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12 Items Every Home Office Needs

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Working at home can be tough if your space isn’t set up with all you need. With the average person working 47 hours a week, it’s absolutely essential that your home office be fully stocked and arranged to support your every minute.

Maximize your output and limit distractions by putting together an office that inspires creativity and fosters productivity. Take a look at these 12 items that can transform a dull room into an office area that does just that:

A Calendar

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s worth saying as it’s a necessity. Every office should have a calendar. In fact, the more the merrier on this one, because there’s nothing more embarrassing than sending out a memo or invoice with last week’s date. Timing is everything in business, so hang that calendar proudly and be confident in knowing what day it is.

Potted Plants

Green in an office can brighten your mood and add oxygen to the air, which is perfect for the times when that deadline has you hyperventilating. Get a little relaxation in by adding a potted plant or two – or three or four – to your workspace. Try one of these 10 houseplants known for improving air quality.


Pictures of loved ones or adventures you’ve taken or are looking forward to can help you navigate the drudgery of work. How? It gives you some appreciation and incentive for keeping on track. Most of the time, people work to provide for their family, go on vacation or buy that dream home.

The Basic Supplies

Here’s another no-brainer, but an office just isn’t an office without a few essential office supplies. Tape, sticky notes, writing utensils, a stapler and a ruler can be defined as pretty basic. If you spend a lot of time crunching numbers, a good calculator or adding machine with backup adding tape is necessary. If you can, try to find these supplies in your favorite color or with a funky print to add some interest.

A Decent Trashcan

Often forgotten until you go to throw something away, a decent trashcan is a must. It doesn’t have to be super expensive, but it does have to be functional and large enough to handle all of your work debris. If it’s cute, well, that also helps.

Headphones or Earbuds

Sometimes you just need to tune everything else out, and the best way to do that is by tuning in. Whether you spend your time listening to podcasts of your favorite comedian, audio books by your favorite author or just some good old-fashioned music, a set of headphones will keep the sound where it needs to be: in your ears.

Comfortable Seating

A lot of time is spent at an office desk, which means a lot of time is spent in an office chair. One that doesn’t fit properly will leave your back strained and your shoulders slumped. Invest in a good chair that will be durable enough for those full 47 hours each week, and will not hurt your health or productivity.

Desk and/or Floor Lamps

Proper lighting can help keep you focused. Steer clear of fluorescent lights which can be dizzying after several hours. Instead, opt for soft, white lights that will set the mood for focused production. Natural light is best, but when it’s not available, a few good lamps strategically placed can do wonders for your mood and mind.

Stylish Extras

An office space should feel like it really belongs to you. After all, you’re the one in there all the time, right? Add a few personal touches to make it feel comfortable. Maybe it’s a great, inspirational saying on one wall or a side table that your grandparents gave you. Maybe it’s just a really great mug you found on clearance somewhere to house your pens. Whatever it is, bring it in and personalize the space.

A Filing System

Regardless of whether or not you’ve written off keeping hard copies of your files, this one fact remains: There will be paper. Spend a little time and money figuring out a filing system that will work for you. Whether it’s with binders and bins or cabinets of folders, having a system in place can do wonders for managing your workload. For some ideas on how to organize a space, take a look at this great office renovation that focuses on function, as well as design.

Healthy Snacks

The afternoon slump can be beaten with a few, well-chosen snack items. Bags of popcorn, fresh fruit and veggies, or a handful of nuts is all that’s necessary to give a little extra energy. For those with a sweet tooth, fill a jar with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. That way, when a candy bar is all that will do, you can reach for something that’s still good for you.

Extension Cords

Here’s one more item that often gets overlooked. Extension cords maximize the use of your electrical outlets, allowing space and energy for more than one device to be operating at a time. Keep a box handy with two or three cords of varying sizes and plug heads.

Fill your home office with these 12 items and increase your productivity and happiness level, as you will have created a space that inspires you to work your hardest.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, where she shares advice about finding happiness and success in your career. Follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum and subscribe to her blog newsletter for more great tips.