Equipping Your Home Office - Part 1
© Vishal P. Rao
Choosing Home Office Furniture
Having an adequately equipped home office is essential to being
productive. It is not necessary that everything be brand new,
nor is it necessary that you spend a lot of money. What is important
is that you select your items carefully and that they are functional
and safe for use in a home office environment.
Check your telephone directory for used office furniture stores.
Many time you can find very nice furniture available at a fraction
of the cost. Don't forget to also check the resale store and thrift
shops in your area, as well as the local classified ads.
1. The Desk
Bigger is better when it comes to desks. Try to choose one that
has lots of room for your computer monitor, keyboard, telephone,
and space to spread out paperwork and anything else that you may
be working on at the moment. Pick a desk that has adequate drawer
space and a file drawer for short-term filing of active projects.
If you choose a desk that has a built-in keyboard support shelf,
make sure that the shelf it wide enough to hold your keyboard
and still have plenty of room to let you perform natural mouse
moment. Some of the new keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft
"Natural", are wider than standard keyboards.
2. The Chair
Proper back and neck support is essential when you spend all
day sitting down. Buy the best chair that you can afford. Your
chair must have solid upper and lower (or lumbar) back support.
A flimsy backrest puts stress on your spine while you're seated
and causes back pain. Look for a chair where the lower portion
of a backrest is slightly curved to follow the natural contour
of your spine.
You chair's seat seat should feel comfortable when you initially
sit down, and should remain that way after you've been seated
for a significant period of time. If the seat becomes uncomfortable
then the foam padding may not be a high enough density, or the
contouring may not be right for your body.
Make sure you have plenty of room around your hips and thighs.
You should have at least one inch of space on either side of your
body. It is also important that your chair's seat properly supports
your thighs without the edge of the seat coming in contact with
the back of your legs while you are sitting.
3. File Cabinets
To keep your home office organized, and avoid clutter, you are
going to need filing cabinets. There essentially two different
files cabinets that are perfect for a home office. Here is a quick
a) Vertical file cabinets
This is the most common file cabinet. Vertical cabinets are
taller than they are wide so that they use a minimum amount of
wall space. They have anywhere from two to five drawers and are
the right size to hold hold letter and legal-size documents. They
come in a variety of colors and gauges of steel. If you can afford
to buy one that is fireproof, so much the better.
b) Lateral file cabinets
Lateral cabinets are wider than vertical cabinets, but not as
deep, and are designed for high-volume storage capacity. They
have anywhere from two to five drawers and can hold letter or
legal-size documents. Files are either placed in the cabinet from
left to right, facing the side of the drawer, or are arranged
from front to back in multiple rows.
Many two-drawer lateral models are designed to fit underneath
work surfaces and tables for additional storage and are often
paired with a desk to increase horizontal space. Again, if you
find one that is fireproof, and you can afford it, snap it up.
Bookshelves should be made of wood or metal. Avoid the fiberboard
ones since they are flimsy and do not stand up to repeated usage.
Like file cabinets, bookshelves come in vertical and lateral.
Avoid vertical ones that stand too tall. There is a chance of
them becoming top-heavy and falling over. Pay particular attention
to this warning if you live in an earthquake area or if you have
small children which may delight in climbing to the top of your
5. Work Tables
Worktables are great for spreading out large projects that your
desk is not big enough to accommodate. If you have enough home
office space for a permanent work table, that's great. Otherwise
consider buying a folding table that you can take out when you
need it and store away when you do not.
Closets, garages, attics and crawl spaces make great places
to store completed projects and home office paperwork if the space
is not damp or subject to high humidity. If storage is a real
problem then you might need to consider renting an off-premise
Think of your office furniture as the foundation of your productivity
center. It is likely that you will have to live with your decisions
for some time. Choose wisely. Your personal comfort, and ability
to remain organized, depend upon it. If you outgrow your furniture
later, or simply make enough money that you want to "kick it up
a notch", your investment will pay off because you will likely
be able to get a great deal of your money back when you sell your
old office furniture to make room for the new.
Vishal P. Rao is the editor of Home Based Business Opportunities
- A web site dedicated to opportunities, ideas and resources to
help you start and run a home based business. Visit his site at:
based business opportunities .com
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