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.
#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.
#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.
Images sourced from Remodelaholic.com
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:
Image source: Remodelaholic.com
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!)
#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.