The modern home office. Sleek, simple, even minimalist and at the same time, functional. A lot of us who are now in a situation to have a home office are challenged with how to organize it, keep it simple, and even to have a minimalist home office desk set up in their own home. Wanting a minimalist home office desk setup can be challenging. It is especially true for freelancers, and it will impact your workspace, your computer desk, and your decor.
So how can you have a minimalist home office desk setup? You can accomplish this by focusing on three key aspects. First, determine what definition of minimalism resonates with you and what level of minimalism you are aiming for. Secondly, decide on where your home office will be located within your home or apartment and consider the workspace surroundings in the context of minimalism. Third, choose to implement ideas for your computer desk and decor for your home office workspace that matches the level of minimalism you want.
Getting the home office environment into a state where you can rely on it to keep all of your things in one place and, most of all, concentrate on your projects is not always straightforward. What’s more, is that you will want to keep it streamlined. And this is where a minimalist approach might work well for you.
How Do I Start a Minimalist Home Office – Workspace
Getting started is sometimes the hardest part. It takes a bit of planning and deciding on what you want in the final outcome. Let’s begin.
What is Minimalism in the Context of a Freelancing Home Office?
To figure out how to start a minimalist office set up, we first need to agree on what is minimalism and how does it apply a home office setup.
Let’s consider what is a minimalist office and minimalism in a broader sense. Minimalism in the context of a freelance home office set up can be briefly described as owning less, on purpose, and choosing simplicity in which you need to do your work. A good definition of minimalism by Vocabulary.com, which I find useful in the context of a home office setup, can be found here.
What To Aim For in a Minimalist Home Office Desk Setup
One approach is aiming for a minimalist home office set up is to choose your level of minimalism and then to decide upon fundamental design ideas for your workspace.
YouTube Video – What is Minimalism – Defined By Joshua Becker
One of the first things that you need to decide is what level of minimalism you want to approach in your home office. In Table 1 it describes 5 Levels of minimalism and the approach one will take in that level. It also ranks the level of commitment need on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most commitment needed).
Levels of Minimalism
|LEVEL||Description of Level||Approach to Minimalism||Level of Commitment Needed (1-10)|
|Level 1||Has an idea of what minimalism is and wants to start using principles||A level 1 person will approach minimalism by de-cluttering some areas of their life or belongings, but not with much consisitency or determination||1|
|Level 2||Is interested in the benefits of minimalism and tries to see if it will impact their life||The Level 2 approach is similar to Level 1 except they may start to de-clutter in multiple areas of their life or places in the home||3|
|Level 3||Understands the benefits of minimalism and how it applies to their life, both in physical and mental lifestyle||A Level 3 person's approach to minimalism will start to incorporate more of the principles in their life and will seek to simplify||5|
|Level 4||Actively seeks to use minimalism principles and purposefully integrate them into all areas of their lives. Has gained experience in simplifying||The approach a Level 4 person will use minimalism will be on purpose - to simplify their lifestyle and ways of thinking about belongings. Covers 40-70% of areas||8|
|Level 5||Integrates minimalism principles in all areas of their life and is restrictive in adding complexity and new belongings in their life||The approach a Level 5 person has is to simplify everything and is determined to keep things this way||10|
|LEVEL||Description of Level||Approach to Minimalism||Level of Commitment Needed (1-10)|
Table 1 – Levels of Minimalism
A minimalist home office workspace should put importance on functionality, inspiration to do deep work, and keeping what is needed to be included in the setup, and yet any extra things that are required are close by.
To design your workspace, a good approach is to make it:
● Attractive to the eye
One approach is to decide that in creating your minimalist home office, is to make it modern and simple and to align your thinking that minimalist means focused and functional.
As a freelancer, this will help you the most, and later when it comes to design and decor, you can tackle such issues as doing your work at home office inviting and optimized for productivity.
Your workspace should be simple and functional, meaning that if you are a writer, you’ll just have your computer and other accessories that are needed for writing. If, for instance, you are a video editor, you may need one or two displays to make it easier for your work as well as an external hard drive because the files can be so large.
One approach is also that it should be modern. By choosing a modern designed workspace, it may be easier to find the furniture, and it will help to incorporate the needed computer equipment to do your work. You can also choose a more classic or old-fashioned type of workspace environment.
The modern look and feel are somehow more functional these days as it integrates a way to hide or store computer equipment and accessories into the design of the furniture.
Lastly, your workspace design should be attractive to the eye – your eyes, the way you see a comfortable and attractive workspace design. Every person will have their own idea of what a beautiful workspace should look like.
For my workspace, I aim for it to have a very functional look and feel while at the same time having a quality look to the desk and decor. In this way, it feels comfortable to sit down and start my work immediately.
Starting Points to Consider
A few starting points – You can experiment with the furniture organization, filling the workspace with just a chair and a desk, but you can also try to organize with a few extra items such as a small coffee table or side desk. Again, the functionality should be the focus together with simplicity.
You can also experiment with different desk setups. Maybe a corner desk might be perfect for the workspace. Additionally, you can experiment with the decor accessories. Inspirational painting or poster may enhance your deep work productivity.
It’s a good thing to point out that if we are aiming for minimalism, and as we mentioned above to do that intentionally or on purpose, you will need to simplify and reduce the number of items such as furniture, equipment, and core that will be in your workspace. You have to be a little bit creative.
Related Freelancing and Work at Home Articles You Might Also Be Interested In:
How Can You Create the Perfect Freelancer Workspace at Home?
Small Home Office Desk: Ideas, Colors, Accessories
Remote Video Editing Jobs: Work from Home, YouTube, Career
Workspace and Surroundings for Home Office Minimalism
It’s time to focus a bit on the surroundings of your home office. It should match the level of minimalism that you can commit to.
Surroundings and Environment
Maximize your storage so that you can concentrate on keeping only what you need in your surrounding home office space. Keep everything in its own place, which means that books, papers, and equipment that’s not used frequently should be put away and out of sight.
Actual Desk Workspace Area – Minimalist Home Office Desk Setup
The actual workspace area, which includes your desk, where you sit, and the cabinets or drawers you use need to be streamlined. Focus on the essentials. Ideally, there would be just a desk, chair, and computer in the most minimalist of worlds. As discussed throughout this article, keep your home office functional and productive and match it to what you are aiming for in a minimalist home office.
The decor for your minimalist home office has endless variations and each person will have a different idea of what good decor looks like for them. However, there are some guidelines to point out that will work for most people:
● Go for clean lines – in the furniture you choose, make a preference for smooth and clean lines so that it gives the feeling of simple flow.
● Choose natural and subdued colors for your walls, floors, and furniture. The point is not to make things look dull or bland but more to give it an environment of simplicity.
● Things should look good in natural light – The lighting can make all the difference and your setup will feel more comfortable if the natural light plays well with the furniture and surroundings.
Computer Desk Setup and Accessories
Now it’s time to tackle your desk setup.
Minimalist Home Office Desk Setup – The Computer Desk and Furniture
Creating a minimalist setup for your home office computer desk has a lot to do with how you arrange your computer and accessories in your workspace. Sometimes there are many things you need to have while you work. Depending on whether you have a laptop computer or a desktop computer, connecting the accessories like a mouse or keyboard or printer will require a different setup.
Depending on the types of projects that you do as a freelancer, it will influence the amount of computer equipment that you need to have your desk. A freelance videographer will need different types of computer equipment compared to a freelance English teacher. The requirements can be different, but keeping these setups simple is the same.
In terms of designing your minimalist computer desk, it’s important to keep cords and wires hidden from view as much as possible. It can be argued that this is a normal way to set up the computer desk, and that’s true, but in terms of making a minimalist desk set up, it becomes even more important.
Some computer desks hide the keyboard or give options to store the keyboard and mouse under the desktop. These are fine as long as the usability while you are doing your projects is adequate.
Your minimalist computer desk set up should be free from clutter. What is sometimes difficult is when you require papers or books when doing your project work. Where do you store them so that you can easily find and reference them again?
Sometimes a minimalist home office computer desk setup will incorporate drawers or side cabinet. It is one possibility, but I have found that a lot of times, if you store papers in a handbag or briefcase, say, for instance, you take notes about a project on paper, you can easily keep them in your briefcase for easy access.
Once done, you can dispose of them or store them in a folder in a cabinet. In this way, your desk space is always free from clutter.
As the majority of your work as a freelancer will be done on your computer, it’s a good idea that your minimalist computer desk set up should enhance productivity.
Depending on the types of projects you will be working on in your freelance work, you can choose to have an external monitor, i.e., the one that is not used with a laptop computer, or even a dual monitor. If you are doing video editing types of work, for instance, a dual monitor setup can help you a lot.
Naturally, the first thing that you need on your computer desk is a computer. It can be a laptop computer or a desktop computer. The laptop computer will be simpler as you can use the integrated keyboard and display. However, it may need a docking station to easily connect to an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor if your work requires it. A desktop computer will integrate these keyboard mouse and monitor items without the docking station.
Accessories for Your Computer Desk
The essential accessories also come into play here. Most will want to have an external keyboard and mouse even if they can just use the integrated equipment on a laptop.
Accessories for the computer desk can be described as anything that you need, which helps support your freelance project work. For instance, if you are a digital illustrator, it may be helpful to have an external drawing pad that is connected to your computer.
When it comes to a printer, it depends a lot on whether you do a lot of printing or require it.
Whatever your needs are for accessories, keep in mind that a minimalist desk office space will aim to keep these down to a bare minimum if that is the level of minimalism your choosing. You can always store the accessories in a cabinet and then take them out when you need them.
Ideas and Inspiration
You can get some great ideas and inspiration from other people in terms of how they have arranged and organize their home office computer desk. Again, keep in mind that to intentionally choose a minimalist approach, you should keep it simple and functional.
If you are just starting out with working at home or remote working or becoming a freelancer and would like some ideas and tips, check out this article that I wrote How Can You Start Working From Home (Tips, Ideas, Skills)?
After you have set everything up for your minimalist home office desk setup, it’s best to ask yourself, if you have reached your minimalist goals. You will have to be the judge on whether you have reached your goal and if your home office desk set up is functional and simple enough to your satisfaction.