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In today’s world having a home office is much more common due to numerous companies allowing employees to work remote. While working from home can have a number of advantages, limited space can present a problem. Alice Roberston has several ideas on how to utilize and design space for an at home office.  Whether you’re an empty nester remodeling a room or a young professional working remote, this article will help to inspire and prepare for the transition! 
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How to Create a Home Office with Limited Space

By Alice Robertson

One thing most of us are really good at is filling the space of our homes.  If your house is already maxed out and you’re in need of a good workspace, seeking out more room can seem impossible.  Thankfully, there are lots of clever solutions for creating functional and efficient home offices, even in a home where you might think you don’t have an inch to spare.

Redefine a room

One of the simplest solutions for installing a spacious home office is to take an existing room and redefine its purpose.  If your kids have left the nest, an old bedroom could be given a fresh identity as your new workspace.  You can even keep some bedroom-like furniture, such as a small dresser and daybed, to allow for the occasional overnight guest.  

Another idea is to convert a walk-in closet or den.  Bear in mind that the tighter the space, the more succinctly you need to measure and plan your alterations.  Also, using a highly functional space, like a closet, can mean doing a lot of decluttering or rehoming of belongings.  One idea is to make the space flexible, hanging onto a portion of the storage or incorporating some elements of both purposes.  The result is that part of the initial identity remains, but you still get your new office area.  

Breathing new life into an outbuilding can be an ideal solution, permitting you an escape from your normal obligations.  This can be particularly useful if you tend to get sidetracked by kids, honey-do lists, or housekeeping.  If there isn’t a garage or extra building you could revamp, a prefab steel garage is a practical solution.  It’s good looking, durable, and efficient, and it helps you to step away from the tug of everyday life.  

Paying for your project

Begin your project with a clear idea of how you want to pay for it.  Do you have cash saved, will you take out a loan, or do you plan to pull something together on the cheap?  The full range of possibilities are reasonable, and it’s up to you what you want to spend.  Home Stratosphere estimates your budget for new home office construction should start at around $10,000, which includes hiring a contractor and getting permits.  On the other hand, a simple room conversion could be done for $400 for supplies and paint.  If you scour your extra furniture and hit thrift shops, you can likely create a workspace for virtually no outlay.

What are your essentials?  

Your basic requirements will depend on what you plan to do in your workspace.  Are you bookkeeping for the family, freelance coding, going back to school, or selling things on Etsy?  Think through how much desktop space is required, if you need drawers or shelves for supplies, and whether file cabinets are a must-have.  It’s also important to consider the look you want.  For instance, floating shelves are hot right now, but your space might lend itself better to built-in shelving.  

Don’t forget electronics

What you will accomplish in your space will also affect what gadgetry you require and how you make use of your elbow room.  There are all-in-one printers so you can scan, print, and copy, but you will need a horizontal surface to house it, whether rolling cart, shelf, or the side of your desk.  You might want a headset to block noise from adjoining rooms or to keep from distracting other family members.  You might be deciding between a laptop versus a tablet, and Lenovo offers information to help you weigh the pros and cons of each.  Keep in mind your overall work area and ensure there is enough room to house all your devices.  And whatever you decide, a smart power strip is a great way to save energy and protect your investments.  

When your space is limited, finding opportunities to add “one more thing” can seem impossible.  However, with a fresh perspective and creative thinking, you can revamp the room you have.  When you’re ready to create a home office, there are plenty of solutions, even when there isn’t plenty of space.