Start simply by making a complete list of everything you do in your office, grouping them into activity areas.
For instance, do you ship packages? Use a computer? Use a bulky paper cutter? Scrapbook? Sew?
Some activities can be done in the same spot, while others need more or specialized space. For instance, if you often use your paper cutter and your binding machine on the same project, you'll probably want enough room to use both at once. If you use your paper cutter for long periods of time, you'll probably find it helpful to have a counter-height cutting area so you don't have to bend over the paper cutter while you use it.
Assess the furniture and organizing supplies you already have. Does what you have work?
Based on the list you made, what do you need to add? Does what you have fit well? Is it too large? Too small?
Remember, you can put together a home office without spending a lot of money, so for this step, don't let budget considerations restrict you when making your list of what you may need to add.
That said generally the one thing that is set in stone is the space you have to work with. When making your list try to keep in mind the size and shape of your room, along with any restrictions the space may have (for instance, the wall of windows that lets in great light but means you can't have a wall of bookcases on that wall).
Do of course 'Think Up' when you can. Meaning when considering some areas it may be feasible and suitable to build organized units that reach the ceiling, so you can maximize your space.
Whether or not you are running a home based business, having a well planned and functioning home office is a big part of how effective you feel at getting things done.
Small office, large office, home business or just a place to work on your goals and take care of your finances, this post can be used essentially as your checklist to create the office space that works with what you already have, as much as possible.
When planning your floor space make sure your plan allows room for walking through the room, around furniture and through doorways.
Think about the features of the room carefully when playing with ideas.
For example think about ways to ensure that windows won't cast a glare on your computer monitor. If your home office has a great feature like a view or fireplace, keep that in mind as you sketch the floor plan so that you can ensure you get to enjoy that feature.
After you've sketched out your plan, it's time to make a life sized "model."
That's right, you're going to actually arrange your office and do a trial run.
Don't buy anything new just yet, but do feel free to "borrow" furniture from other rooms. For instance, a chest of drawers from the bedroom can make a great stand in in the office for a credenza.
Before you buy anything new, whether that be organization supplies or new pieces of furniture, live with what you have set up as close to your plan as possible for at least a week. Depending on your work schedule, you may want to use the temporary set up for longer than that. How does it work? What needs to be rearranged? Make tweaks until it's perfect.
After your trial run, you'll have a good sense for what you still need.
It's time to fill in the gaps. You're ready to head off to the stores and purchase what you need whether that be storage boxes or furniture pieces.
If you have a really small budget, head to thrift stores and ask friends/family for pieces that fit your requirements that they don't need anymore.
Depending on what you're changing in your office, perhaps you could propose a swap of furniture you don't need for furniture you do. Remember how you "borrowed" furniture from elsewhere in the house for step 4? Keep your options in mind.
Since you're decorating a home office, remember that furniture that's designed for other rooms, whether that's a kitchen buffet or a bedroom dresser can actually fit right in and be very functional.
So, when you go shopping, don't feel like you have to stick exclusively with "office" furniture.
Rather buy furniture and accessories that have the right functionality, that suit your budget, and that you like the look of.