Over the past 365 days (and longer), work from home has become the “new norm” for many of us. And even as office buildings start welcoming back employees, there is a chance that businesses will continue to embrace flex schedules. However, it can be challenging for remote employees working with limited square footage to create a work-worthy space at home. Plus, if we are venturing back to our cubicles once more, will we want to designate an entire room to a home office? Enter the “Cloffice.”
What is a Cloffice?
Although the term may sound a bit odd, a “cloffice” is a popular design trend that has been bombarding Instagram feeds as of late. It is an excellent solution for those living in an apartment, townhouse, or small home lacking office space. Instead of using an entire room as a home office, it becomes a shared space – a combination of a closet and an office.
Setting Up Your Cloffice
Creating a closet/office is quite simple. To build out the space, begin by sectioning off how much space you want to dedicate to your desk and workstation. Will you need a small desk with just the essentials? Or are you going to be setting up filing cabinets, a printer station, and mounted computer monitors?
Once you’ve decided upon your work from home needs, you can assess what shelving and clothing racks you will need for clothes, shoes, and accessories. Using an expensive closet designer is not always necessary either. Instead, you can replicate the look of built-in shelving units by opting for assemble-it-yourself options, such as the Ikea PAX closet system, which is an influencer favorite. Unsure of what size you need? Many furniture retailers provide you with an online design tool to determine the exact pieces you’ll need and fit your space.
While the assembly can be time-consuming, the price point will be more affordable. For example, to complete a 7.5-foot tall closet unit that spanned the entire wall of a 12-foot room, it took one of our team members approximately ten hours (which included unboxing and a few breaks). Setup and installation were made easy thanks to handy step-by-step instructional guides, which most furniture kits come equipped with. We needed very few additional tools for our project, too – just screwdrivers, a hammer, and a level.
Safety also needs to be at the top of your mind during the building and installation steps. When installing your shelving, refer to your instruction manual for mounting requirements so that shelving is adequately attached to the wall. Following safety protocols will help minimize the chance of it falling.
Most storage solutions are customizable, so you can add in different drawers, shelves, shoe racks, clothing rods, and more to suit your needs. If filing cabinets throw off the aesthetic you’re going for, choose drawers in the shelving unit to house your work necessities. Many of these solutions offer shelves that slide out, which could be the perfect place to keep your printer or laptop when they’re not in use.
If you find yourself working full 40-hour weeks back in the office, this space can transition into a guest bedroom, children’s room, or playroom. Swap out the office furniture in the center for bedroom furniture – and decorate the shelves with toys, games, sports memorabilia, or whatever else may fit the room’s new function.
Another Cloffice Option
If you do not have an entire room waiting to become an office, there is another option. Is your guest bedroom closet half-empty? Would it benefit you to convert it into a functional desktop space? Turn this unused space into a productivity nook. You can quickly create a second “cloffice.” It is also a fantastic option for college students who may have limited living space or roommates living in shared quarters.
Begin by clearing out your closet and then removing the pre-existing shelving. There are multiple options for creating your workspace. You can move a desk into the closet, mount a desktop on the closet wall, or suspend a desktop between two filing cabinets (again, make sure anything you hang or mount is safely and securely installed).
For additional storage, utilize the wall space above your desk area. Measure the computer monitor you’re using so that you can start the shelves at the right height. What about if you do not want to hang shelves above your desk? Add a decorative yet functional bulletin board or purchase magazine racks to hold documents you need to access quickly.
When creating this type of closet-office, one big thing to keep in mind is your proximity to an electrical outlet. Many closets will not be equipped with an outlet, so identify one nearby before beginning your project. Extension cords will become your friend and help you power up your computer and any lighting you choose. There are many ways to hide cords and cables, with one popular option being to snake them through baseboard cord channels, which are readily available at home improvement stores. These cord channels can be painted or stained to match your baseboard.
Depending on the room’s primary function, you can choose whether or not to remove the closet doors. If your new closet-office is in a highly utilized guest room, you may opt to keep the doors on, so you can close off the workspace when guests arrive. On the other hand, removing the doors will give your room a more open feel, making it appear more spacious (another plus for those living in smaller places).
There are many different ways to turn a closet into an inviting, effective home office. Use a vibrant paint color or wallpaper on the back wall or install decorative wall scones instead of a traditional desk lamp. You can also incorporate some of 2021 hottest design trends, too, to liven up your space and give it extra personality. No one ever said that an office had to look dull or drab.
If you want to maximize space and minimize the need for a large home office, a “cloffice” may be the ideal option for you. By making a space multi-purpose or by converting an unused closet into something useful, you’ll start to take advantage of all the space you have in your home – and use it more efficiently.
If there are other reasons that your life demands space – and you cannot find any more in your home – it is time to talk to Prime Storage’s storage experts. We will help you with your storage needs, from traditional units to climate controlled units to boat, car, and RV storage. To get started, visit our website and find a location nearest to you!