How to Turn Your Closet into a Stylish Home Office
Remember those shoes and jeans you never wear? We all have those items that sit in our closet for years on end because we can’t seem to toss them. Is there a way to make better use of your closet? With a few, easy steps you can transform your underused space into a productive closet office. This type of room may not seem like much of a home office at first, but if your needs are minimal, this is a great solution. A computer, light source, and some compact storage areas in an empty closet fit the bill perfectly.
First — Organize Your Closet
Start with an empty palette before creating your masterpiece. Move items out of your future home office by emptying your closet. Place clothing in a dresser, donate unused items to a clothing bank, pack boxes and store them in the attic, or have a huge yard sale. Remove all of the shelving, closet rods, and hangers, and unhinge the door so you can work with the entire space. Measure the width and depth of the closet to get an idea of what size office desk will fit. Any bracing from lower shelves could serve as support for the desktop, depending on how high you need the surface. Shoot for 3 1/2 to 4 feet high for a work top.
Second — Buy Your Closet Office Supplies
The structure of your office will help take your work space from a standard closet to an efficient home office. Maximize work space by using a 3/4-inch board as your desktop. Have your local home improvement professional cut the board so that it takes up the entire width and depth of the closet. Using a board of this thickness will help to ensure that you have enough support for your various pieces of office equipment. If you don’t already have metal shelf braces in your closet, buy a few to support the board. Spackle any remaining holes left over from old shelving, let the material dry and then sand down the surface to make it flat.
When it comes to color, go for bright shades, since a closet doesn’t generally have bright interior walls. Cover your existing paint with one or two layers of primer to serve as a base for the new color. Let the primer dry before adding a new coat of heavy-duty interior gloss.
Third — Install the Wood and Storage Areas
Once you have the office supplies and the closet measurements figured out, it's time to install everything into your office space. Sand the edge of the exposed wood until you have a rounded edge. Drill a hole towards the back edge of the board for cable management. Paint the board your favorite color and brace the wood in your closet after the paint dries. If you use stain, cover it with a coat of polyurethane to protect the wood from nicks and dings. Add braces to make your desktop surface approximately 3 1/2 to 4 feet high. Use wood screws to secure two braces to the wall, evenly spaced, approximately 2 feet apart and 2 to 3 feet from the walls, depending on your space requirements. Set the desktop on the brace and add more wood screws to secure your surface.
Fourth — Bring in the Office Gadgets
After installing your new desk, fill it with the necessary gadgets to make your closet office complete. Your desk should be able to support a computer monitor and small printer off to the side. Put the PC tower down below on the floor of the closet, or opt for a laptop to free up work space. Add a couple of small computer speakers, so you can listen to tunes while you work. Shop online, find a delicious recipe or send out your daily emails. Also pug in a charging port for your smartphone to keep your phone close while it charges. If your house doesn’t have an electrical outlet in your closet, find an extension cord that reaches the plug closest to your new home office. Connect the cord to a surge protector so your valuable equipment doesn't fry during an electrical storm.
Fifth — Add Closet Office Accessories
The last piece of the closet office puzzle is accessorizing (of course). Add a cork board to one of the side walls to post important notes with pushpins. On the other side, install a peg board with small wire racks for storage and hang cute knick-knacks to add some personality to your home office. Buy small, portable racks to put on your work surface for important papers, and keep a rolling file cabinet underneath the desktop for other papers and files. Install narrower, office closet shelving a few feet above your work space with a few screws and braces similar to your main desktop. When all is said and done, you will have successfully converted your closet into a fully functioning but space-saving office.
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