Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Setting Up Shop

This week teachers in our town have begun setting up the classrooms for the new school year that starts next week. But they're not the only ones getting space ready. I've been at work on my space too, getting ready for the school year.

I own my own business. It's small, very small. Just big enough to fit into the life of a mom of young kids. But it's primed to grow. The Uber-Princess starts kindergarten this year. That frees up a few more hours for business. It also means that next year she'll be in school full time. That will free up a bunch more hours for business. And I want to be ready for that.

Getting serious about an at-home business can seem like an oxymoron. I mean, what other kind of work has you switching between taking calls from clients to supervising a sibling squabble within moments? It's tempting to call the business a hobby and just leave it at that. But it's not and I won't. I'm calling it a great arrangement for an at-home mom.

That still leaves the issue of work space. I have an "office". And when I'm in there with the door shut (and a cute door hanger dangling from the knob at my children's insistence), I'm "at work". My children know not to bother me except under extreme circumstances when I'm there. Yet my office is also my husband's den. It's filled with bookshelves and more books than can fit them. His guitars fill nearly half the closet and boxes of old "stuff" litter the floor. The five drawer filing cabinet has been stuffed so full over the past few years that it can take no more.

This is my office. In the interest of getting serious about work, I've been seriously setting up shop. We cleared out space in the file cabinet for my business files (I now have a whole twelve inches of the five drawers to call my own). I'm evicting clutter from my desktop (slowly, oh so slowly it goes). And I hope that we can clear the floor too. Thankfully I don't have visitors to my office over the age of ten. But I think I deserve a presentable space. That's why I'm starting early. Hopefully by the time school starts next year I'll actually have it.

When it comes to having space for business though, what really matters is the mental and emotional space that you give it. Up until now I've made do with a portable file box and a laptop. This year I'm upgrading to the file cabinet and perhaps some desk space. Neither is what makes me a successful at-home business owner. It's more about how I view and approach my business. And that's what works for me. For more Works for Me Wednesday goodness, check out other posts here.

If you're a work-at-home mom, you should check out a great book I've been reading. It's called Making Work at Home Work by Mary Byers. It's a very practical book written by a successful author and speaker who also has been extremely influential in my own career.

3 musings:

Struggler said...

I don't work at home, but I do still despair at the state of my desk.
I hope your dedication to making your workspace wonderful pays off!

A Musing Mom said...

Struggler - 10 minutes at a time (after a one-hour blitz my husband and I did on the file cabinet). That's all I'm spending, and sometimes that's with a timer running to keep me on track. So far so good, but it's going to take a bunch more 10-minute stints to get there.

Struggler said...

I like the 10 minute tip. I often surprise myself at what can be achieved in those short sharp burst of effort!