Making a Home Office from a Closet

Making a Home Office from a Closet

This is a different kind of a home office inside a closet. You’ve seen how we transformed a reach-in closet as a home office. But, like many people today, this homeowner tends to work on the sofa holding her laptop, so she doesn’t need or want an actual desk. Today we are repurposing a hall closet/cabinet to become a space where all things office-y can reside.

I love that she’s already got everything we need to make it work. In fact, she’s gone to the trouble of labeling all of these bins before. But once labelled, she never looked in them again.Seriously, she says it’s been years since she’s looked in here.

home office in a closet before organizing

There are several factors at work here, simple things that sabotaged her organizing attempts:

1. She’s an “out of sight, out of mind kind of gal. Once she stashed stuff in those black bins and put the lids on, she forgot about them. Organizing an Office in a Closet (11)

2. The shelving is too far apart, which means she has to stack things on top of other things, which means it’s hard to get to.

3. She really has no reason to ever go in this closet again, given that she has several other long, flat surfaces nearby to lay things on, like the kitchen table, a bench, the coffee table. She just doesn’t see a need to ever go in here.

4. She’s got old stuff in here, papers stacked on top of papers, and almost none of it is related to her current life.

Organizing Solutions for this Home Office In A Closet

First, we rejiggered the shelves. We stole two shelves from the cabinet next to it, but you could easily have MDF or plywood shelves cut to size at your local hardware store. With more shelves, we don’t have to stack anything on top of anything else.

Second, we re-used all of her boxes, which aren’t see through, but we labelled them and put the lids underneath. This way, when she opens the door, she’ll see exactly what she’s looking for, or see where something should be put away. The boxes up on top are where she’s storing photos and greeting cards she’s received. This keeps them safe and un-crunched until she’s ready to put them in albums. Organizing an Office in a Closet (16)

We started taping useful information to the inside of the cabinet door. This isn’t shown in the picture, but if she’s looking for something she needs, like a nutrition plan or an exercise routine, she’s more likely to open the door more often.

After going through her paper, she kept precious little. A few work-related references are stored in binders up top. We’ll turn a nearby cabinet drawer into a filing cabinet by adding a file frame insert. So she can have all of her household papers near at hand without the room ever having to look like an office.

Organizing an Office in a Closet (15)Right in the middle, she has a blue tray where she can lay her papers that would otherwise land on the kitchen table. You can’t see it, but it’s labelled “To File”. Her tickler file is the brown accordion file right in the middle, labelled with January-December tabs.

Next to the accordion file, did you notice that we turned the magazine files around? If these are just for display, by all means, put the pretty, taller side in the front. But here, we’ve turned them for easy access to her hobbies, music and art.

organizing home office with magainze files

The very bottom shelf, the one that is furthest out of reach, is perfect for storing a backpack and travel pillow.

If you need an office-y space, but not another desk, will this kind of closet or cabinet storage work for you?

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