Innovation right here


Someone sleeping in my office?

There seems to be a problem in many homes: one room less! Many families are trying to accommodate a guest room, a TV room, and a home office all in one space.

A large percentage of families scatter as jobs and opportunities send them to the four corners of the earth. And when the extended family comes to visit, well, they need a place to sleep!

There goes the office!

If this scenario occurs from time to time, perhaps it can be tolerated. An extended house guest, such as a returning child needing to regroup, can take over the space for months!

When you have a room assigned for “double duty,” do a reality check before this totally disrupts your life.

Questions to consider:

  • Who (each and every possibility) would you invite / accommodate as a guest overnight if necessary?
  • So what are the odds of that happening?
  • Also: What time frame would be appropriate? Set limits for the visit.
  • How difficult is it to turn your office into a guest room? (ie: make the bed, make the bed, clean the room, put away your projects, hide private papers, and make room for a guest’s suitcase and toiletries to fit into the space?

In my case, we greatly downsized from a large 5-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom house in Vancouver after our children moved in. The dilemma was how to use the extra space: who gets the free space for the office, guest room, storage, and more. Also: Where do we put the spinning bike?

As I work outside the home, it made sense to take the extra space, but I declined. The odds of family and friends coming over for a weekend could adapt, but if one of the kids decided to stay with us for a summer or a while it would be a total disruption for me!

I gave the ‘spare room’ to my husband as a part-time office, long-term storage, and space to exercise 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, we receive a guest from the house. If we need a house keeper, they can stay in the “spare room”. No interruptions for me!

So where do I work? Luckily for us, there is a sizeable alcove off the master bedroom. I have arranged this as my own space and no one will come to interrupt my works, projects and line of thought. It is very important to me to have a special office space created for me. Yes, if I didn’t have a room divider, extra plants, and my things hanging in my space, I could be part of the master. But I have managed to make it work. (Some days, it’s hard to resist joining the cat in bed for a nap!)

If you need help coordinating your ‘spare room’ feature, I have many more ideas. Take the time to do an evaluation of the space and you can make a solid decision about what is best for you and your family.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *