Like many people in 2020, you may be suddenly looking for creative ways to work from home in a small space. Or maybe you’re just looking for some small home office ideas to liven up your space.
Either way, rest assured that just because your home or apartment is small, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a productive work space.
Even if you don’t earn money from home, you likely still need a spot to pay bills, store files, and stash a few home office supplies.
So here are some small home office ideas to help you create a functional work space at home where you can actually accomplish some work. If the kids, husband and dog will let you, that is.
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1. Use an existing alcove for a small work from home space.
Alcoves are the perfect spots for a cozy office space. In the picture below, the homeowner used the space under their stairs and added a built-in shelf for a desk. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to make a built-in, any small desk or table will do.
What a creative way to work from home in a small space! Below are two small writing tables that would work well for a tiny alcove home office space.
The homeowner below found an awkward 3 x 3 nook for her small work from home space and made the most of it with vertical shelves and a small counter space.
This next small home office idea is a little alcove just big enough for a rustic desk and some wall storage. It has a charming farmhouse vibe and yet is a super functional work from home nook in a small space.
If you’re looking for a permanent desk for your work from home small space, you should check out the rustic wall mounted desk shown below. It comes in several lengths, so you can really customize your tiny work space.
2. Create an alcove with bookcases for your work from home space.
Don’t have a cute little alcove? You can create one! Do you have two matching bookcases in different areas of your home? Try positioning them together, just far enough apart from each other to allow room for a small desk or console table between them.
3. Find a corner for your small office at home.
Corners are also good spots for a work from home space. In the picture below, they utilized a tiny corner near the entryway.
You wouldn’t think that tiny space could hold a home office, but with a little wall storage (like the pieces below), the space can really be maximized.
4. Use area in front of a window for your small work from home space.
Another small home office idea is to use the space in front of a window for a desk, since it’s low enough not to obstruct the view. Now that’s prime real estate right there!
5. A closet is a creative home office idea.
This is one of our favorite small home office ideas. Of course, you have to decide which you need more, an office or a closet, but often the stuff we have stored in a hall or guest room closet can be stored elsewhere.
Consider emptying a closet and sliding in a desk. Add some shelves for a cute office space that you can simply close the door on when your work is done.
If my small home work space looked like that, I’d be one productive chickadee, I tell ya’ that!
Below are a few product suggestions to help you get this look. The desk she’s using looks like filing cabinets with some treated wood on top, which looks great. You could also go with a simple pre-made desk. When you’re creating a small office space at home, there are lots of options to make it beautiful and functional.
6. Behind a couch could become a small work at home space.
Place a sofa table or small desk behind a couch and combine your office space with your living room. Just don’t blame us if you’re too distracted by the TV to get any work done!
I like the two options below because they are about the same height as a desk, so a regular desk chair will fit them. Also, there is no shelf or bar underneath to block your legs when sitting, AND they have a couple drawers for office supplies. These are both perfect to serve as desks in your small office at home space.
7. Use a laundry room as a temporary home office.
Do you have a large laundry room? Some have a counter or clothes folding area that can be modified into a temporary work from home small space. Just don’t have a Zoom conference during the spin cycle.
8. Try a floating desk to save space in your small home office.
If you don’t have the floor space for a desk, consider hanging a floating desk on the wall. These provide ample work space, plus they have built-in shelves for storage of a few office supplies.
9. Mount a fold-down desk.
If a floating desk is too bulky for your work from home small space, think about a fold down desk. It’s the same concept as a floating desk, but the work area folds completely up and out of the way. They’re an an easy way to gain work at home space in a tiny area.
10. Save space when you work from home with a convertible desk.
A convertible desk is great when you’re working from home in a small space. This one has plenty of storage and a fold-away work area, plus it’s on wheels so you can move it to a quieter room when your kids are driving you nuts.
11. Try this multifunctional end table as a creative home office idea.
This multifunctional end table or nightstand is a genius way to have a work from home area in a small space. There’s tons of storage in it to hide all your office supplies and the computer tray is so adjustable you can almost stand on your head and work. But we don’t recommend it. Although it would entertain the kids.
12. Use a dining table as a temporary home office in a small space.
If you have a very small space, consider combining your dining area and office into one space. This drop-down dining table with a drawer lets you store a few office supplies and has an expandable section for use when eating or working.
When you’re done with your office work, simply close up the laptop, break open the
second bottle of wine and start dining!
13. Turn a door into a desk space for a creative small home office.
When it comes to small home office ideas, we thought this DIY project was a great one! Not only is this door-turned-desk portable, but you can attach hooks to the other side so it’s also a coat rack AND it makes a cool room divider. For the tutorial to make this, click here.
14. Use a sofa table instead of a desk in your small office space at home.
Whether you put your desk behind the sofa or not, a slim sofa or console table makes a great desk for a small space. Their narrow shape takes up less floor space and makes a smaller footprint in the room. I love the elegance of this one:
In #6 above, I linked to two sofa/console tables that are great choices to double as a desk, due to their leg-room area, height, and storage. Below are a few other options that would also work in a small home office or temporary work at home space.
15. Use a rolling desk as a temporary home office space.
A rolling desk makes a handy work from home area in a small space. There’s room for your laptop, plus room for some office supplies and files. When you’re not using it, just roll it into a closet or corner somewhere out of the way.
This product is really nice because if you only need a temporary home office, you can always use it for a craft station or storage later on, when your work from home status changes. It’s a very versatile small home office idea.
16. Use a lap desk for working at home in a small space.
If you have a laptop computer, you really don’t need a designated desk. Any surface you put your computer on becomes a desk space. If space is really tight, consider a lap desk that you can use on the couch, or even in bed.
I like the one below because the legs fold down for easy storage and there’s even a compartment to store a few desk supplies.
17. Swap out your nightstand for a temporary home office area.
When you’re living in small quarters, multifunctional furniture is key. It’s a big space saver to make your nightstands double as dressers, desks, or vanity tables. So on that note, one of the most practical small home office ideas is to choose a bedside table that can double as a desk.
A small, open bottomed side or vanity table would work for this. The small vanity table below is a good option to use as a temporary work at home area in a small space.
RELATED: Space Saving Tips for Small Bedrooms
18. Pick up a folding desk to work from home in a small space.
A folding desk is a versatile option for a temporary home office space or if you need to create a work from home space in a hurry. When you don’t need it, it folds up flat and can slide under the bed and is available for other uses, like extra eating surface, kids work area, and lots of other things.
The one below has power sockets and USB charging ports, which is super convenient.
19. Use a decorative cabinet with a secret laptop tray.
Don’t you love decorative items that are functional? This cabinet with a laptop tray is a creative home office idea for small spaces. There’s two large shelves for storage underneath too.
20. Make use of a windowsill as a desk.
This homeowner was lucky and had nice wide windowsills in her home, which she used as a desk in her bedroom. An office with a view and a short commute – what else could you want?
Below are a couple genius ideas for a bit of storage at your makeshift workstation. If your windowsill is wide (deep) enough, one or both of these might be handy. These products would work well on most any desk surface where there’s no drawers.
21. Just use your bed for your office. You know you want to.
If I didn’t know better, I would think my husband invented this rolling desk that fits over your bed. It makes perfect sense though, because we’re all working in our pajamas anyway, right?
This is adjustable so if you want to convert it to a standing desk (but why?), you can. I can’t show this to my husband or he will truly never leave the bedroom.
Small Home Office Ideas for Storage
Whatever surface you use for your main work from home space, it may lack storage for files and office supplies. Below are a few small home office ideas for storage when you’re working at home.
22. Use a cart to organize your work from home small space.
Put all your office supplies on a cart and wheel it out when you need it and back in a closet or a corner when you don’t.
Below are two sturdy options for an office supply storage cart for your small home office space.
23. Make an office in a bench.
Transform a bench into a compact office by making a few simple modifications. Now that’s a super clever small home office idea! You can check out the tutorial here.
24. Use portable storage for your office supplies.
If your work from home space changes frequently (like when your kids take over the dining room table for an art project), it helps to have a portable stash of office supplies you can take with you.
Below are two popular options and both come in several different colors. This is an especially good idea for a temporary home office situation.
25. Toss what you don’t need to save space in your small home office.
In a small work from home space, there isn’t room to keep what you don’t need. Extra papers and receipts just clutter up your work area, so shred or toss what you don’t need to keep.
The same goes for office supplies. Maybe you got a great deal on paper clips and bought 5000 of them, but do you really need that many? Donate what you don’t use regularly to a teacher. They’ll thank you and your small home office space will feel less small.
After purging your supplies and papers, organize what’s left using some of the tips below. Maybe your space can look like this:
Gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s office porn, I tell ya’!
Below are a couple products to help you keep your small work at home space nice and tidy.
26. A file storage ottoman is a clever idea for your small home office space.
If you’ve read our tips for decorating a small living room, you know how much we love ottomans. You can store your files in this ottoman designed for that and then you have something to put your feet up on when you’re done working. How nice is that?
You could also buy this hanging file folder frame and convert any ottoman into file storage. Just be sure and measure the ottoman carefully to ensure the frame will fit inside it.
27. You can convert baskets to file storage too.
Another attractive way to store your files is with baskets. Just take a basket that’s the right size and add a hanging folder frame and you have a way to hide ugly file folders that’s pretty enough to display.
28. Make use of dividers and containers to organize your small work from home space.
It’s easier to find things and put them back where they go if everything has a place. Get some drawer dividers and wrangle all your pens into one spot, highlighters in another, paper clips and tape in another, and so on.
You may feel a bit discombobulated working from home at first, so having a specific spot for your supplies will help you feel more organized and a tiny bit more in control.
29. Utilize wall storage to save space in your small at-home office.
One of the best space saving tips for any room is to go vertical with your storage and that applies to small home office ideas too.
Hang a couple office file storage accessories on the wall for papers and items you need to keep accessible. The ones pictured below will add some bling to your space!
30. Color coordinate your desk accessories to brighten your work from home space.
This may not seem like one of the more important small home office ideas, but trust me, it will put a smile on your face every time you look at your desk if you do this.
Just look how pulled together this small office space looks. One might assume from looking at it that the person to whom it belongs is a poised professional and not at all the lunatic in pajamas trying to wrangle her kids. And that’s the point, isn’t it?
No need to go all hog wild and buy accessories you don’t need just because they’re cute, but do think about what you could really use and try to buy items that coordinate together and reflect your style.
The desk accessory set and file folders below both come in a bunch of other colors and patterns.
Whether you need a temporary home office space or a permanent one, I hope these small home office ideas inspire you to carve out a small work from home space that works for you. Be well.
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