How To Turn a Closet Into a Home Office Nook on a Budget
With more and more people working from home permanently or opting for a hybrid work situation (working both in-office and remotely), there’s a rising need for a dedicated personal workspace at home. Perhaps camping out on the couch with your laptop or sitting at the dining table will work for a while, but, unless you live alone, it’s not likely a long-term solution due to encroaching on the living space of other household members and combating distractions.
But what if you don’t have a spare room to use as a home office and you don’t have the budget to build or rent one? You have to get creative. Granted, when you envision your perfect home office, it probably doesn’t include sitting in a closet. But there are some great advantages to this idea, including creating your own private workspace that you can literally close the door on at the end of your workday.
Here are some ideas for turning a closet into a home office nook on a budget, so you can live richer without breaking the bank.
You could easily break the bank by buying a high-quality, ergonomic office chair. However, when you’re trying to fit your home office into a limited space on a budget, you have to be practical.
“While I love giant chairs for your work desk, they don’t always fit in the closet,” said organizing and DIY expert Jessica Litman of The Organized Mama. “Instead, try a folding chair and add padding. There are many options online to add a cushion to any chair.”
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a folding chair, look around your home for a chair that will work. Or visit a thrift store for a compact, used office chair.
“You don’t need to go crazy on designer office furniture,” said Zoe Warren, interior designer from Price Your Job. “It’s easy and affordable to go down the self-assembly route.” You can find cheap desks or work tables online or in discount stores.
“If you’re a bit more DIY confident, then a simple piece of furniture board cut to size and mounted on low-cost shelf brackets can make the perfect desk,” Warren said. “If you need to run any wires, then either leave a space at the back or drill a hole towards the back of the board.”
Electronic Office Equipment
While you likely need your computer or laptop in your home office nook, other pieces of electronic office equipment can take up a lot of valuable real estate. Here are some suggestions to avoid this issue.
“Most printers, for example, may serve as a scanner, printer, copier, and fax machine (if you need it),” said Dean Scaduto, chief editor of Kitchen Infinity. “While an all-in-one machine dedicated to your business is an option, consider a wireless variant that allows you to position the printer outside your office and save room. Yes, you’ll have to walk to it, but it can be worth it if it allows you to reclaim some valuable desk or storage space.”
Maddie Clarke, owner of Maddie Clarke Interiors, on behalf of Accora Village, recommends installing floating shelves above your work area. “You should always maximize the vertical space available for extra storage as much as possible.” Look for affordable, small shelves online or in discount stores.
Shelving can also be a place to add some pops of decorative color in the form of personal knick-knacks or a small plant that doesn’t require sunlight.
Here are some other ideas to help you craft your home office nook in a closet on the cheap.
- Your closet area may not have a wall plug. Rather than call out an electrician to install one, invest in a power strip and extension cord.
- “For lighting, you can thrift a lamp to light up the area or buy battery-operated lights that stick to surfaces,” said Nora Mitchell, editor in chief of Household Advice.
- “If your closet does not provide enough space for monitors, then mount them on the wall,” said Christina Giaquinto, home organization expert at Modular Closets. “This can provide more space for your desk and also make it ergonomically more comfortable.”
- You may want to remove the door to the closet, install a door with louvers for airflow or take this advice from Khari Washington, a broker and realtor for 1st United Realty & Mortgage: “If a walk-in closet can fit a desk and chair, the owner might want to switch the closet door for one with a see-through glass insert. Since the space is most likely not large, seeing outside the room when the door is closed can help someone feel more comfortable and less claustrophobic.”
And perhaps the most important tip of all before you start shopping:
“Measure, measure, measure,” said Lauren Williams, CPO, owner, Casual Uncluttering LLC. “A closet is not a space where you can eyeball for your ideas of what’s going to fit in the space.”
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