Does your office at home or work feel cramped? Is it impossible to find anything?
Whether you have a small office space or you just rearranged your bedroom to include a desk space, you can keep your working space organized with several easy steps to create extra room. By following these space saving office ideas, you can transform the finite room in your office into a comfortable and neat workspace.
Here are ten easy tips you can follow to get started.
#1 Consider the Room Layout
Your first task is to measure out the available floor space in your office. Doing so makes it possible to set a functional room layout that fully takes advantage of the possible space.
To begin, measure the room’s dimensions and create a sketch of the area. This includes marking:
- Electrical outlets
- Permanent light fixtures
Once you’ve done this, it’s easier to visualize how and where elements could go, particularly your furniture. Be sure to leave at least three to four feet of walkway in the room, or else it will feel too cramped.
#2 Lose the Paper
Whether at home or work, do everything in your power to cut down on your use of paper documents. In her book Innovations in Office Design: The Critical Influence Approach to Effective Work Environments, author Dianne Stemeier writes: "A small office will become more agile by reducing the reliance on paper. This, in turn, will decrease the number of filing cabinets and other storage equipment required."
A green approach is not only good for the environment, it’s great for your office. Cloud-based programs have made it so that the vast majority of your essential work documents can be handled, worked on, stored, and shared virtually.
Even cutting down on physical paper in a few key areas of your work or personal life will have a significant impact on your storage space.
Along the same lines, you must take stock of the space and what’s in it, and then decide what you’ll actually use. If your space is limited, cut down on all the nicknacks and other items that tend to accumulate. Altogether, they simply add to the noise.
Instead, define the space and limit what you will display, and think of potential storage ideas for your closet. A minimalist approach tends to give the room a greater sense of space and a more apparent style and personality.
While this may seem like a large project, start with your desk and then move from there. To declutter an office space, Inc.com recommends that you start with these three steps:
1. Find out exactly what you use – Over a work week’s time, take stock of all the items you use regularly. Note what you use daily, weekly, infrequently, or never. This will tell you what should be within arm’s reach, available at all times, stored away, or removed from the entire office, respectively.
2. Put cleaning on the calendar – Don’t just say you’ll clean, write it down and pencil it into your schedule. By setting aside time to clean the space, it’s easier to commit to the deed.
3. Sort, move, and donate – Separate your office items into things you want to keep in the office, keep in your home, or get rid of. For those items in the final category that are still in usable condition, consider donating them to someone else in need.
#4 Go Up Instead of Out
For many, adding square footage to the office space isn’t in the equation. You're stuck with what you have. So, you should make the best use of your room—that means all of it.
People tend to forget that the walls are an essential part of the office that can be utilized to create more space vertically. Whether it’s vertical shelving or office wall organizers, there are a variety of ways you can make your office walls work for you. According to SF Gate:
“Maximize your wall space with vertical shelving units. Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves provide a permanent structure that can be custom-designed to suit your office needs. For example, add sliding cabinet doors over shelves to conceal private papers or other personal items. Corner bookshelves and hutches make optimal use of corner spaces.”
By going up instead of out, you may find you have a ton of square footage to work with.
#5 Mount Your Desk
Your office desk is arguably the most important fixture in your office. But that doesn’t mean it should take up the most space.
While stately mahogany desks were once the popular office design choice, the simple truth is that an oversized desk is clunky and often takes up far too much room. These days, there’s a movement toward mounted sit and stand desks that are discreet and set out of the way.
Flexibility is the hallmark of a space-saving office design, and a wall mounted desk could be a great solution for your work space. By mounting your desk and monitor or using a wall drop leaf desk, you can free up a significant amount of extra space. Drop-leaf desks can be secured to the wall, folded down for daily use, and folded away when the workday ends. Discover the best wall mounted desks and be sure to learn how to mount a desk to a wall properly.
#6 Look for Dead Space
Most office spaces have areas you can’t or don’t use. Corners, for example, frequently pose a challenge. But with some savvy maneuvering, you can make the most of those spaces by clearing some room on your desk and installing a TV mount for your monitor or TV. Instead of leaving them empty, think of creative ways you can use them. As Decoist writes:
“Regardless of your needs, turning towards the corners is a smart way to solve your space conundrum in the home office. Corner shelving is easy to incorporate, and you can even custom craft wall-mounted cabinets that take up zero foot space. Open floating shelves in the corner can also help in decorating the home office while giving it a more open, airy appeal.”
If you don’t want to store things in the corner, these spaces also make a good place for a lamp and your office reading chair.
#7 Plant a Vertical Garden
Are you the type of person who wants plants in your office but feel like you don’t have space to do so? Instead of cluttering your window sills or corners with pots, install a vertical garden. They’re easy to start and maintain, they add beauty and life to any room, and (best of all) they don’t take up precious space.
Another benefit of office gardens is that they can create healthier, fresher air quality in your office.
#8 Keep It Clean
Want to ensure that your office is orderly? Create a daily routine where the very last item on your to-do list is to prepare for the following day, which includes cleaning up the clutter.
When a small room is full of stuff, it looks even tinier. By taking a few minutes out of the end of your day to organize, clean your desk, and put away things, you can prevent messy pile-ups from occurring. Left alone, clutter accrues, becoming a more troublesome chore with each passing day. But by cleaning every afternoon, you can create a much more relaxed and ordered work environment and less work for yourself.
#9 Make your Monitors Mobile
Similar to your desk, by putting your monitor on a mounted, adjustable monitor arm, you can easily position it to fit your work move. Whether you want to stand or sit while working, a mounted monitor gives you greater flexibility. And, when you no longer need the monitor, you can push it out of the way.
Along those lines, if your office has a TV, a wall mount is the optimal way to use your office space. Like with your monitor, an articulated mount allows you to tilt, swivel, and rotate the screen, making the TV viewable wherever you are in the office. And, when you’re done watching, you just push it back into its wall slot.
#10 Consider Your Lighting
Lighting plays a critical role in the overall look and feel of your office space. A dimly lit room does you no favors. Ditch the space-wasting floor and desk lamps in favor of overhead downlighting with LED spots or recessed LED lighting. This naturally frees up more space and creates a more pleasant and all-encompassing glow to any office space.
Mount-It Can Help You Save Space
Whether it’s decluttering, organizing, or reconsidering how you utilize an office’s square footage, there are dozens of ways you can turn even a small space into a cozy office.
At Mount-It!, our focus is on helping you accomplish that mission. With more than 500 different mounts, monitor stands, laptop stands, and standing desk converters, we have the equipment you need to maximize your office space.
Our mission is to provide our customers with ergonomic office equipment that looks good, saves space, and promotes a healthier work environment. Whether it’s monitor mounts or wall-mounted sit-stand desks, let our space-saving solutions work for you!
- Diane Stemeier. Innovations in Office Design: The Critical Influence Approach to Effective Work Environments.
- Inc. How to Declutter Your Office and Create the Ultimate Creativity Space.
- SF Gate. How To Maximize Your Home Office Work Space.
- Decoist. 7 Clever Ways to Utilize Your Home Office Corner Space.
- Business Insider. 24 ways your office job is destroying your health.