It might seem like an impossible goal to achieve when you find yourself staring of what little living space you have, but there is always a way to squeeze in a tiny home office in the smallest of spaces – you just need to get creative. Working from home is one of those modern-day perks brought on by technology and seamless global connectivity that allows you to launch an online business and work with international clients, or become a remote worker for a prominent company and make your money while staying in your PJs.
Yes, the digital workforce is on the rise, but the problems start when the time comes to actually set up your home office, especially if you live in a tiny apartment. It may seem like a cumbersome task, but it’s doable if you follow a few key steps. Here’s what you need to do.
First and foremost, it’s time to strategize, try out different layout ideas, and envision your new workspace. Now, if you’re living in a small apartment, you probably don’t have the extra space to dedicate a whole room to create an office, but don’t worry, your living space will do just fine. In fact, you might even find that the proximity of your office to the other essential areas in your home makes it that much easier and enjoyable to work at home and have a great time.
Start by analyzing the current floorplan. Where do you see a slice of unused space? Is there a corner or a nook that you could declutter and enrich with a work desk? How about the vibe of the space? Is this room the place where you know you can focus and maintain productivity throughout the day? These are the essential questions you need to ask yourself in order to decide whether or not the current floorplan and room work for you. If not, consider rearranging the furniture, and of course, getting rid of the cumbersome pieces.
If allowed to accumulate over time, physical clutter can completely ruin the aesthetics of your apartment, and make it impossible to live, work, and walk around without your little pinkie fearing for its life. What’s more, if you allow clutter to stack up, it will turn into emotional baggage, and you can’t expect to work in such a negative environment. Instead, you need to declutter your apartment, and your work area, starting with the cumbersome pieces.
Without a doubt, there’s always an armchair, a side table, or even a sofa that you don’t really need, or use that much. You don’t need to throw it out, just pop it into your self-storage unit and save it for when you move into a bigger place. Don’t worry, self-storage can be cheap, so you won’t break the bank. Now that you’ve gotten rid of the cumbersome décor pieces, think about decluttering the design by putting smaller elements into storage as well. Keep the things near and dear to your heart in your apartment, but get rid of all of the things that bear no sentimental value, or the things you no longer use.
Modular furniture is a godsent when it comes to living comfortably in a small apartment, and it can literally make or break your home office. You need to stay flexible at all times, you need to be able to convert your living environment on a moment’s notice, and you need to make sure that you’re keeping the space feeling roomy so as to avoid “boxing yourself in” and creating a confident ambience. To achieve all of this, go with furniture you can easily convert, hide, or move.
Keep in mind, though, modular furniture (as well as the tech needed for a home office) can be quite expensive, so be sure to research the right contents only insurance in order to protect these and other valuables, and cover them against theft, natural disasters, and intentional or impact damage. With the right insurance policy, you can safely pick and choose the best furniture and tech to create the home office of your dreams.
Yes, modular furniture is great, but keep in mind that one of your buying criteria should also be versatility in terms of your entire living environment and lifestyle. In other words, your desk should be adjustable in terms of height, it should roll around easily, but it should also fit the décor of the place if you want to convert it into a side table, a coffee table, or even a smart storage solution. With that in mind, consider going for a versatile desk that can hold all of your work stuff, but one that also has drawers or compartments to hold other common items you need in the room.
This way, you can easily organize the room and know where everything is at all times without letting clutter accumulate on various surfaces. Because remember, it’s the stuff that piles on shelves, tables, and furniture that makes the space look and feel even smaller.
Closet space is the best space for an impromptu home office. After all, if you master the art of closet organization, you can move all of your clothes to one side, while putting a small desk and a comfy little office chair on the other. You can even choose a foldable chair that you can store easily in the closet to make more room if you need it. When you’re not using the office, simply close the closet doors and you have yourself a clean-looking living environment that feels spacious and flexible.
Let’s emphasize flexibility one more time. Nowadays, companies are coming up with all kinds of versatile furniture in the hopes of giving city dwellers the tools they need to work from home without cluttering their living environment. One of these inventions is the C desk, a handy little desk that you can move around the apartment and bring close to any spot where you can sit – whether it’s a chair in the corner, the side of the bed, or anything in between. Simply pull up the desk when it’s time to work, and roll it off to the corner when you’re done.
Corners make excellent little work nooks. All you need is a chair, and a corner shelf – it doesn’t even have to be a desk. What’s more, this is one of the easiest ways to build your own work area in like, half an hour. Get an ergonomic chair, choose a corner next to the window to get plenty of natural light while you’re working, and simply mount a corner shelf where you can put your laptop. Depending on the size of the shelf, you can put desk organizers, and attach a couple of the little drawers underneath. Add a clip-on lamp and voila! You have yourself a comfy nook where you can enjoy a productive workday.
And finally, in order to make any of this work, you need to stay organized, and you need to keep your living environment organized. It can get quite easy to become sloppy over time and simply let clutter accumulate, but because you’re living and working in the same space, that clutter is going to take a toll on your emotional and psychological well-being.
Before long, you will start to feel irritated and unproductive, you will lose your focus, and your work will suffer as a result. Make sure everything has its place, label all drawers and shelves, don’t leave stuff on to collect dust on flat surfaces, and be sure to declutter on a regular basis. And one last thing, make a conscious decision to be consistent.
It might seem downright impossible to squeeze a home office into a tiny apartment, but hey, there’s nothing you can’t achieve with a little out-of-the-box thinking. Use these tips to build yourself a comfy workspace while at the same time keeping your apartment looking clean and spacious.
Guest post by: Lilly Miller
Lilly is a graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. Based in Sydney, but world is her playground.