Having a home office is a must-have for many homeowners, especially if you freelance or work from a mobile office. Squeezing out the space for an office, however, is another matter. Sometimes you are fortunate enough to get a spare bedroom or den for the office space; other times you have to make do with an alcove or a section of the family room. Either way, how you set up the space for storage will determine how functional it is for you.
Storage is key to an efficient home office, because if you’re constantly tripping over things or can never find your supplies, you’re doomed to daily frustrations. One way to prevent that is by dedicating one or two walls (if you have it) of your office space entirely to storage by installing cabinets from a big box store—kitchen cabinets that is.
As you study stock kitchen cabinets, you’ll realize that the very features that make them convenient for kitchen use, also make them useful for home office use. Before you head out the door and over to the nearest store though, stop and look at what type of items you will be storing and take a few measurements of some of the bigger objects so that you know what size cabinets you’ll need to purchase. With those figures in hand, you can make some intelligent decisions when purchasing your cabinets. Let’s consider some different styles of cabinet storage units that will be useful in your office space.
Drawers. Drawers are perfect for oddly-shaped or bulky items that don’t fit in cabinets too well. Electronic equipment that you don’t use everyday, extra cables, power strips, and extension cords all store well in drawers. For crafters, drawers are perfect for fabric, yarns and sewing accessories.
Pull-out pantry trays. Pull-out trays can be configured in any number of ways to be useful. Jewelry crafters can install the trays with only a few inches between each tray and use them to hold beads, wire, findings and other accessories. An artist could use them for painting and drawing supplies. If you carry inventory, they’ll easily pull out so that you can see what you have at a glance. Just be sure you check any weight limits on the tray.
Swing-up door cabinets. These are often used in the kitchen for appliances. In a home office you could stash your office coffee maker in one or tuck your external DVD drive with cables attached out of the way and ready to go. How convenient it would be to not have to unplug everything and pack it up in its box every time you’re done with it.
Open cubbies. Open cubbies are perfect for those things you want to stow and be ready to grab at a moment’s notice. Tuck your backpack or briefcase in one, or perhaps your gym bag with workout gear so you’re ready to go if an hour of time opens up.
Apothecary drawers. These little drawers are perfect for office supplies of all types and little things you need to contain.
If you still find that don’t have room for all your business supplies or inventory in your home, you may want to consider renting a mobile storage container to handle the excess until more space opens up in your home.
In the meantime, make the most of the space you have by configuring your cabinets into a pleasing arrangement that will transform your office into an efficient, attractive space that makes it a pleasure to work in each day.