When I launched Neat Little Nest in 2017, I had to find a place to work inside of my home. After working unsuccessfully in our basement for several months, my husband suggested I turn a portion of a walk-in closet into an office. And thus my cloffice was born!
Knowing that many of you continue to rethink and repurpose areas in your home due to lives being lived during a pandemic, I wanted to share how I arranged my own cloffice to offer inspiration for utilizing a spare closet in your home in a new way.
A closet turned workspace can be helpful for those of you working from home as well as for kids managing distance learning.
The making of my cloffice
My cloffice is located on the top floor of our home and is placed in a larger closet established in the pitch of our home's roof, which means the entire space has angled ceilings which presented us with many opportunities (and a few challenges) to get creative! Since I had already installed an Elfa closet system previously for clothes, my mission was to use the pieces and parts of the modular system to maximize the efficiency of the space without a lot of added expense.
As a small business owner, my cloffice had to check off a lot of boxes, including:
A place for my computer so I could write, design spaces + correspond with clients.
A place my assistant could work without bumping her head!
A place to store my vinyl label making accessories
A place for high use items like pens, stickies and notecards
A place for files
A place for a printer
A place for office stock of printer paper, ink, and other miscellaneous supplies
In order to check all of those boxes, I had to make a lot of both big and small decisions to optimize the space. Below are several of the steps I used and some of my top tips for creating your version of a cloffice.
Create a vision
Creating my vision wasn't a lengthly project. I say that because often I hear from clients that thought of creating a vision feels like some historic event. I disagree. To create my vision for my cloffice, I did two things - I poked around on Pinterest for ideas and then jotted down how I envisioned I would like to layout the space.
One thing to consider when creating your own cloffice is streamlining your color palette and simplifying your solutions so you don't have so many competing visual items. This helps to decrease the visual clutter.
Design a high-level layout
Knowing all of the different components that I needed to get into the space, I began to sketch out a solution using the existing Elfa shelving pieces I had on hand. I did an outline on paper of the room dimensions and the specs of the pieces I had and those I desired and then began "moving" things around until I had a high-level layout that allowed me to check off all of the boxes.
Time to declutter
With my vision in mind, it became clear that in order to bring my cloffice to life I would need to downsize my clothes and shoes in a big way as nearly half of the space would now be allocated for home office use. I initially thought it might be difficult for me to parse my wardrobe to make it all fit, however that task ended up being easier than I thought.
By focusing on keeping only the items I truly loved and that serve me now, I was able to make room for the new cloffice vision I was creating. In order to reach my downsizing goal, I used the dedicated space I had left for clothing to guide me. What I kept had to fit on one hanging bar, the pant hanging pullouts, several drawers in my closet and in a dresser in my bedroom.
Now to organize
Decluttering is always the first step before organizing because there is no fun in spending money on items to organize your space if items shouldn't be there in the first place. If determining what organizational products might work best for you does not come easily here are a few tips you can use to help you find pieces that might work best:
Shop online while you're in the space - this allows you to check (and double check) measurements before you buy. You can find some of our favorite office organizing products in the Neat Little Nest Amazon shop.
Order more than you need! I like to order more products than I need so that I have some variable options on hand when I'm finalizing the space. Some things in theory don't play out as well in practice.
Something to note, my cloffice today is different from the first iteration I had because my needs have changed over the past several years as Neat Little Nest continues to grow. If you think your cloffice space will need to adjust over time, give that some extra consideration as you move forward with your plans.
Virtually any niche, nook or closet can be converted into home office space with some planning, decluttering + organizing. For most individuals, all you need is an area large enough to accommodate a computer and a writing surface, a comfortable place to sit, and a handful of shelves or drawers. With some creativity and effort, a cloffice or any real estate turned into a home office (or home school environ) can be designed to be both functional and inspiring for your needs.
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