start from scratch. Clear out your entire office and paint it a fresh color that inspires you or makes you feel focused. Stay away from reds and blues; choose energizing greens, comforting golds or pale yellows. Color is a bold and inexpensive way to transform a room.

* Organize. When it comes to organizing, think modular, so you can move pieces around to suit your various needs and create more desk space. Determine which items you will need easy access to and arrange them accordingly. Bins and boxes are great for storing the things you're not using all the time and give the room a clean and organized look.

* Declutter your desktop. This applies to your virtual desktop as well as your physical one. A recent survey by Harris Interactive revealed that 61 percent of PC owners are more likely to store their music, photos and other personal files on their computer rather than anywhere else in their house. However, it can be frustrating if the information you need isn't easy to locate because you've forgotten the file name or the folder where it's stored.

Software is available to help you search, organize and store digital photos, music, financial files and more. For example, a technology called Windows Desktop Search searches your personal computer the way a search engine searches the Internet, finding files and documents anywhere on your PC, within several different applications, based on a simple word or phrase. It also provides advanced Web browsing features and automatic form fill. It is available as a free download at http://desktop.msn.com.

* Install soothing lighting. Stay away from harsh, fluorescent lights. Lamps and dimmer switches help create a comfortable, inviting work space.

* Choose comfortable furniture. Consider an ergonomic chair that won't strain your back over the course of a busy day.

Genevieve Gorder
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