With the influx of many people working from home, I thought that it'd be a fantastic idea to share how I transformed my small walk-in closet into a mini office that I love. The idea to put an office in my closet came to me quite suddenly as I struggled to find a place to keep all of my documents, writing utensils, and books that I've been collecting throughout quarantine. I have also been trying to find a quiet place to consistently work on my writing and other projects. I have concluded that I work better and I am more productive in my own little space dedicated to work. So this was a perfect idea and I was extremely excited to execute it. After further investigation, I realized that there is an actual term for this closet office idea that I was thinking of; a cloffice. The term cloffice, most obviously and cleverly, combines the words closet and office. Immediately after learning of this new concept, I searched Pinterest for cloffice inspiration. Surprisingly, there were not many cloffice pins that interested me. In fact, there were only a few cloffice pins in general.
After 20 minutes of searching Pinterest, I decided on three cloffice pins that could serve as my inspiration. They were not exactly what I was looking for, but I thought that they all offered a great premise to start from. In the end, I took a few ideas from each of the cloffice pins to create my ideal cloffice.
A cloffice is perfect for you if:
I think a cloffice is perfect for anyone who likes to make the most out of small spaces. As a child, I remember building forts with my sister and trying to incorporate literally everything into the fort. I would put a small tv, a radio, I would make a little swingset, I would add lights, a place for us to nap, and a snack corner. It has been almost 17 years since I have built my last fort but I am still very much the same person that loves making small spaces fun and useful.
A cloffice is also essential for the person who works from home, the person who runs their own business or is self-employed, the person who is enrolled in online classes or home school, or the person who simply enjoys having a designated place to focus and get things done.
Some things to consider:
I think that one of the first things to consider when deciding to put an office in your closet is the actual size of your closet. The cloffices that I saw on Pinterest were quite condensed as the closet spaces were quite small. The only way that someone could work in there was if the closet door was open. In those cases, the office furniture prevented the closet door from closing normally. My closet is a small walk-in closet. So even with my new office furniture inside the closet, the door can still close and act as a separate room. I love this as I really enjoy my privacy and because the cloffice is now another room inside my room, I can have a sort of double privacy.
If being able to actually close the closet door matters to you, then I would suggest making sure your closet is big enough for a small desk, desk chair, and any other office furniture you want to include in your cloffice.
Another thing to consider is where your closet things will go now that they will have to be removed from your closet. As well as if you have enough space to put them elsewhere. Will they be moved into your bedroom? Will you move them to another closet? Or will they be banished to the basement? I understand that some people have things other than clothes, coats, and shoes in their closet. I, for instance, had various small items that were recklessly thrown into my closet with my clothes, shoes, and jackets. I decided to purchase a pack of 8 storage bins to put my miscellaneous items into and a portable closet to put my clothes, coats, and jackets in. I purchased a shoe rack as well to put my shoes on. The storage bins are neatly on a shelf in my closet while the shoe rack and portable closet are in my bedroom. This works out perfectly and leaves a good amount of space in my room and cloffice.
Here's the fun part! Below I have listed what I think to be essential cloffice items:
1. Small computer desk: I measured my closet and found a desk on amazon that fit the space of my closet perfectly. It is small but also big enough to fit my desktop bookshelf, lamp, and my laptop with space to spare. I purchased a small 36" desk with shelves on Amazon for $68.
2. Desk lamp: To read your books, documents, notes, or literally anything, you will need a source of light. And unless your closet has a light inside of it, your desk lamp will be your only source of light. I'd suggest buying a lamp that generates a good amount of light. I purchased a white desk lamp on Amazon for $20.
3. Desk lamp light bulbs: You will need to have light bulbs that support your desk lamp and provide you with enough light to work in comfort. I purchased my desk lamp light bulbs on Amazon for $8.
4. Desk top shelf organizer: If you have several books, then a bookshelf that sits on top of your desk would prove useful for you to keep your books organized and on display. I purchased a desk top shelf organizer on Amazon for $24.
5. Desk chair: You will need a place to sit at your desk in your cloffice so a desk chair is necessary. I would suggest a comfortable chair with good back support if you are going to be spending a lot of time in your cloffice. I purchased a standard black desk chair with wheels on Amazon for $56.
6. Outlet Power Strip: If your closet is anything like mine then there is no power outlet inside your closet. In this case, an outlet power strip should be purchased to ensure that you can plug in your necessary devices. Here's a link to the outlet power strip I purchased from Target for $8:
7. Bulletin board(s): I believe a bulletin board is essential to keep reminders, upcoming events, and inspiration photos and quotes to keep you motivated. I purchased a set of 4 bulletin boards on Amazon for $20.
8. Command strips: Making hideous holes in the wall by banging nails into it is not really my style. I much prefer using command strips to hang things like my bulletin boards, paintings, mirrors, or anything else that I'd like to hang in my cloffice. I purchased one pack on Amazon for $10.
9. Desk organizer: A desk organizer is a perfect place to put all your pencils, pens, markers, erasers, push-pins, paperclips, and anything of the sort. It keeps everything organized and looks neat. I purchased a mesh desk organizer on Amazon for $15.
10. Storage bins: Storage bins are essential if you have a lot of miscellaneous things in your closet that you do not want in your cloffice space. I purchased a pack of 8 pink storage pins on Amazon for a little under $30.
11. Portable Closet: If you still need a place to hang your clothes, coats, and jackets after removing them from your closet, then I would suggest purchasing a portable closet. They are really useful and keep all your clothes organized. I purchased a pink and white 2X4 portable closet on Amazon for $48.
12. File Tray: A tray to keep your files organized is important but a file tray can also be used to simply hold your various papers. For instance, my file tray holds my printing paper, shipping label paper, and loose-leaf paper. I purchased a pink floral file tray on Amazon for $29.
13. File folders: Keeping all your important documents in one place is important for the organization and your own sanity. For this reason, buying a few file folders may prove useful. I purchased a pink file folder set on Amazon for a little under $11.
14. Shoe rack: If all your shoes were previously in your closet but then you removed them to make a cloffice, then consider buying a shoe rack. This is a rack where your shoes can sit making them extremely accessible and easy to keep together. I purchased a bamboo shoe rack on Amazon for $13.
15. Wastebasket: A wastebasket is important for your cloffice to put all the utensil packaging and the cut-up paper pieces. It is essential to keeping the office tidy after everyday use. I purchased a small pink waste basket on Amazon for $17.
16. Writing Utensils: Writing utensils are a must for your cloffice as you need them to jot down notes, do homework, brainstorm, etc. I purchased a set of pens and pencils on Amazon for $12.
17. Paper: If you have a printer in your cloffice then you'll need printing paper. If you like to take notes, perhaps you would want lined-paper or graph paper. Either way, having paper in your cloffice is essential as it will be needed at some point. I purchased a printing paper pack on Amazon for $4.
Now that I have listed what I thought to be the essential items in a cloffice, here is a list of add-ons that I believe can make a cloffice even more incredible:
1. Personal digital assistant: I think there is something cool about have a personal assistant that can do small tasks for you like set timers, set reminders, compose a shopping list, and play your favorite songs while you’re working. Alexa is my go-to personal assistant but there are plenty of others that could improve your cloffice experience.
2. Dry erase board + markers: I love jotting things down in a hurry or brainstorming and I do not always want to get out a sheet of paper and a pen. Dry-erase boards make it easy to jot down a note in a rush or brainstorm and not worry about wasting a sheet of paper with a bunch of unorganized ideas.
3. Fun sticky notes: Sticky notes are nice to jot down phone numbers, names, addresses, and incomplete thoughts and are overall very useful little pieces of paper. These days, there are a bunch of new and fun designed sticky notes. From animal-themed to ramen noodle themed, you can’t go wrong with cool sticky notes.
4. Desk chair mat: If your closet has a carpet as mine does and you want to purchase a desk chair with wheels, then a desk chair mat would be perfect as it makes moving around in your chair much easier.
5. Reusable calendar: Keeping track of what needs to be done throughout the month is important and having a calendar helps keep everything in perspective. A reusable calendar is even more useful because you do not have to buy a new one when the year is over!
6. Printer: Having a printer is of course useful in your cloffice to print out any documents, assignments, photos, or really anything.
7. Accordion folders: There is something about accordion folders that are just so cool to me. They keep all your documents nice and neat and can hold way more documents than a standard folder. These would definitely be useful to the person who has a lot of paperwork and nowhere to put it.
No matter the reason why you would want an office in your closet, I hope this was an informative guide that can help you transform your small closet into a wonderful office to your liking.