In need of a home office, but short on space? With a little creativity, it’s possible to carve out a quiet location to take care of business even when it seems like every square inch of your home is in use. Try these tactics for creating a workspace in your small home:
1. Clean Out Your Closet
Maybe you don’t have a spare bedroom to convert into a home office, but how about a closet? Remove the items from the space and store them elsewhere, and you have a blank canvas with which to work.
To convert your closet into an office, take out the pole for hanging clothing and install a small desk up against the wall. If there isn’t sufficient square footage for a desk, have a built-in workspace installed, as well as open and closed shelving and an electrical outlet for your computer and lighting.
Make up for the fact that your mini office lacks a window view by hanging on the walls posters or pictures of your favorite outdoor scenes.
Removing the door of your closet office opens the space up considerably, but it prevents you from shutting the door when you want quiet and privacy. If you choose to keep the closet door intact so that you can close yourself in, have a doorknob installed on the interior of the door.
2. Convert a Nook
If the most room you can carve out is a nook in your kitchen or living room, there’s plenty you can do to convert the space into a productive home office. Slide into the nook a small desk or have a built-in created, as well as shelving.
Because a nook won’t have a door, make the mini office blend with the rest of the room by decorating in similar patterns and color tones and using the same hardware. Avoid a cluttered look by using decorative baskets to store your work. Take advantage of the overall ambient lighting coming from the room. For close-up work consider a small desk lamp. If you want to cover the office nook when not in use and doors aren’t possible, consider installing curtains to camouflage the space.
3. Commandeer a Hallway
Since their main use is allowing for passage from one area of the home to another, hallways tend to offer an opportunity to carve out office space. In order to allow for continued passage through the space, install a narrow workspace and shelving. Make walking through the space as comfortable as possible by opting for chairs that can be pushed well underneath the workspace when they aren’t in use. Also prevent the space from seeming closed in and constricted by installing or painting shelving to match the color of the walls.
4. Steal Space from an Existing Room
If you have a room that is particularly large, such as an open-space living room or a roomy bedroom, try installing a room divider or use screening to create a room within the room. Disrupt the space plan as little as possible by portioning off for your office no more than one-third of the space.
5. Retreat to the Garage
Redecorate your garage or even part of it, and you could find yourself sneaking away to your quiet retreat every chance you get. Make the garage space appealing and comfortable by insulating the concrete slab and then carpeting it, as well as insulating the walls and ceiling. Consider adding heating and cooling for the space, and if possible, include a window to the outside and a door.
6. Add an Attic Hideaway
If you have an attic, consider using it for office space. Prior to embarking on outfitting the space for your home office, check with a building contractor to make certain that by building standards the space is big enough and safe for converting. If you do remodel the attic to accommodate an office, make certain to insulate and provide for adequate heating and air-conditioning.
7. Use a Roving Office
If you simply can’t find a spot in your home for even the smallest of offices, try a portable workspace. Furniture, like computer desks with wheels, can be outfitted with all of your essentials and wheeled to whatever quiet area presents itself. Opt for a unit with shelving and storage space, so that you keep on board items like your computer and printer and books and office supplies.
Squeezing office space into your home may present a few challenges, but the results of a functional space to take care of business without leaving home is well worth the trouble.