Working at home is challenging but even more so when you don’t have a dedicated office space. How are you supposed to stay organized when you don’t have an office to call your own?! It’s time to get creative and think outside the box, er, office. Don’t miss these tips and ideas on how to create space for work, ways to stay organized if you have to be mobile, and tricks for sneaking office storage into a crowded home.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. As always, my favorable opinion of helpful office organizing supplies is 100% my own.
How to Stay Organized When You Don’t Have an Office
Ideally, we’d all have wonderful office spaces that support our organization, fire our creativity, and help us to be uber productive….
But, we’re living in the real world here, folks, and life is rarely ideal!
In today’s post you’ll discover ways to carve out a little space for your burgeoning business, tricks for finding office storage, ways to be productive AND mobile, and ideas for staying organized while working in a less than ideal space at home.
Read on to learn how to stay organized when you don’t have an office!
#1 Squeeze an Office Into an Unused Space
Can you squeeze an office into an unused (or underused) space in your home?
I know you’ve heard this tip, but before you write it off, have you REALLY thought outside of the box, er, office?!
You can squeeze a small but productive workspace in just about anywhere. All you need is fresh perspective and some creativity!
- A Closet?
- In the Hallway?
- Sharing some space in a bedroom?
- A corner in an underused room (bedroom, living room, etc.)?
- Purchasing a multi-tasking furniture piece that can be converted into a office as needed and tucking it against the wall in an open space or underused room?
- A wall in the garage?
Walk through your home and try to see it with fresh eyes. How could you adjust, rearrange, or edit to carve out even a tiny workspace?!
Check out how I squeezed a craft room into a closet. You could easily take these ideas and use them for a business office!
This desk/workspace is set up in a hallway.
This home office is set up along an empty wall in a bedroom.
You don’t have to completely convert the garage as in this creative office, but the garage might be an under-utilized space in your home. And this shows you the possibilities!
#2 Create a Mobile Office
Moving your office to and from the available space in your home each day can be challenging. But by creating a mobile office, you can improve your organization and move your “office” quickly and easily!
To create a mobile office that goes with you “on location,” use any of the following items to organize and store your supplies:
- If your workspace often rotates around a single floor, a rolling cart is an excellent option! Add appropriately sized organizers to customize.
- A file box with a few compartments can keep papers handy and organized and keep some crucial office supplies close by.
- A messenger bag or briefcase can hold business supplies and keep them organized.
- A bin or basket can keep supplies organized and mobile.
Moving your office each day (or multiple times a day) certainly isn’t ideal, but you don’t have to sacrifice organization and productivity if you don’t have an office. Create a mobile system that works for you and your situation!
I shared my mobile office which helps me get more done when I have to be away from my home office: Get More Done with a Mobile Office!
Here’s another rendition of the mobile office in a box (or bag)!
This mobile office includes a workspace, and could be used as a standing desk. Great for your business and your back! 😉
This file box (*affiliate link) will keep your papers organized as well as store crucial office supplies. And it can move all over the house with you!
#3 Carve Out Storage (& Combine with a Mobile Office)
Carve out a small area for office storage anywhere in your home. It will serve as your office “home base,” then you can keep an organizing caddy will a handle nearby to fill with the items you need to complete your work each day.
Some options for carving out office storage:
- Hang a shoe organizer on the back of a door.
- Declutter and convert a portion of a closet (or the whole closet, if you can clear enough stuff).
- Clear out a kitchen cupboard (especially good if you work in the kitchen frequently).
- Have an unfinished basement? Add a small set of shelves for office storage.
- Put a small set of shelves or a dresser under the stairs.
- Use shallow storage bins and create hidden office storage under a bed.
- Closed storage can be in the middle of the room and no one will be any the wiser!
- Camouflage office storage on open shelving with baskets or decorative bins.
- Add a tablecloth or slipcover to a console table and convert the space under the table to office storage.
And here are a few caddy options to make it easy to get necessary supplies from your storage area to your workspace!
This extra large caddy (*affiliate link) has enough room for papers and notepads and a few smaller compartments for office supplies.
The caddy below is technically a diaper caddy (*affiliate link), but I love that the center partition is movable and the compartments on the side are perfect for office supplies!
This craft caddy has my organization-loving heart going pitter-pat. Just look at all of those compartments perfect for organization on-the-go!
Combine these caddies with an office storage option from above, and you’ll be able to move your workspace and needed supplies quickly and easily each day!
Find more ideas and links to helpful supplies for creating office storage in this post: 40+ Easy Ways to Add Office Storage!
#4 Make Space for a File Cabinet or File Box
Paper clutter is the biggest struggle for many home business owners!
Avoid that mess altogether by finding a place for a file cabinet or file box that only holds your business papers. Then use it!
Once you have a file cabinet or file box and a place to store it, learn how to construct a filing system that works for you!
#5 Create a Printer Station
A printer station can be especially helpful if you’ll occasionally need to, well, print. 😉
Your office can move around the house, but your printer can stay put. And a printer cart or cabinet can offer you much needed office storage (see #3 above).
Here are a few printer stations to give you a little inspiration!
#6 Go Vertical
Unused wall space can be converted to office storage and organization easily. You might even be able to squeeze in a small workspace for an office with a teeny tiny footprint!
Here are a few ideas for vertical organization:
Create a command station (or any kind of station you and your business need) with a window frame and some chicken wire!
Go vertical and use a small corner of your home for this office that includes tons of storage!
Here’s another example of going vertical and carving out space for a desk without using a ton of space!
A pegboard is a versatile way to create vertical office storage. You can purchase a ready-made pegboard or DIY it like the one in the photo below!
Clipboards are an inexpensive way to go vertical, and they’re super easy to hang!
How to Stay Organized When You Don’t Have an Office
Working at home is challenging but you don’t have to sacrifice organization and productivity just because you don’t have a dedicated office space!
In today’s post you learned 6 ways to create space for work, tips to stay organized and mobile, and tricks for sneaking office storage into a crowded home.
Don’t let a lack of workspace keep you from building the business of your dreams!
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might find these related posts helpful:
- Get Organized with a Tickler File (this tool can be customized for your business and help you stay organized when you don’t have an office)
- How to Choose the Best Location for Your Home Office (If you’re a lucky duck and have a choice! 😉 )
- Best Affordable Desks with Added Storage (most of these desks have a small footprint!)
- How to Use Labels to Organize Everything in Your Office (labeling everything is especially important if you DON’T have an office!)
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