How well lit are your rooms? One of the things I love about my home is that all of the rooms get a lot of natural light during the day. And, each room has enough in the way of lamps and light fixtures to make them comfortable to work in at night.
If you have a room that is dark and dreary, it’s going to work against you in your organizing efforts. You can’t see properly — and you may well find yourself avoiding the room, because it’s unpleasant.
The following are ways to address the lack of lighting:
Add some lamps or light fixtures
Determine what kind of light you need in your room — ambient light for sure, and possibly some task light — and then look for lighting to meet those needs.
Consider what kind of light bulbs you want. LEDs are coming way down in cost, so they’re a more attractive answer than they were in the past. They last longer than other light options and require less energy to run. When I put some LEDs in my home, I bought one soft (warm) light bulb and one daylight (cool) bulb to see which I preferred, before buying more. Many LEDs are dimmable, too, which can be really nice.
Rather than adding lamps or light fixtures, maybe all you need to do is replace your light bulbs. Both CFLs and LEDs allow you to get more light out of any given socket. If a socket is rated for 60 watts, for example, you can use a 13.5-watt LED light, which is the equivalent of a 75-watt incandescent, and still be totally safe.
Beside the normal lighting products we all know about, there are products to address specific lighting problems, too. For example, Ikea has a battery-operated LED light for a drawer, which goes on when the drawer is opened.
Add more natural light
If the cost isn’t prohibitive, and if you aren’t facing rental restrictions, consider adding a skylight, a solar tube, or some larger windows. If possible and practical, consider trimming back plants outdoors to allow more light to enter the room.
If you have good windows but privacy is an issue — so you keep the light out with widow coverings — bottom-up shades might work for you. These allow the light to come in at the top of the window. Window films might also be an option.
Repurpose your rooms
If your home office lacks natural light and is causing problems for you and light issues aren’t easily fixable, you may want to re-evaluate where you do your office-type activities. Can rooms be re-assigned, so the home office is relocated and the darker room becomes a room where the lack of natural light is less important to you?
Or could you do office-type activities somewhere else during the day? I’ve seen people do a lot of work at a kitchen or dining room table, in rooms with big windows with gorgeous views. It won’t work for everyone — some people would find the views too distracting — but it works for some. Just be careful about ergonomics if you’re working away from your normal desk.