If you have a home-based business (38 million Americans do and $427 billion per year is made by them), or you are a full-time peacekeeper and peacemaker at home, or you’re doing both, this article is for you.
When you think about it, every institution has its “costume.” Prisons, hospitals, courtrooms, restaurants, car repair shops, beauty salons and the list could go on-and-on. But if you Google, Dress for Success at Home you’ll get a gob of photos of people in offices, outside big city buildings and walking on sidewalks all dressed for success for business outside the home.
Hey, you don’t need to look like a Wall Street tycoon to work at home, but there are some important rules for you to follow if you want success and to feel good about your work and yourself.
When you’re home all day, if you’re not careful you’ll end up in recluse attire! You know, your pajamas. God knows they’re comfortable and cozy and if you don’t have some style boundaries, you could hang out in them for days. That’s probably what’s happened when you see an adult in the grocery store in pajamas. Just remember, that person could be contributing to that $427 billion dollars!
Actually working at home as a full-time caregiver or an at-home entrepreneur or both, you actually need a wardrobe that changes during the day. Before you panic, the changes are simple, and will save you time, money and peace of mind in the long run.
Rule 1: Pajamas are for sleeping.
Dress in your jammies right before bed as part of your before-bed routine. In the morning, get dressed for the next activity which might be exercise, housework, office work, yard work depending on your daily schedule. When you work at home, if you stay in your nightwear, you invariably have that somebody-might-come-over monkey on your shoulder. For your peace of mind, get dressed first thing in the morning.
Rule 2: Wear an apron or chef coat when you cook.
When you work in the kitchen, dress like a chef with either a chef’s coat or apron. It’s interesting when you dress the part you feel professional about the task. Cooking is messy. You’ve seen the aprons and chef coats that come out of restaurant kitchens. If you don’t protect your clothes, it won’t be long before all your regular, every-day clothes will look like kitchen worker’s garb.
Rule 3: Prevent stains.
How many times have you seen this little note from your dry cleaner “We’re sorry but we were unable to remove this stain!”? Stop stains by protecting your clothes while you eat. If you eat in the family room while you watch television, get an extra-large eating shirt and consider it a culinary condom!
When you sit at the table for a meal, you aren’t distracted by what’s on television, so stains aren’t as common. They make bibs for adults, but if you’ve got a scarf you thought you liked but never wear, use it as a bib when you sit at the table. Keep it where it’s easy to get to at mealtime. Also, if you slow down and enjoy every bite you’ll be less likely to slop food on yourself or your scarf.
Rule 4: Be attractive for home work and errands.
When you get dressed to do your work, dress all the way to shoes; fix your hair, put on a little make-up (if you wear it) and you’re ready to play with children, talk to clients, run errands and all the activities busy at-home women have.
Rule 5: Wear yard garb.
You don’t have to wear overalls, but use old clothes to work in the yard. Stop yourself when you get sidetracked by your flowerbeds and start weeding in your nice clothes. If it happens very often, you’ll end up with a wardrobe of yard clothes.
Rule 6: Wear an exercise outfit.
If you’re serious about exercise, invest in some active wear. It’s a good idea to wear clothing made for exercise because it’ll make you feel like an athlete. If you like what you look like and feel like in sweatpants and sweatshirt that’s fine, but keep them specifically for workouts, not eating, not housework, yardwork or sleeping.
Rule 7: Lounge wear is a must.
People who work outside the home have a definitive stopping point. They leave and have drive-time from the workplace to the home. A crucial aspect of working at home is to know when to quit. The best thing to do to define quitting time is to dress for it. It’ll help you immensely to have lounge wear you can slip into and tell your brain, “It’s time to quit.”
A new home based business is started every 12 seconds and 70 percent of them will succeed within three years versus 30 percent of those starting a regular business outside the home. Forty-four percent of home-based businesses are started for under $5,000. Seventy percent of Americans would prefer to be self-employed.
I’ve worked from my home my entire life and I know it takes being organized to stay on top of everything, but it’s very rewarding. I use my 3×5 card file to direct everything in my home and I recommend reading my latest book, The Joy of Being Disorganized as it’ll give you a plan to get organized just enough to please you whether you work outside your home or in it. If you’d like a free chapter from the book on how to declutter, help yourself: http://lp.cluborganized.com/free-chap-arose