What I learned during my 1st year working from home: Tips for success!

work for self, working from home, self employment


It’s been a year since I made the transition to working from home full time. To say it’s changed my life would be an understatement, and I think it’s now safe to say that I will never return to a 9-5 outside the home.

If that makes me a home-body, so be it! It all started last spring when my boyfriend and I decided to bring a little wrinkly pup into our lives; Wilbur! He was undeniably the cutest thing I’d ever seen, and from all the people who would stop me to take a picture of him, I know I wasn’t alone in that belief. Having a puppy is a full time job, anyone who tells your otherwise is lying. At the time I was working 40 hours a week at a design office, and would rush home to take Wilbur out, spend an hour training him after work, and then have little time to myself.

I didn’t like it, and I knew my job was a dead end, so quitting is was a no-brainer. When I landed an at home part-time design job, I was thrilled. I also did a lot of freelance interior design work in my city, and consequently got to be a stay-at-home dog mama [ dream come true right there ].

It wasn’t without much trial and error however that I learned how hard it can be though to work from home, especially when your hours are flexible. I realized I had been trained all my life to have direction and a set schedule, so without one I was totally lost.

Finally after a year on this path, I feel like I have a pretty solid system! I’m sharing  my biggest tips with you for managing  your work from home life.


+ Create a workspace you love being in.

Maybe you don’t love your job, but let me tell you, having a workspace you love can drastically change your mood while you work. I’ll put it this way – I despise driving. I loathe being behind the wheel. But when I bought my new car that had all the bells & whistles, and fit my personality, I actually didn’t mind driving. I still don’t love it, but driving is actually not the worst anymore. Working in your home office can be that way too.

Invest in things you love.

When I first started working from home, I was lucky enough to have a whole room in my house to use as my office. Not everyone has that luxury..but even if you only have a closet that you converted into a workspace, make it yours. If you work from home, you don’t have the restrictions of cubicles, not being able to paint or chose your own chairs…you get the point!

Here are my must haves for the space you work in.

+ A comfy office chair

+ Colors and decor that inspire you. Don’t cop out – design your space and make it something you      love being in and seeing.

+ Organizational tools. Buy that fancy pencil holder, get the gold stapler! Buy things you are going to love using that will also keep you on track and organized! (Because no boss or coworkers is going to come around and tell you to.)

+ Create a space that is all you. Hang pictures of family, things that make you smile, that make you feel like your day isn’t dragging on. Be bold, be creative.

Don’t just plop your computer down on the kitchen table and call it done. Create a space, even if it’s tiny, and give it all your love.

Here are some of my favorite adorable & chic office finds

+ Get ready every morning.

Now this is something I literally just started doing the last few months. When I first started working from home I thought – “this is awesome, I can wear my pajamas all day, no make up needed…etc” Which is true; no one was going to see me, I could wear my rattiest and comfiest sweatpants, pull my hair up, and never think twice about it. All my nice clothes hung in my closet, sad and unused, for months, until one day it hit me. I was lowering my confidence, and it was affecting my work.

I was started to feel crappy about myself. I hadn’t done my hair for months, and I only wore my cute clothing on the weekends or when I had to meet with my design clients. It was honestly a hit to my self-esteem! But I had complete control of this – so now I get ready every day. Even if my boyfriend is the only one who will see me, I feel better about myself when I get dressed. [I still don’t wear shoes! Bare foot gypsy for life over here!] However, I do put on an outfit that makes me feel good, put some makeup on, make coffee, and get my day started.

So if you work from home, I suggest not falling victim to your pajamas and messy-bun. Some days, it’s an absolute blessing to be able to do this, but getting into the habit is a dangerous cycle my friends!

Shop some of my favorite [comfy but cute] clothing pieces below!

Cotton Tunic

Jersey Knit Dress
            Versatile Scarf

+ Socialize outside of the home.

For a while, it was easy to just be home and not ever leave. I’m already a homebody, but I noticed after just a feel short months, I started to feel pretty isolated. Working for yourself, or from home can do that! I know I’m not alone in this realization, but I knew I had to fix it.

Since I can pick my own hours, sometimes I will get coffee in the mornings with my friends, or meet my boyfriend for lunch. Just getting out and being around other people helps my mindset..and quite frankly helps keep me from feeling insane.

This is especially important when you run a blog or social media account – it’s so easy to just depend on the people on those platforms. I have definitely made some genuine connections with other Instagrammers and bloggers, and even formed friendships, but if I didn’t get out to see my friends in real space, I think I would start to feel like i’m crazy.


+ Cut off time.

Just like any other job, I had to create a schedule. Because I have a flex job and set my own hours, it was easy to just push work off until noon every day, but I found that I am a creature of habit, and if I created a schedule for myself, I would be better off. I started to work within the 9-5 frame, but didn’t hold myself to it too strictly.

I start my day around 9 every morning, give or take. When my boyfriend gets home around 5, I stop working. I took a work from home job, and got in business for myself because I wanted to be able to enjoy my life and family on my own schedule. By setting my own schedule, I took back control of my days and made sure I got all my work completed in a set amount of time.

Along with creating a schedule and shutting myself off at 5 [which is hard because if you are a fellow blogger, you know you can keep working..and working..and there really is no end in site unless you designate it yourself] I also take frequent breaks. If I feel like taking a break to take my dog for a walk, then I do it. Or if I want to take a lunch break at the park, I do that. By taking breaks and treating myself to these things, I avoid burnout, which is easy when there is no one but myself motivating me!


I hope these tips help you make your work-from-home life simpler and better, like they did for me! If you have any questions or want help with an office design, never hesitate on reaching out to me!


*Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. The opinions are completely my own, and I only refer to products that I absolutely love and have tested*

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  1. Kat, I loved this article. I always sit down at the kitchen table or the floor to work on my stuff. Now I am going to find a space in the house to set up as a mini office. You are so right with everything you said!

  2. This is great! I’ve been dying to start working from home and your tips just make me that much more motivated! Love the idea of setting up a home office that you love (I personally have a marble stapler!), I think I really motivates you to work when you have a cute office space. Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. Aw! That makes me so happy that this post helps you! Working from home can be so hard at first, but ultimately it offers so much freedom! I have a marble stapler too! haha!

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