Running a home-based business is like a dream come true for most mothers. You get to continue pursuing your dreams of having a fulfilling career even as you ensure that your children are being raised right (in your care instead of at the hands of some random strangers). And yet, the opportunity to work from home doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t face the same challenges that parents who work offsite have to contend with. In fact, you may have a whole host of difficulties that other working parents don’t even have to think about. While many parents worry about bringing their work home with them, your business is already entrenched in your residence. So how do you keep your house from turning into your office?

While most people who start a home-based business create a dedicated space to carry out their work, it’s all too easy for your business paraphernalia to spread around to other rooms. Since you’re splitting time between work and family, there will probably be times when you move your laptop (along with paperwork, a cell phone, and even product) to the playroom, kitchen, or living room so that you can keep an eye on the kids while you get some work done. If you’re busy during the day, you might even set up camp in your bedroom so you can lounge in bed while you answer emails late into the night. What you may not realize is how this causes your work to infringe on the rest of your life.

Soon you will have no separation between work and family, which could be detrimental to both. Neither will have your full attention, leading to potential slip-ups with your business and hurt feelings amongst the ones you love (totally undermining your reasons for staying home in the first place). Additionally, you subject your home to constant clutter and risk having business-related materials damaged by kids, pets, or whoever else happens to be in your house. And you effectively turn your family’s home into an office by subjecting everyone to the detritus of you job. In short, you allow your business to take over the rest of your life. The good news is that you can easily overcome this situation to get your life back in order.

By remanding all of your work supplies to one area of your home, you can not only compartmentalize the materials components of your business, but also set clear physical boundaries for the different areas of your life. If you need to keep the kids close so you can get work done without having to jump up every couple of minutes to check on them, set up a portable play area (a bin with some toys or a folding craft table) that can easily be moved into your office for a couple of hours (and then returned to the playroom later on). And leave work-related items firmly entrenched in the office. By bringing them into other areas of the home, you upset the space that is for your family and create an imbalance that can lead to bad feelings (especially between you and your spouse) and also cause you to feel like you’re always at work. Keep your spaces separate to ensure that when you turn off the lights and close the office door, you’re going home for the night.

Jennifer Kardish writes for Converting Tech where you can find an assortment of vacuum packaging machines and custom poly bags along with other superior flexible packaging solutions.

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