A tiny office space can still be great! When Kale and I moved into our apartment we had a choice to make: dining table or office space. Knowing I was doing tons of blog work at home, we opted for the office space. When I started working on the blog full time, I realized I needed a more inspirational (and organized) space, and ultimately a larger desk!
My space was mainly a pieced together hodge pidge of Ikea pieces and my desk. It was a super inexpensive tiny thing I grabbed when I first moved to Dallas to hold anything from my sewing machine to my laptop, but mostly just mail. When I started having to file contracts, take notes, even something as simple as having my computer and planner open at the same time I had a coffee mug on my desk was too much! So I finally decided: It was time for an upgrade. I slowly added to my space, and now I have a brand new office space to work in.
Make the Most Out of Your Small Office Space
Natural Light is Your Friend
No matter what I’m doing, I always prefer natural light when I can get it. I drive Kale crazy because I prefer to let the sun bake in the apartment rather than close the blindes! It helps me think, gives me clarity, and studies have shown that it is proven to reduce stress and improve sleep at night.
This was something you can’t necessarily create, so my advice would be to choose your office space, or like we did, our whole apartment with this in mind. You can move closer to windows, and re-arrange the set-up to get the optimal lighting situation. Even at my old job I swindled my way into a seat by the windows because I know how much better I work with the natural lighting. Being someone who stares at screens constantly, my body craves it as much as possible. I even take breaks mid-day to sit on the balcony or walk the dogs!
Hide The Ugly Stuff
Every office has cords, printers, shredders, i.e. things you’d rather not have on display. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but when possible, place these things out of sight. Look for clever storage such as decorative storage bins, cabinets, or furniture you can hide them behind.
The beauty of modern technology is that we are no longer bound by cords and constantly being attached to our machines. I moved my printer and shredder to the complete other side of the room, in a corner, behind a chair. I should also note that these aren’t items I use daily in my office space, but are necessary to my job, so when I need them, I’m ok walking across the room.
Get a Comfortable Chair
If you spend the majority of your time working on a computer, you’ll need a comfortable chair. There are tons of options, but in re-doing my office, I really needed something more comfortable than the plastic bucket chair I was using prior. I also knew that if I wanted a piece of pink furniture, my office furniture, even though it shares a space with our living room, was my only option since Kale is very anti-pink couch. I love the one I ended up with and it comes in tons of colors.
In choosing a chair, look for these key factors: Make sure it’s adjustable. If you change desks, your chair height will need to adjust to keep your posture correct. Avoid char is with arms. You’ll want to push your chair in so you can rest your back on the chair for support. This will help avoid back pain.
Use Hidden and Vertical Storage Spaces
Obviously everyone isn’t going to need a clothing rack in their home office, however, something with shelves and extra storage for things you use daily is so useful in keeping organized. In my small space I opted for a desk with extra storage in drawers to keep my office supplies. I keep my books on top of my clothing rack, and the items I’m lining up to shoot hung up on the rack.
My camera equipment typically sits on the bottom shelf (not pictured because it was used taking the photos below). Instead of a clothing rack you can opt for a bookshelf and use decorative storage bins, or even better, floating shelves which take up no space on the floor!
Make it Cozy With a Rug
My rug was the first part of my “new” office I purchased, which you can see in the “before” photos below. The rug helps to define my small space and separate it from the living room. It also helps to create a cozy environment, and keep my chair from rolling clear across the apartment!
Desk Space is Essential
My first desk was at 30” H x 39” W x 19.7” D, so I didn’t have much space on my desk for much more than my computer. I was constantly juggling my planner, notes, contracts, all while trying not to knock over my coffee. This desk was not purchased with the intent to use all day everyday. It was inexpensive and worked well for when I would use it at night or for my sewing machine! I spray painted the drawer gold to match my decor. The desk is currently under $50 on closeout, here are more colors!
My new desk is much larger at 30.75” H x 48” W x 24” D giving me space to spread out and have elbow room! It also has more storage for my office supplies and things I use most often. This size desk still fits in my tiny office, though I did turned it around so I had more space for my chair to move in and out.
Work With What You’ve Got
It’s easy to complain about not having a separate office space, or better yet, a “cloffice” (closet-office) like other fashion bloggers, but the truth is I’m not there yet financially. Though the extra space would be nice, it isn’t essential. You can always find a space to do your work, even if you need a floating desk for a while! I do recommend, that if you are running any type of business that you are or plan to make money with, designate an office so that you can deduct that space on your taxes.