Home Office Ideas (when you don’t have a home office)

So, you’re working from home now … but you don’t actually have a home office. That can make it difficult to stay focused and be as productive as you’d like to be. I wanted to talk about some ideas that could be a solution to your problem. You may have a space in your home currently being used for another purpose that would be better to put to use as your workspace given the current situation. Without a dedicated room to serve as your office, it’s time to get creative … let’s consider closets, stair landings, under-stair nooks, built-in cabinetry, or maybe just an unused corner and how to make it work.

Closets Can Make a Compact and Cool Office Spot

This is a fairly easy transformation and gives you a separate space to get creative with. Remove the doors for a visible office nook or if the closet is deep enough, leave doors intact so your office can be closed off as needed. If you have an unused (or under-utilized) walk-in closet, that’s a perfect place to use.

Things to consider:

  • Electricity – You probably don’t have an outlet in the closet. The budget friendly option involves a power strip and extention cord. Hire an electrician if you’ve got a little money to spend to add outlets and light fixtures (don’t forget the cool phone charger wall outlet option … here’s an example).

  • Lighting – If you’re having lighting installed, recessed lighting is probably your best bet. A good budget-friendly option is LED light strips affixed to the shelf above your work area.

  • Shelving/Storage – See the ideas below and spend some time thinking about how YOU use your space before coming up with a plan.

  • Get As Creative As You Like – Paint it, wallpaper it, stencil it … or just keep it neat and organized. Make it yours. If you keep the doors intact, don’t forget to use that space (bulletin boards, hanging storage, etc).

Make Your Stair Landing Work For You

What are you currently using your stair landing for?

A play space, a sitting spot, or absolutely nothing?

As long as it doesn’t block the flow of traffic, it could work for your office.

Things to Consider:

  • Lighting – It’s probably easy enough to add a lamp if the current lighting isn’t sufficient.
  • Space – Choose a slim desk and chair that fits neatly under the desk to avoid blocking traffic
  • Storage – Make sure you have your space organized in a way that your work is easy to keep neat and tidy since it will be in plain view

Under Stair Nooks

Unless you have an open stairway, this option would require a little construction job to open up the under-stair space, but it’s doable and a great way to put that unused square footage to work.

Things to consider:

  • Construction: When creating a space from scratch, even a small space, you have the ability to create exactly what you need. Spend some time considering how you work best and how you can use your new space to the fullest.
  • Lighting: Recessed lighting is a great option. Add table lamps for additional lighting.

Convert Your Existing Built-Ins

If your home has built-in cabinetry in the kitchen, dining, or any other space in the house that could be put to better use as you’re working from the home now, use those built-ins for a new purpose! No need to buy or install shelving … make it work for you as is. Another option in this set-up is placing a small desk in front of a built-in feature. Supplies, paperwork, and other office items would be housed within the shelving.

Things to consider:

  • Electricity – You may or may not have a convenient outlet, so you’ll have to decide between using an extension cord and hiring an electrician for this small job.
  • Space – This is probably the option that requires the most organization since your office space may be in full view.

Other Options When None of the Above are Available

  • Not ideal, but a small office can always be tucked away in the corner of your living area. Privacy panels could be used to hide all your materials.
  • Create a portable office by investing in some easy to move and tuck away baskets or bins. Pull out your office bins and set up shop on your dining room table. Pack it all away at the end of the day.
  • Unused hallway space could be converted to create a tiny office. Use your vertical space to the fullest and get creative with storage.
  • A dormer can make a cute and cozy office space and is relatively easy to set up. You’ll enjoy the natural light and the architecture of the space may give you some interesting possibilities.

I hope I’ve given you some things to consider if a home office is on your wish list. Sometimes you just have to make up your mind and set aside a weekend to start moving in the right direction to get it done.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like some advice … I love to find solutions to problems and would be happy to help you create an office space you’ll love!

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