If you have a closet, large or small—or even just most of one—here’s how you can convert that closet to the office space you’ve been dreaming of.
This is the era of “man caves” and “she shacks”—super-specific spaces customized for your pleasure, and your pleasure alone. But no one seems sure about what you actually do in these places. Maybe your dream is really to convert a closet to an office, a practical space where you’ll have plenty to do, no hunting trophies or gingham necessary. We get that. It takes a little ingenuity sometimes, but with a clear sense of direction and some design flair, you can have the home office you want. If you have a closet, large or small—or even just most of one—here’s how you can convert that closet to the office space you’ve been looking to create.
Convert Your Closet to an Office
There are a few preliminaries to get straight before you begin. The first is to sit down and take a good hard look at what you’re working with. Maybe you need to shift things around to free up the best space for you. Or you may need to make some compromises for the sake of the bigger picture—you may still have to share the space with the winter coats, for example.
In any case, the benefit you can receive from creating a home workspace is going to be worth it. A customized home office provides you with:
Workspace—a surface of your own to work at
Spaces for your printers, scanners, et cetera
Customized drawers and shelves
No matter what kind of space you have to work with, there are numerous ways to convert your closet to a home office with the help of custom design. For example…
A Room of Your Very Own
If you have an entire walk-in closet that you can convert to an office, you have a lot of options (and probably the envy of all your friends). That doesn’t mean your project will take any less planning and design though. You may prefer a certain design style, and you still have to find and install the storage options that meet your needs. If you have a lot of physical files or recordings, samples, equipment, or supplies, you may need highly customized drawers and shelving. If you have a lot of electronic equipment, you’ll have cords, cables and boxes to deal with. Or maybe you need bookcases. Whatever the case, you’ll most likely have room for it in a walk-in closet office—just plan carefully to ensure everything fits nicely and comfortably in your space.
Share a Closet to Make Everyone Happy
Finding a new home for everything in your future home office may be a project of its own. Optimizing the storage systems in your other closets may help. But if you still have a few things left in your future office, optimize the storage for those, too. You can customize drawers, shelves, and chrome baskets to store those extra items with the greatest order in the least possible amount of space. If there are clothes still in the closet, a wardrobe lift can help you utilize the space all the way up to the ceiling. You can install locker-type enclosures with doors if you want those items kept out of sight while you work. It would also be a good place for retractable features like a hamper and ironing board. They’ll be there when you need them, but unseen all the rest of the time.
Carve Out a Home Office Closet Corner
If it’s a matter of relocating your spouse’s clothes to the garage and they’re just not cooperating for some reason, you may find happiness together again if you simply work in the closet. This is where an exact understanding of what it takes to make your office a success is essential. Measure out the counter space you can spare to use as a desk and add the items that have to be close at hand, even if that’s just your laptop and a printer in the corner. Add a shelf over your desk for a picture of your pet, a reference book, and the souvenir mug from your last vacation, and you’re set—all the space you need. Even if you need a row or so of shelves next to your desk, you may still find yourself working very happily, despite being surrounded by the holiday decorations on one side and cases of canned vegetables on the other, if you plan your space just right.
The Standing Office in the Reach-in Closet
Still wondering how to turn a small closet into an office? A reach-in closet can be a great workspace as well. You can create a work surface and the appropriate kinds of storage in a space that is perfectly containerized. Then you can close it up (or even lock it up), walk away, and never have to worry about it overflowing into your living space. Depending on what type of work you do in your home office and how you do it, you may not even want or need a chair. But this is where choosing the right closet is a big issue—particularly in old houses where the placement of the closets may defy modern logic. Try to choose a centrally-located closet so you can work there conveniently and perhaps set a chair or stool in front of it.
The Reach-in Closet as an Extension of Your Home Office
A reach-in closet design can also make a wonderful extension of your workspace. Maybe you already have a home office in a corner of the guest bedroom/playroom/put-it-there-and-forget-it room, and you covet the space in the custom closet right next to you. There couldn’t be a better way to expand your office without taking away from your living area. You can clean up around your desk by putting your printer, modem and other technology there, or install shelving, drawers, and baskets for your office supplies and files. Your main office space will look great.
Make Your New Home Office the Best It Can Be
All in all, there are numerous ways to convert a closet to an office. The common thread running through all these variations is, simply put, good design. When you have limited room, making your workspace as user-friendly as it can be is the secret to success. That’s why Closet America’s first step in our four-step customer service process is a free design consultation with a specially trained expert who can help you make sure you are taking advantage of all your possibilities.
The other absolute necessity for converting a closet to an office is quality. That space will go from occasionally being looked at to steady, intensive use in no time—and your systems had better be ready for it. Signs of high quality to look for include:
floor standing design—safe and stable
metal tab shelf supports—lock shelves into place for greater security
¾-inch thermofused laminate shelves—easy to clean and will never sag
drawers with dovetail construction and bottom-mounted slides—strong and beautiful
(At Closet America, we’re so confident and proud of our work that we put a transferable lifetime warranty on everything we make.)
We can help you make and turn a closet into the office of your dreams a reality. Contact us today and we can get you started creating a more efficient workflow and better use of your home’s space.
Lead image: Pexels