There are lots of ways to create a home office in a small space that will provide you with a quiet (well maybe not always) and cozy area where you can work. In the USA alone, the number of people working from home has increased 41% in just the past 10 years. But that same 41% of folks don’t necessarily have an extra room in which to set up a home office.
The good news is, a home office doesn’t have to take up an entire room or even a lot of space for that matter. With the common use of laptops, ipads and mobile devices now, you can easily carve out a space for a home office in a small house, condo or apartment. Creating a home office in a small space simply requires a little creative and innovative thinking.
You might be thinking an office in a closet?! Yep, it can be done. Years ago before digital photography became popular one of my hobbies was taking photos. We had thousands of physical photos in over a dozen large containers. I loved to do all kinds of creative things with our photos. The problem was where to store them. It struck me one day that we weren’t really using a hall closet efficiently so we removed the existing shelves and created a new “photo closet” which we used for many years until digital photos became the norm.
The same sort of idea can work for a home office. Consider moving existing shelves up higher and keep a step stool or ladder nearby to help reach things. Tuck a small desk or table in if there’s room and add some extra light. Or a comfortable chair and laptop tray would work too. Tall, slim shelves might be useful for providing efficient storage making use of the upper space closets tend to have. Or if you’re handy, consider building customized mini-desk, storage unit and shelves to fit the exact dimensions of the closet. The best part about creating an office in a closet is the door. Keep it open while you work and close it up when you’re done for the day. Now that’s what I call creating a home office in a small space!
Another way to create a home office in a small space is to choose a corner that’s not being used in one of your rooms. Like I said previously, with laptops and mobile devices, you may not even need a whole room for your home office anyway. Using the corner of a room, you can position a desk or comfortable chair and table in one corner and add attractive looking shelves on the walls for nice looking but efficient storage. Consider using a decorative room divider which can be found inexpensively at places like Hobby Lobby, Target or other household stores. Adding a pretty divider can give you that extra privacy and at the same time keep your work out of view from those using the remainder of the room.
Depending on what generation you are from you may or may not need or want a desk and chair. There was a time when these were considered essential for any kind of office including a home office. That’s no longer the case. Folks these days sometime choose a nice chair, oversized chair and a laptop lap tray. Other people still prefer to work at a desk as it helps them stay focused and productive. Some will use a comfortable desk chair and a small table. And there are even desks where you can exercise while you work like the treadmill desks which are increasing in popularity particularly among internet marketers. If you are going to choose a desk and chair be sure to keep your space constraints in mind. To make the best use of the available space, choose so that you maximize the use of floor space and wall space. Or look for a desk with shelves or cubbyholes and space to hold a printer and other working supplies. If your office is in the corner of a room a small cabinet that can be closed may be the perfect way to keep an uncluttered, professional look. Also, your corner home office will look more spacious if your office furniture coordinates well with other furniture in the room.
Keeping your office space organized is the key to using a small space efficiently. Make use of shelves and drawers to store files and office supplies. Store items like paper clips, pens, rubber bands, stapler, scissors, etc. in small containers or zip locks in a box or drawer to keep them from cluttering up your small space. And stay on top of papers so they don’t keep piling up.
When creating your home office in a small space, functionality is key. Maximize floor space as much as possible. Make use of surrounding walls by adding appropriately sized shelves. With the right design ideas, you can have a streamlined home office where you can work comfortably and efficiently.
I hope you enjoy using your home office in a small place. :)