Whether you work from home full-time or just need a designated place to do the bills and respond to emails, you can make room for an effective workstation in your home with a little careful planning.

To squeeze an office into a less-than-ideal space, make well-thought-out purchases of quality office furniture and accessories that will last a long time, strive to make the space as functional and versatile as possible, and only bring the items you absolutely need into your home office. Clutter will always make you less productive, and never more so than when you are trying to work.

Here are some more tips to help you transform what existing space you have into a home office.

Use wireless and compact-sized office accessories

Computer monitors, keyboards, and mice all come in a variety of popular wireless options. If you must have other office accessories such as a fax machine or a scanner, consider choosing smaller or travel-sized electronics. They will be more expensive, but they are often more than twice as small, taking up less valuable space and less visual clutter.

Take advantage of vertical space

Home office using vertical storage. [via flickr]

Neat bulletin boards and dry erase boards can keep you organized and on-target without taking up desk space. Place family photos in hanging frames on the wall and not on the desk or a table, if you prefer to keep pictures of your loved ones near. Wall pockets are cheap and can keep files you don’t need constant access to safe and secure higher on the wall.

Computer monitors can also be wall-mounted to free up more desk space.

Have a storage system that allows you to reach everything without getting up

Every time you get up to retrieve something, you lose precious time in which you could be working. Use a storage system that will keep things neat and near at hand, whether it’s a multifunctional rolling cart or an actual piece of furniture. Arrange your items in terms of how often you will need them – daily access items should be virtually effortless to retrieve, while less frequently needed objects can be stored a little farther away.

Designate the space as an office

Minimalist, stylish small home office setup. [via flickr]

Since you don’t have the luxury of having an entire room for your office, you need to visually mark the space for what it is in some other way.This will both help people living with you realize when you are working and should not be disturbed, and gets you in the mindset to work.

Painting or wallpapering the walls of your office space is a simple but effective way to make your office distinct from the rest of the room. A cute rug or room divider can also set the space apart visually.

Use multifunctional design in a small apartment home office

If you’re still struggling to imagine working from home in your tiny apartment or condo, consider using a roll-up desk or a small entertainment center for the basis of your office. The versatility and ability to tuck everything away and close it up when you’re finished working may just give you the space you need to fit a home office into your house.