Business Monday: Balancing Home and Work Space

Do you suffer from cake clutter syndrome?

Where do you store your business stuff? In the living room? In a separate office? Shoved in a closet?

The problem with sharing work and home space is the spillover. Your work is always sitting there looking at you in one form or another. The common advice of "Close the door at the end of the day" only works if there's a door to close. If you work in your kitchen or store things in other rooms it's hard to close a door.

As I sit here in my living room typing this, I can look to the right and see the packing boxes I bought for my Etsy shipping. To my left is an ottoman that has a couple of wedding magazines and a cake supplies catalog on it. I'm sure that if I looked behind me I would see more work-related stuff, but I'm scared.

So how do you balance your work and personal space? One way is to TRY to keep everything in its place by actually cleaning up. By keeping business stuff where it goes, you'll minimize the impact that it has on your personal time. Out of sight, out of mind (as much as that's possible.)

When you're done working, take ten minutes to put things back where they go. There's nothing worse than coming in to start the day and seeing a huge pile of stuff that needs to be put away before you can start working.

If you've heard of the Flylady system, you know about the 5-minute room rescue. This is when you take 5 minutes and run around putting things away in one room as fast as you can. I don't do this anymore, to tell the truth, but I used to do it with my kids when they were little and it was very effective in controlling the clutter. Try an occasional 5-minute business purge to get things that are business-related out of your family space.

If you're finished with one task put those things away. Clean as you go and it won't be such a drag.

As far as WHERE it should go, make it somewhere that you CAN close the door (or at least have it in a different room. If you don't have an extra room for all of your cake stuff, convert a closet with shelving units and store them there. If you can't do that, go through your cabinets and get rid of random pots and pans that you don't use and clear some space for your cake stuff out.

If you can't keep everything out of sight entirely, make sure that it isn't in the family's main hang-out area. At least that way you won't have it filling the room when you're trying to relax and watch tv with the family at night.

Now excuse me while I go drag those boxes out of the way...And if you have ideas about storage for home businesses, please leave a comment!

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and