How Do You Make a Home Office in a Small Space?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Nov 1, 2022

With so many people making their living working from home, the need for a home office has skyrocketed. However, not everyone has a spare guest bedroom, so how do you make a home office in a small space? With housing and rent prices rising steadily, extra square footage is hard to come by. Still, anyone who works at home knows that a dedicated office space is crucial to productivity.

To make a home office in a small space you need to get creative and maximize the available space effectively. When space is limited you can build your office vertically, make use of unused corners, mount your desk or shelves to hold office equipment to walls, or creating multiple functions for one area. 

It might not be as easy as moving a bunch of office furniture into an empty room, but making a home office in a small space is TOTALLY doable.

Utilize handy desks and desk-adjacent surfaces to carve out your own dedicated home office space, even if that means thinking outside the box. A tiny, quiet office nook is better than a loud, spacious centralized area.

Creating a Functional Home Office in a Small Space

used by permission from TheTiniestOffice
used by permission from TheTiniestOffice

For those of us who do not have extra bedrooms to convert into luxurious home offices, we have to look into other spaces in our homes and apartments to set up shop. With innovation and ingenuity, any blank space can become a small home office.

Some examples include:

The goal is not to add to the clutter of an already hectic space, but to streamline efficiency by implementing built-in storage, unconventionally shaped desks, and wall-mounted surfaces when possible. You want to have enough room to work comfortably without halting the goings on of your living quarters.

Get Creative with Small Office Spaces

When most people think of a home office, they think of a dedicate room with plenty of storage, a large desk with ample space and multiple monitors, and lots of room to roll around in a ergonomic office chair.

Unfortunately, that is not the reality for most of us actually working at home.

With so many people making their living working from home, the need for a home office has skyrocketed.

With housing and rent prices rising steadily, extra square footage is hard to come by. Still, anyone who works at home knows that dedicated office space is crucial to productivity. 

However, not everyone has a spare guest bedroom, so how do you make a home office in a small space?

If you need a home office but do not have much space to spare, don’t worry – there are solutions.

It just takes some creativity. That could mean taking advantage of unused corners, mounting office equipment to walls, or creating multiple functions for one area. 

It might not be as easy as moving a bunch of office furniture into an empty room, but making a home office in a small space is doable. Utilize handy desks and desk-adjacent surfaces to carve out your own dedicated home office space, even if that means thinking outside the box. A tiny, quiet office nook is better than a loud, spacious centralized area.

Get Creative with Small Office Spaces

Creating a Functional Home Office in a Small Space

For those of us who do not have extra bedrooms to convert into luxury home offices, we have to look into other spaces in our homes and apartments to set up shop. With innovation and ingenuity, any blank space can become a small home office. 

Some examples include:

  • Placing a flip-down desk in an office hallway
  • Creating an office space in a walk-in closet or cupboard
  • Attaching a floating console table to the wall

The goal is not to add to the clutter of an already hectic space but to streamline efficiency by implementing built-in storage, unconventionally shaped desks, and wall-mounted surfaces when possible. You want to have enough room to work comfortably without halting the goings-on of your living quarters. 

Creating a Functional Home Office in a Small Space

Get Creative with Small Office Spaces

When most people think of a home office, they think of a dedicated room with plenty of storage, a large desk with ample space and multiple monitors, and lots of room to roll around in an ergonomic office chair. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for most of us actually working at home. 

However, if you don’t have a ton of space to work with, don’t think you have to miss out on a dedicated workspace. It might just look different than you initially imagined it in your childhood dreams of freelancing. 

Eliminate What You Don’t Need

One of the best things you can do when you work from home is to get rid of things you do not need. Working from home is a blessing for many people, but it can also create a weird situation where the work-life balance becomes perpetually blurred.

Help yourself by selling, donating, or tossing items that you do not need. Not only will it make you breathe easier in your small space, but it will give you more area to work with. 

  • Empty out a coat or linen closet. 
  • Stop hoarding non-perishables in the pantry. 
  • Move your dusty holiday decorations out of the attic. 

Any one of these solutions could potentially open up ample room for you to implement a workstation. If you have an empty linen closet or coat closet, you can remove or rearrange shelving into a desk space. The same goes for a pantry or attic. Just ensure you have proper electrical wiring that will allow you to plug in your computer and desk lamp. 

When you are not using your desk, you can simply close the doors on it, and it disappears. Essentially, your home office would not take up any extra space at all. 

Rearrange Furniture to Make Space for Office Furniture

You probably like how your living room or bedroom is currently arranged. Well, that’s too bad. If you really need to make room for office furniture, it’s time to consider rearranging. You might like what you come up with.

It’s easy to arrange your furniture based on the limits set by the walls of your home or apartment. However, you can create your own boundaries using large furniture items or partitions. 

Split a room into a multifunctional space by allotting a small portion of it for home office use. You do not need much room for a functional home office space. If you work on a laptop computer, your actual desk can be quite small

WOHOMO Folding Desk, Small Foldable Desk 31.5″ for Small Spaces, Space Saving Computer Table Writing Workstation for Home Office, Easy Assembly, Oak

  • Collapsible desk is light and sturdy,even your 12-Y kid could easily take it from bedroom to any other room,you could use it beside bed,sofa,living room etc,give you flexibility.
  • WOHOMO desk with 2.76inch folded width,can be easily store behind couch,under the bed,coner space,RV etc,fold up at anywhere at any time you want.

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Haotian FWT43-W,White Computer Desk Workstation Writing Desk Children Teenagers Desk

  • This modern and compact desk is perfect for children and teenagers.
  • With 1 drawer and 2 hooks on the right hand side, offering storage space and keeping desk tidy and organized.

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FURINNO Simplistic Study Table, Espresso

  • Simple stylish design, Functional and suitable for any room
  • Material: Premium quality composite wood. Shape: Rectangular

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Convenience Concepts Designs2Go Mission Desk, Oak

  • Part of the Designs2Go Collection
  • Available in Multiple Finishes

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Yaheetech Mobile Computer Desk Cart, Small Rolling Laptop Desk PC Table Workstation with Drawer and Printer Shelf, Writing Desk Table for Small Space/Home Office

  • Compact storage: This small laptop table comes with a clear tabletop, smooth drawer and substantial shelves in the middle and at the bottom. Smooth metal runners and safety stops give a smooth drawer for your writing supplies. Back plate protects books from falling off the middle shelf. Open bottom shelf allows an easy access to your printer.
  • Solid materials: This durable writing desk is built of a well-finished metal frame and quality E1-compliant MDF panels with high strength. It has allover surface with water-resistant treatment so that you could easily wet clean the whole structure. Safe to use for people at all ages.

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Home Office in a Studio Apartment 

In a studio apartment, there are no extra rooms to speak of. However, in big cities like New York and San Francisco, studio apartments are relatively normal for singles and couples, many of whom work from home. If you live in a studio apartment, your home office options are not as limited as you might think. 

If you have a couch and TV set up in your studio apartment, scoot your couch away from the wall and use a console table, sofa table, or writing desk behind it. You will probably need a narrow one since most studio apartments have limited square footage. However, moving your couch away from the wall will open up quite a bit of space and allow for a small, hard surface on which to do your work. 

Convenience Concepts Nadia Chrome Console Table, Clear Glass / Chrome

  • Showcases a modern contemporary style
  • Crafted from chromed metal and tempered clear glass

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Heather Ann Euro Collection Writing Desk Console Table, Black

  • Perfectly Sized For Your Home: This Console Table Measures 35.4″L x 11.8″W x 31.5″H to Perfectly Fit Your Home, Den, or Office. Easy Assembly Required
  • Added Storage For Productivity: This Piece From The Euro Collection Features 2 Storage Drawers To Keep Writing Supplies

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If you have a coffee table in your studio apartment, you can also use it as a work desk. Just be sure you are able to work on it for long periods comfortable without bending over and hurting your back. 

There are also laptop tables that you can use while sitting in bed. These do not take up much space in an already small apartment. The one downside is that you will be working in bed, which is not necessarily the best way to be productive. 

Overbed Table with Wheels Overbed Desk Over Bed Desk King Queen Bed Table Overbed Laptop Table Over Bed Table with Wheels(Black)

  • Length and Height Adjustable:Fit beds of different size,queen size bed table,king overbed table.
  • Multifunctional:It is an adjustable overbed table, but also can be use as an mobile computer table.

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Turn Awkward Spaces into Dedicated Home Office Areas

Some homes have strange and awkward spaces that make you scratch your head and wonder what the builder or contractor was thinking. Usually, these spaces go unused for years, or they get designated as “junk” areas. Take advantage of these weird crannies by turning them into office spaces.

  • Nook under a staircase: You might not decorate under a staircase because no one is going to see your designs. Plus, these areas are usually not very inviting spaces. But you can work under a staircase quite easily. Bring in a floor lamp and desk and, voila, you have a home office and useful space.
  • Oddly shaped corners: Not all rooms are surrounded by four 90-degree corners. Some corners are angled strangely and seem too small to fit anything comfortably. However, you can have a piece of wood or other material custom fitted into any corner to act as a desk. 
  • Empty walls: All of the most beautifully decorated homes seem to have the best art on the walls. However, not every wall gets this expert treatment. If there is a section of your home with an empty wall, take advantage of it by installing a mounted desk and mounted shelving. You can fit everything you need for a home office on these items. 

If you do have corners available that are too small for any other function, space-saving L-shaped desks and corner desks are great options. When utilizing a corner, you can fit more desk area into a smaller space than you can when thinking in a straight line. 

FEZIBO L Shaped Electric Standing Desk, 48 Inches Height Adjustable Corner Desk, Home Office Sit Stand Desk with Bamboo Top and Black Frame

  • Trustworthy: The concept of FEZIBO standing desk is to make and provide office furniture that is well-built, affordable and designed to create an energetic and supportive workplace
  • Robust Lift System: FEZIBO Lift System offers height adjustment from 27.6 inches to 47.3 inches, enhancing the efficiency when using with lower noise (under 50 dB)

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Use Vertical Space When Floor Space Is Limited

If you need lots of storage for your work-from-home job, filing cabinets and large storage boxes are not always the best option when you have a small space. That is where vertical storage options save the day. 

Wall35 Amalfi Hanging File Folders Office Desk Organizer Wall Mount Wire Basket Storage Magazine Holder 3 Sectional Set of 2 Black

  • Attractive Organization: Whether you work from home, in a small business, or in a corporate building everyone needs to gain organizational habits to work more productively, these farmhouse design wall mount metal wire racks with front labels are perfect for organizing your file folders and documents
  • Charming Design: You can get organized with ease, these wall mounted basket racks are perfect for helping you utilize your empty wall space efficiently. Use the racks to organize your magazines, catalogs, file folders and to decorate your walls at the same time

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FRIADE Wall Grid Panel for Photo Display,Wall Storage Organizer,5 Metal Clips & 3 S Hooks & 4 Nails & 4 Plastic Hanging Buckles and 4 Screws Offered,Size 17.5″ x 11.8″,2 Pack(Rose Gold)

  • HIGH QUALITY: Made of iron wire,surface with electroplating technology, anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion, can extend the service life effectively
  • WALL DECOR:Simple and elegant Wall Grid Pane for your home improvement,Great for hanging photo,postcard, artwork,calendar in study,dining room, living room, bedroom, farmhouse, apartment,restaurant,dorm room or office

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Wall Control Office Organizer Unit Wall Mounted Office Desk Storage and Organization Kit Black Wall Panels and Black Accessories

  • Wall Control Office Organizer features a strong metal construction and is Made in USA
  • Office Desk Storage Kit accepts all Wall Control slotted tool board accessories

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mDesign Soft Fabric Wall Mount/Over Door Hanging Storage Organizer – 4 Large Cascading Pockets – Holds Office Supplies, Planners, File Folders, Notebooks – Textured Print – Gray

  • INSTANT ORGANIZATION: Store and organize file folders, tablets, notebooks, pens, pencils, books, letters, envelopes, magazines, catalogs, scissors, and more; The middle pocket features 2 smaller sections to keep little items secure; Great for storing personal items, such as cell phones, headphones, water bottle, reading glasses and other office needs
  • STYLISH STORAGE: These soft storage organizers keep desk and office clutter under control by storing all of your office supplies in one convenient place; Simply hang over interior doors or closet doors; 2 metal over-the-door hooks with a chrome finish are included; Fits over standard interior doors; The item can also be mounted to the wall, simply use the holes with reinforced metal grommets at the top of the part to hang (mounting hardware is not included)

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BAMEOS Floating Shelf ,Wall Shelf,Decor Wall Mounted Shelves ,Hanging Shelf Set L24xW6 for Bathroom Kitchen Living ,Kitchen,Room Bedroom Storage,Black

  • The support design that extends into the shelf is strong and can hide the bracket well, achieving a simple and beautiful decorative effect. Moreover, the installation is very simple. The parts and installation instructions for installation are included with the package. The installation can be completed in as short as 15 minutes as long as the order of the instructions is followed.
  • The minimalist design wall shelf full of modern styles, flat and solid shelves with black finish, can perfectly match any style of walls and rooms. Whether you want to display decoration or increase storage space, this minimalist wall shelf can meet your needs and add beauty to your life.

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When you mount shelving and storage to the wall, the only floor space you need is for your desk and your office chair, both of which can be compact. 

Forego a Traditional Desk for a Multifunctional Surface

The ideal solution is always to have a dedicated area where you can work without interruptions. However, if you do not have the money or the space to add an office desk to your home, you can always consider turning another surface into a multifunctional desk space. 

For example, your dining table might work for a temporary office desk if no one else is using it. Your kitchen bar can also be a good, flat surface to work on. When working on either one of these surfaces, try your hardest to think of it as your office rather than your kitchen table, though, or you might find your productivity faltering. 

Let in Plenty of Natural Light 

 No matter where you set up your desk, take advantage of all the natural light you can. If there is any chance to set up near a window, do it! Do you have a bay window that looks pretty but no one really uses? Convert that area into your home office immediately. Small hidden corners can often be dark and oppressive. Not only will the natural light boost your mood, but the light will make your space look and feel larger than it is. 

Lighting is important in any home office. Poor lighting causes headaches, eye strain, and makes it very hard to get work done. Even the largest office is going to feel unpleasant if the room is too dark and moody. Open blinds when possible. If there are no nearby windows to take advantage of, invest in lighting that mimics natural light. It really does make a difference. 

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

 

Robert David Orr

Robert is a writer & creator, author of the WordPress Website Blueprint, award winning web developer, and leader in digital strategy. He's also a tenured work at home veteran who's been working from home for more than 10 years. Learn more. Got questions? Reach out and connect here - Contact Home Office Hacks here.

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