Latest official government guidelines say those who can should be working from home, for the foreseeable. And so our thoughts turn to making our home office space work more efficiently, because we might there for a while.
Creating a dedicated office space in your home is often tricky unless you have a spare room in which to get organised. But regardless of whether your space is large or small, organisation is key and that’s where the best home office storage ideas come in handy. So take a look at our top tips to get you started.
Open shelves are a good place to start as they provide easy access to all your bits and bobs, but the important thing is to keep them free of clutter, not just to allow you to find things easily, but also because they are on display for everyone to see. Wire racks and baskets are a good alternative above a desk and add a utilitarian feel, or try a notice board on which you can pin important notes and papers. These are fairly quick and easy to make yourself with a picture frame and some fabric.
Get to work on that box room with help from our home office ideas
Boxes and letter files are useful additions on your desktop to store items you use frequently, but to stop them looking too business-like, cover them with your favourite wrapping paper, wallpaper or fabric to create a cohesive theme. A storage ottoman or trunk is the perfect place to store your paperwork, but invest in hanging files or separate folders to keep everything separate.
1. Repurpose where possible
We’re probably not exactly in a state of mind to pop to Ryman to find desk organisers right now, but we still have storage needs? How about fining an alternative use for all the extra tin cans we’ve amassed as a result of the recent news.
Simply wash out your tin cans after use and use them as cost-effect savvy storage solution. Ensure there no sharp edges of course. Ideal if you have never needed to work form home and suddenly find yourself with a makeshift office. You could also use them in the kitchen for alternative storage ideas.
2.Keep clutter behind closed doors
Out of sight, out of mind is the best motto for a home office. Ensure your work space doesn’t encroach on your living space by keeping it hidden away. Give all your storage a dedicated cupboard with a trolley you can wheel desk-side and lot of boxes, files and jars to keep it all under control.
3. Style it out with beautiful storage boxes
If you don’t want to have your home office impact on the rest of your decor, try using beautiful solutions for storage – so they blend in seamlessly. Use wooden crates, and storage trunks and trinket boxes to hideaway any telltale signs of work papers and other office accessories.
These can be pushed under the desk at the end of each day and won’t look out of place within the interior.
4. Build an inspirational mood board from trellis
Whether it’s a montage of your favourite photos or a shelf full of quirky accessories, group items together to create an inspirational focal point. A trellis-style wall organiser doubles up as a seasonal moodboard – peg up postcards, paintings and flower-cuttings, adding and taking away items as the year progresses.
5. House your printer in a chest of drawers
Just because you have to have this bulky office gadget handy to get the job done, doesn’t mean it as to impose on your decor. By removing the bottom drawer from a chest of drawers you have the perfect stylish space to house a printer. For an extra decorative touch you can change the legs on the chest, to offer a less ‘officey’ look.
6. Work anywhere with a portable caddy
A portable caddy filled with your stationery is handy for mobile working if you like to switch between sitting by the window for maximum light and the fire for extra warmth.
7. File in style
Stay on top of life admin with filing systems that are as practical as they are pretty. Keep outstanding paperwork in order by storing in desktop drawers, like this vintage set, which is full of rustic charm.
8. Hang a handy wall unit
If you’re lacking space in your home fashioning an office in a room that might not necessarily be your first choice, such as a bedroom, might be your only option. A smart way to tackle storage when space is limited is by keeping it under the radar, with a clever wall storage solution. A wall-mounted unit with a flip-down surface works double as a pop-up workspace and a handy storage unit.
9. Mount a peg board
You could buy an off the shelf board, or have a go at making your own, as we’ve done here. All we used was a piece of MDF cut to size and a drill with a 15mm bit. A two tone paint job, achieved with tester pots completes the job. Cut pieces of dowelling to use to hang Washi tape, scissors and other stationery.
10. Upcycle an old filing cabinet
You can pick up old filing cabinets in junk shops and flea markets relatively cheaply. A lick of paint and labels or stencils can then turn them into something beautiful. Or you could check out Maisons du Monde, who sell vintage-style designs that achieve a similar look.
11. Use garden-centre buys inside
This trellis makes a brilliant noticeboard, even though its intended purpose was to support plants. The pots you attach can be used to contain plants that will stimulate creativity. Or they can be handy containers for pens, art materials – even your phone.
12. Panel a wall in cork
Turn your wall into one big pin board with cork tiles. Important paperwork and bills then needn’t pile up on the desk or lie forgotten in a tray, as you can pin it in plain sight, ready to be dealt with. You can pick up cork tiles for a few pounds in most DIY stores, so it’s an inexpensive solution, too.
13. Choose shelves in interesting shapes
Jazz up an uninspiring working environment with interesting structures. These hexagonal storage units are not only practical, but have a cool retro look thanks to their geometric shape. Wallpaper the backs of the shelves in complementary tones to complete the stylish Scandi scheme and sunny walls.
14. Go full width with wall shelves
Wall-to-wall shelving is the dream when it comes to a home office, offering oodles of storage. It does have a tendency to look messy if not styled properly, however. To avoid this, keep to a strict colour palette – in this case monochrome – and use boxes and box files to contain clutter.
15. Go pro with matching furniture
Coordinating pieces like this desk and bookcase say ‘executive’, as well as offering plentiful storage. The trick here is not to put your desk against the wall. Instead, place it in the middle of the room and voila – you’ve made space for a bookcase. For a pop of colour (and fun) choose a large-scale rug with a quirky print.
16. Be practical with industrial storage
This look is surprisingly timeless and will put you in the mood for work. It’s also ideal if you’re not sure how much storage you need, as you can build it up over time – the more mismatched, the better! Stack trunks to store larger items and store stationery in wall-mounted wire baskets so you won’t have to rummage for it in drawers.
17. Keep things stacked
Keep things stacked with filing cabinets, desk tidies and box files.Here, a tall orange chest lights up this otherwise moody deep-green room – its strong shade is also picked out in the rug to unify the look. Alternatively, pick one just tall enough to slide into the often underused space beneath your desk.
As iconic as an Eames chair or a Smeg fridge, the Bisley is the ultimate filing cabinet. It comes in a smorgasbord of colours and sizes, so there is honesty one for every office.
Make the most of you space: Small home office ideas – stir creativity no matter how tight on space
If you have the space, invest in purpose-built office storage, such as a dedicated filing cabinet or chest of drawers to keep all your paperwork organised. There are lots of versions around these days that would fit perfectly into a contemporary home office scheme. Try Ikea or John Lewis for a range of affordable options.