How to Set Up a Small Home Office in a Neglected Corner
Turning a neglected corner into a small home office is easier than you might think. With a few well-curated items, you can have your little workspace set up in no time. This post contains affiliate links.
Do You Need More Space?
With the way the world is right now, many people are finding themselves working and schooling from home. This situation can leave folks looking at their living space and finding that it is coming up short. Even without major life changes, sometimes we have new circumstances or new opportunities that leave us needing another workspace. Turning a corner into a home office might be just what you need!
We have always homeschooled, but as our children have gotten older and started taking college classes online, we have found ourselves needing to rethink our spaces as well. Our main need was a place to charge laptops and to keep office supplies. The kids will often take the laptops and lounge around while they do their math or online courses. So, we didn’t need a workspace so much as we needed a landing zone.
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Choose Your Office Space
In case you don’t know this already, we have a large family. There are 12 of us living here. We have a 2700 sq ft house with no basement. Two years ago, we put up our Red Metal Barn. This gave us some much-needed storage and gathering space. Our older boys will sometimes do schoolwork up there, but mostly we work in the house. Our hope is to add on to our home in the next five years. Until then, I am going to rework our spaces and make the most of them!
I had two relatively empty corners in our house. Corners…that’s it. No hidden rooms or big closets to convert, just a couple of small corners! Guess what though? It’s working!
How Much Space Do You Need for a Home Office?
Believe it or not, you don’t need a very big corner to create a workspace. This desk is 34.5″ wide by 22″ deep x 42″ tall. It just fits in this little dining room corner.
Our dining room is not huge by any stretch. It is 11 x 15 and our 9.5′ table takes up most of the space. My husband built a shallow cabinet years ago for our homeschool supplies. You can see that on the left in the top picture.
What kind of Desk for a Small Home Office?
I love old furniture, so I scoured Craigslist and Marketplace for a desk. We live in the middle of nowhere, so finding deals close by can be a challenge. This desk showed up one day for $100, and it was fairly close by. I snatched it up with the intention of painting it. I haven’t gotten around to painting it yet, but I don’t hate it as it, so it stays for now. The whole room is a bit orange for my liking right now, but I can live with it. I was thinking of a dark charcoal color? What color would you paint it?
What I like about this desk is that it fits perfectly in the space. It has a roll top that I can close if it gets a bit messy. There are little nooks for stamps, stationery, and planners. My husband drilled a couple of holes in the back so laptops and tablets can be plugged in here when they are not in use. The desk also has a drawer for pens and other supplies.
If you are working with a super small space, a corner desk might work out well for you. I put together a selection of functional desks for lots of price points.
Use Your Walls for Organization
I got this wall hanging mail sorter from Decor Steals years ago. It is very cute, however the pockets are not quite as deep as I would have liked. I use it to store chalk and it can be used for letters. In the past I had a children’s chore system where they each had their own little chore pack. This worked well for storing those when they weren’t using them.
On top of the desk are two mail sorters or charging stations. We made these from scrap flooring. I have a tutorial for that here.
I put together a selection of wall organizers that look like they would work better than this one.
Get Some Pretty Office Supplies
What is it about new home office supplies that just make you feel more organized? I lined the drawer with some pretty paper and then got a few new paperclips and binder clips. They just brighten up the drawer. It’s also nice to know that when I open the drawer, exactly what I need will be in here. One more thing that has helped…my kids haven’t touched it yet! They have a knack for un-organizing the most organized space!
A Comfortable Office Chair
We have one other little corner that we have turned into a home workspace. My oldest son is going to school for graphic design. So, when everything shut down last year and he had to school from home, we invested in a nice desktop computer. My husband insisted that we go with the big monitor, he said we wouldn’t regret it. He was so right! I am totally spoiled by the big monitor. You can use it like two screens. I often have two PowerPoint projects open side by side. We bought ours refurbished from Apple. We haven’t had any problems with it.
Since I opened my Etsy shop, I have been spending way more time at the computer before my kids get up. I had a random chair plopped in front of the desk. I soon found that my back was killing me every day. My husband suggested that it might be the chair I was using. So, I bought a proper rolling desk chair. I like this one pretty well. It is very pretty and it’s comfortable. The finish on it is not stellar though, I wish it was darker and smoother, it feels a bit rough. I really like the lines of it, so I may refinish the wood on it. Best of all, my back isn’t hurting anymore!
Here are a few chairs that look comfy and pretty! I wish they would have had the grey color when I bought my chair!
Change Out Your Outlets
One of the most helpful things we did was change out the outlet near the desk. The tablets needed usb plugs and we needed two regular plugs for the laptops. My husband changed out the two plug outlet for a four plug with usb ports. This is so much better than having all of the charging bricks sticking out of the wall.
Inspired to Convert a Corner into a Home Office?
I hope this inspired you to look around your house and see if you can make something work. I have often dreamed of having a dedicated office space for paying bills and working. Turns out, I had it all along, I just needed to look closely! Hope your New Year is off to a good start!
Pin to Your Organization Board
Please don’t paint that beautiful desk.
Hey there! Yes, I know, Ben was of the same opinion! It has some pretty good knicks and such that need to be touched up at least. Plus painting that roll-top would likely be a giant pain! Laziness wins on this one! Ha!
Pinned! You’re doing a great job creating office workspace from tiny areas! I’m working on the same! When I get mine done, and posted, I’ll link your post to mine! 😉 We gotta stick together with small spaces!
Hey there Julie! Your comment means the world to me! Thank you for your support! I can’t wait to see yours when you get done!
Love your little desk! I would love to find a good deal on one of those, though I don’t have even a little space right now to squeeze it into. Love the idea of taking a small space you don’t think is useable, and turn into into a functional space. I had a spot like this, and I was able to put two TV trays next to each other, and turn it into the entryway table I had been wanting.
Thanks for the inspiration! I have also been trying to squeeze a lot of children into a medium size home and it’s nice to see ideas. We plan to renovate someday but I appreciate the encouragement to make it the best it can be in the meantime.
I am so glad you found inspiration to make the most of what you have. It is definitely a good choice when we do that!
Please, Jenn, don’t paint the desk. It looks like it matches your molding in the room. Great idea! I love roll top desks! I have a folding desk with dresser draws in my bedroom & I just love it.
Thank you, yes, I know, I’m not painting it…at least not right now! It has helped me so much with organization!