How to Create a Work Area at Home
by Ruby Bayan
A designated work area is essential for anyone who does any kind of creative activity at home. Crafters, artists, do-it-yourselfers and all work-at-home types know that they have to lay claim over a certain amount of space in the house for their productive pursuits. However, creating an efficient work area involves a good deal of planning and a lot of organizing. Here are some simple guidelines to follow.
What you'll need:
Table and chair
Shelving or closet
What to do:
1. List down all the types of activities you will be performing in your work area.
2. Estimate the amount of space you need based on how much elbowroom you require to perform your activities and what items, tools or supplies you want to keep on hand.
3. Imagine yourself using the workspace, then list down all the materials you will be working with, including special requirements associated with them. For example, will you be working with fire? Will you be using products that emit hazardous fumes? Does your work involve heavy or high-power equipment? How much trash, waste or residue will you end up with? Will you need special lighting, heating, cooling, or soundproofing? Specialized activities will require specific configurations of the work area.
4. Design your work area with the members of the household in mind. You may need to childproof or pet-proof your workspace. If you must share your space with others, discuss the design together to ensure that everyone's needs are addressed.
5. Estimate the size of the table, chair, and storage units (the three basic elements of a work area) that you will have in your workspace. Then estimate the other furniture and accessories you want to include. It will help to visualize them in a "to scale" sketch of the work area.
6. Arrange your workspace as ergonomically as possible. Put frequently used tools and equipment within easy reach.
7. Aim to stay organized. Sort supplies and materials for convenient access; store them in durable containers to minimize dust and deterioration. Label containers and storage solutions.
8. Rethink and redesign your work area if it fails to give you the efficiency you desire. If your work activities change constantly, design a work area that is either big enough or modular enough to adjust and adapt to each new project.
A fully functional work area must have a good light source, a couple of trash bins and a corkboard or whiteboard.
Once you've designated a work area, all you need to do is tidy up after every project and be ready for the next one.
Your choice of work area at home may be limited by factors such as room size or location, floor surface and accessibility to the other areas of the house. Consult with other members of the family and decide on the best option.
Be sure that your work area poses no hazards to toddlers and pets that may accidentally walk in.
Do's and Don'ts in Workspace Design
Build Your Dream Workspace
Contributed to eHow.com by Ruby Bayan, Home & Garden Topic Expert 2007-2010
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