Starting a Business from Your Bedroom or Spare Room
You’d be amazed how often Britain’s spare rooms go unused and unloved. Sure, they’re handy every few months when a friend or relative stays, or maybe at Christmas when you need that extra bed, but the rest of the time they tend to sit empty. Either the door stays firmly shut or they become a dumping ground for unwanted household items.
To help you make the most of your spare room, we teamed up with professional organiser, declutterer and author of Start with Your Sock Draw Vicky Silverthorn. Here, she gives us her top tips.
Reconsider your spare room
With many people choosing to start their own businesses in the UK and with the rise in flexible working, the need for a work space/home office is often greater than the need for a spare bedroom.
I had this very problem and knew there must be a practical and methodical solution. A multi-functional room which allows for guests to stay but is also a clear and purposeful space, with a proper desk and chair to ensure a professional environment.
Here are a few things to think about:
- Gone are the days when we need to store a mass of paperwork – we are fortunate that this can now be kept to a minimum. For the sake of the environment and our own storage challenges, it’s a great news that as the years go on, less and less paper documents get produced. This means we don’t have to have a spare room/office that is constantly cluttered and full of documents. When relatives come to stay we should easily be able to tidy away our work paraphernalia and create the tranquil spare room we need.
- When we purchase our homes, we are paying for the extra room, so the last thing you want to do is not use it! That’s a valuable piece of space wasted if you don’t.
- Make your home suit your needs, not those of the guest that only visits once a year. That simply isn’t the best way to use a room.
- Store archive paperwork (that isn’t needed day to day in our work space) away in labeled boxes. If you end up needing it – it’s still there and easily accessible, but the likelihood is you will not.
How you can use your spare room as both a bedroom and an office
- Buy a bed that still gives you space. My favourite is the Cosgrove Upholstered Day Bed. Day to day it won’t encroach on your room as much as a double or king would, but when required it transforms from a sofa to either a single or two singles next to each other. This is ample and comfortable for sleeping two guests.
- For a slightly more slim-line option, the Texas Faux Leather Sofa Bed acts as a beautiful retro style sofa by day, while a simple folding down back converts it into a double by night. Be sure to pick a sofa bed or day bed that suits your room and always measure the room before you order.
Storage and keeping tidy
In order to make this system work you need to ensure everything has a home. Your guests will need spare bedding and you don’t want it just lying around; you certainly don’t want it squeezed into corners or under beds looking untidy.
- The Verona Ottoman Box is a great compact solution. This will fit a whole spare bedding set inside. For extra protection ensure you put the bedding in a duvet bag and always keep the cover with the actual duvet so you never have to rummage to find a full set if a last minute guest shows up. You can use this ottoman as a side table or even a coffee table in front of the sofa/day bed if you have the space.
Your desk space
- Make sure you think wisely about your two or three key pieces before you purchase. Draw a rough sketch if it helps. My advice would be to choose a slim-line desk that can fit a small slim-line drawered filing cabinet underneath.
- Office chairs with arms look great but are a luxury in a small space. Ones with no arms can slide under a desk and create more space so choose wisely.
- Invest in some simple A4 document boxes that store flat. When people come to stay, you need a practical and simple method to tidy paperwork away without losing your sense of organisation
Wardrobes and Storage / Decluttering
- As with every project you embark on in your home, you should be starting with a declutter. Your spare room shouldn’t suddenly be crammed full of new furniture. Take your time to prepare your space without rushing decisions or processes.
- Remember guests don’t often stay for extended periods of time but they will need a space to store some clothing. Always keep a small area of your spare room wardrobe free and empty, even if it’s just a drawer.
- When you are decluttering, always imagine you have slightly less storage space than you do. You don’t want over spills and you don’t want bulging cupboards that are awkward and time consuming to manage. As you are going through your belongings, go with your gut feeling about each item individually. Do you REALLY need it? Are you saving it for an event that is so rare you wouldn’t miss it? Are you keeping it because you’ve had it so long you are mixing it up with something that’s truly sentimental? The most powerful question of all is ‘can you live without it?’
Start putting together your ultimate and versatile spare room/office space combo today with Bensons for Beds.