|Even people who don't work from home benefit from having a space for the computer and files.|
Home offices have become a priority in the U.S. Even people who don't actually work from home benefit from having a dedicated space for the family computer and all the important files needed to keep our lives running smoothly and the bills paid on time. Crafters, bloggers, gamers and hobbyists of all kinds need an office space to work or play in. But not everyone has the luxury of a spare room that can be used as a home office. However, if you're willing to give up just one small closet you can have a fully functional office at home.
Basic Office Needs
There are three main priorities for every office: Utilities, a desk and storage. Each of these basics can fit into a standard closet with a little creativity.
Even wireless laptops need to be plugged in now and then. In most cases an extension cord and a grounded power strip will provide the utilities you need, but if you're home office requires several electric components you may want to hire an electrician to add the appropriate outlets in or near the closet. You don't want an unsightly octopus of cords running up the wall and around the corner in order to power up.
|Organization is key for a small space.|
Using a large shelf as a desk opens up the floor space (no desk legs) leaving more room for a computer tower, a small file cabinet or your long legs. Install the shelf by first securing a 2x4 to each side and the back of the closet to serve as braces. Cut a piece of plywood to the inside dimensions of the closet and lay it across the braces -- you've got a desk! Sand and paint or cover the plywood with contact paper to upgrade the look.
Baskets and bins are a fantastic storage solution for a small space, find them in big discount stores, office supply outlets or even the "dollar" stores in your area. Purchase storage containers that can be labeled to make organization easy, and use multiples of the same style of bin or basket to help keep the small space looking neat.
- For easier access while working on the conversion, remove the closet doors.
- Replacing the door with a curtain hung on a rod above the door frame makes it easy to hide the office when not in use without crowding you the space like a door might.
- It's not unusual for a closet floor to be covered in different material than the hall or bedroom it's in. Set your office chair on a large plastic floor mat for easier gliding and to protect the floor's finish.
- Small shelves running up the sides of the walls and a large one running across the top will provide space for all the gadgets, books and supplies you need.
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