Top tips for creating a home office with little or no space -


I’m blessed at The Barn with a room that I can use as a home office with space for a desk, filing and more. It’s desperately in need of a makeover of which more soon! Before we moved house I gave up my office space to the nursery and most often worked at the kitchen table. I know how difficult it can be to keep work clutter from taking over so I wanted to share some tips for creating a small home office space – even if you think you’ve got no room for one.

How to create a home office with little or no space -

#1 The mobile office

In a small space it’s really important to be able to move things around easily when you need to – so use cabinets or drawers on wheels that can be rolled or lifted away when you don’t need them and help clear the clutter of papers and files off your desk.

A selection of home office desks for small spaces -

#1 : Websurfer desk £130  #2 : Linnmon/Krille Table on wheels IKEA £51 #3 : Erik drawer unit IKEA £35
#4 : Georgia desk £64.99 GBP #5 : Alex drawer unit IKEA £90

#2 Clear the clutter

Any desk can drown in clutter so  small home office space can disappear under a pile of papers in a matter of days! Clutter shrinks your small space so start with a clean slate if you can or if you’re already overflowing with filing pop it all in a plastic see-thru box and deal with a few pieces a day until it’s all filed away. (Yup has to be see-thru so that you SEE the papers and it acts as a reminder to file them!)

Use the ‘how often do I really use this?’ test to determine what should remain on your desk. Be honest with yourself – do you use that stapler more than a couple of times a day? If not then pop it away in a box or a drawer and leave that space for something else like post-it notes or a mug of coffee! Use coloured labels and clear folders for filing – our brains recognise colour cues faster than words and the clear folders help you see what’s inside them quicker. Finally, set aside 10 mins at the end of the day to clear your desk of clutter and put everything away. This is even more important if your home office is a desk in another room.

#3 Bring dead space to life

Even the smallest house often has an area that’s dead space. A closet or cupboard that’s a junk store, an understairs area that’s underused or even a bookcase. Fill up a few garbage bags, clear the clutter and turn the area into a mini office. With a bit of DIY you can take out low shelves in a cupboard or bookcase and pop in a desk on wheels that can be pulled out. Keep shelves above it to store papers, books and other necessities just like these pictures below.

Home office in a closet -

Images sourced from

There are lots of ways to make use of understairs space and a mini-office is definitely one of them. Take a look at some understairs makeover ideas including two fab office space makeovers.

#4 Creating ambiance with colour, lighting and accessories

Particularly with a home office that sits within another room, it’s important to deliniate the space. This is especially true if your desk is up against a wall. Colour can do this really effectively but keep to solid colours or subtle prints or use one bold image that you love. You’re more likely to want to get to work if you LOVE the space you’re in, so spend a of time getting the mood right. I love this colour block idea for example:

Closet home office colour block -

Image source:

Lighting is so important if your space is short on natural light so use a combination of directional light and ambient light that can allow you to create a pleasant environment, enable you to work effectively and save your eyesight from hours spent in front of a screen.

Accessories can be both functional and beautiful – use a cable tidy to keep wires out of site, keep folders or magazines in a leather caddy, add a business card / inspiration holder to the wall or jazz it up with a stunning print.  (And of course make sure there’s still space for a hot coffee or tea!)

Home office accessories -

#1 : Signum cable trunking from IKEA £10 #2 : Metal Bay Tree card holder Dupere Design £37.50
#3 : Clock wallpaper cut out £25 and #4 Birdcard cut out £45 by Deborah Bowness
#5 : Taupe Magazine Holder from Black Orchid Interiors  ON SALE £80 #6 : Cup warmer from Amazon

Have you created a home office in a tiny space? What tips would you add for making the most of a small area? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Rhian Harris July 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm Reply

    Love this! I’m just about to kit mine out so will be using some of these tips! Thanks for sharing #thelist

  2. Jon Steinfield June 28, 2016 at 11:56 am Reply

    These are great ideas. I think the best thing that we could do to an office space is to be as minimalist as possible. It saves a lot of space that we can use for placing other stuff.

  3. Catherine @pushingthemoon October 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Reading this is perfect timing for me – I currently run my business and write my blog from the utility room! I do everything standing up, which I know is meant to be good for you, and is quite the fashionable thing, but after about half an hour all I really want to do is sit in a comfy office chair.

    I’m hoping that before the end of the year we will be able to make a little office space in the alcove in our bedroom. I’m putting a little wishlist post together about it at the moment. xxx #HomeEtc

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) October 27, 2015 at 9:32 am Reply

      Oh glad it was useful – I know there’s a trend for working sranding up but I do love my chair. My office floor slopes though so it’s a bit of a workout just staying put!

  4. mummyofboygirltwins October 19, 2015 at 11:43 am Reply

    Perfect choices. Most people have little or no room for an office and this is great! I used to have the end of the kitchen and loved it! Thanks so much for linking up with us! Jess xx


  5. Amanda October 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm Reply

    My office is quite small, and its the clutter that get me down. So I’ve adopted a clear desk rule, at the end of the day (if at all possible) and on a Sunday (which is what I’m supposed to be doing today) I write up a plan for the week, and give my office a really good tidy. It really helps me to be able to work. 🙂

  6. Caro | The Twinkles Mama October 16, 2015 at 11:57 am Reply

    Aaah I love these ideas — although I’m still DESPERATE for a large, dedicated office space!! Working from home is made difficult for me by all the stuff I have — a GIGANTIC printer for one. I love the idea of being able to shut everything away. I wish we had a spare cupboard — I’d be happy to work in that even!! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with Jess and me for #HomeEtc, we really appreciate it 🙂 xx

  7. Lins @Boo & Maddie October 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm Reply

    Wow I almost wish I didn’t have a separate office room now!! These are amazing. In the first rental flat Pete and I had, it was split level and at the bottom of the few steps down they’d built in some book shelves and crafted a little desk beneath the window, it was just perfect x #TheList

  8. Leigh - Headspace Perspective October 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm Reply

    Great tips, lovely. There are some pretty ingenious ways to use small spaces (or just get George Clarke in, my personal preference! 😉 ) I’m dreadful with small spaces though, too much of a hoarder and too untidy…xx #TheList

  9. Madeline October 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm Reply

    Ooh the photos on this post are all so beautiful! And really useful tips! I’m still not sure there’s a way to work it in my house (2 small children are taking up all the room!), but this has definitely given me things to think about, thank you! x #TheList

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