Working from home sounds great until you remember that home is a tiny studio apartment without a square inch to spare. Before you give up on your dreams of working remotely, take a second look around your tiny home. You may not have a spare room, but with a little creativity, you can transform the most inauspicious of spaces into a stylish, productive home office.
Where to Put a Home Office in a Small Home
The first question, of course, is where to put a desk in your already-packed home. Look to spaces that are underutilized, such as a cluttered corner or a closet storing long-forgotten belongings. This may require some rearranging, so be prepared with storage solutions that let you make the most of the little space you’re working with. Storing off-season clothing in vacuum bags, adding vertical storage in closets, or moving clothes from a closet to a dresser are all ways to free up square footage for a home office.
Speaking of closets: Many remote workers find these are the ideal space for a small home office. Whether it’s a walk-in closet or a shallow pantry, closets offer privacy, storage, and the ability to literally shut your work away at the end of the workday. When it comes to maintaining work-life balance in a tiny home, that’s hard to beat.
Making Space for a Home Office
Do you really not have enough space for a home office, or is the problem that you have too much stuff? Clutter is the enemy of productivity, so start identifying things you can clear out to make room for a workspace. Little stuff like books and knick-knacks are common targets for decluttering but don’t overlook large items. Getting rid of a couch you rarely use, replacing a long and low bookshelf with a tall, thin one, or ditching your entertainment center frees up a lot of space in one swift motion so you’re not stuck in an endless struggle with the “maybe pile.”
Rather than trying to haul big, heavy items out of your apartment and to the dump, hire junk removers to do the dirty work — including taking the necessary items to recycling centers — so you can focus on designing your workspace.
If you have stuff you don’t use often but don’t want to get rid of, like seasonal décor and outdoor equipment, look into nearby storage spaces. While you’ll spend a little on storage rent each month, it pales in comparison to the time and money you’ll save by working from home.
Space-Saving Affordable Fixtures for Your Home Office
Living in a small home means saying goodbye to your dreams of an imposing executive desk and custom wooden built-ins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfectly respectable home office. Instead of resigning yourself to working at the kitchen table, look for pieces that let you make the most of your limited space, like these:
- A wall-mounted desk that folds away.
- An office chair that pulls double-duty.
- Floating shelves or bookshelves for space-saving storage.
- A filing cabinet that actually looks good.
- A laptop instead of a desktop computer.
- A sit-to-stand desk riser for space-saving ergonomics.
- An adjustable lamp for task lighting.
You can save on office equipment and furniture when you shop through big-box retailers like Staples and Office Depot. Stretch your savings further by using Staples coupons and discount codes when you buy.
Small apartments certainly pose challenges for new remote workers, but making space for your home office is a decision you won’t regret. Not only does working from home mean you can clock in wearing your PJs, but remote workers also get to skip out on long, stressful commutes. When the alternative is spending long hours stuck in traffic, giving up your closet for a home office doesn’t sound so bad!
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About the author: Kelli Brewer is proud of her military family and is passionate about supporting military families. She is part of DeployCare, an avenue for resources and solutions for issues commonly faced by military families before, during and after deployment. Their team is composed of veterans and their spouses who have experienced many of the issues that arise when there is not adequate support when needed.