The home desk space sees it all: bills, mail, textbooks, computers, keys and even the cat
. All this activity calls for some organizational tricks — and possibly some paring down — to keep things looking good. Whether you are trying to keep a New Year’s resolution or just need to find the top of your desk, these home work areas may have inspiration for you.
1. Keep it simple. This Swedish apartment dweller’s desk shares a room with a bed and an open closet. During the months leading up to the day this photo was taken, Caroline Wass went through her belongings and slimmed down her possessions. “Everything that’s left carries a history and reflects me as a person,” she says.
The surface of the small inherited desk exemplifies her desire to keep only meaningful objects: a small lamp, books, a laptop and a glass filled with pencils. This enables the medical school student to focus on her studies.
Takeaway: Keep what you absolutely need or love on your desktop. Store or donate everything else.
Read more about this small city apartment in Sweden
2. Think vertical.
Chicago renter gave some creative thought to this multipurpose room. The living room has an office in it, but she didn’t want it to feel
as though she had an office in the living room.
She unified the room by keeping the color scheme the same throughout. She also added a few live elements, such as the fiddleleaf fig, to push out any stuffy office vibes.
At her desk, she went vertical by propping a large corkboard against the window frame. Without this, she’d have only surface storage at her desk.
Takeaway: Don’t underestimate the power of a leaning corkboard. It gives you space for pinning ideas and takes up just a sliver of desk area.
Read more about this pretty, practical Chicago rental
3. Make the walls work. The interior designers who call this office home took their inspiration to the wall. They mounted 36 clipboards on the wall next to the door, putting the expansive surface to good use. The inspiration wall keeps ideas organized instead of in piles on the duo’s desk. Instead, the desktop can comfortably accommodate the workload of two designers.
The clipped-up images constantly change, turning into new mood boards for other clients or newfound inspiration.
Takeaway: Look around your home office and find space that could be used for creative work. Consider adding unconventional storage like clipboards.
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4. Contain the supplies. In renovating their 1961 home, family members carved out a space for Mom to do her photo editing work and manage her interior design business. The narrow space, which was created from half of a previous bedroom, needed containers to help everything stay organized.
On the desktop, she uses a handmade tray to corral her collection of brass office accessories.
Takeaway: Give the small stuff a dedicated home. This helps you keep a tight space uncluttered.
Read more about this Texas fixer-upper
5. Upgrade the tech. This New York City dweller lives in a 300-square-foot apartment and works at a desk a few feet away from her bed. A curtain defines her workspace. But it’s what you can’t immediately see that has the most value for this multimedia producer.
Her primary office supplies are her iMac and 20-plus terabytes of regular and backup storage. She works with large digital files, so all that storage is what really makes her small office work.
Takeaway: Even the simplest room divider can help you keep your focus on work. As for your digital belongings, once you have ample storage space on your computer, put your files away where they belong, the way you put your clothes in your closet.
Read more about the space-saving ideas in this New York City apartment
6. Create affordable solutions. This San Francisco resident dropped all his cash just to rent his place, which meant he didn’t have much left over for furnishings. To create a livable space, he put shelves and benches throughout the apartment, including a shelf that acts as a desk, and another overhead that’s a bookshelf.
He added a little stool to the corner to create a workable but discreet desk space. The nearby bench turns the lower shelf topped with cameras into another desk if he needs it.
Other space-saving ideas include the hat storage hanging from the ceiling and a tiny shelf next to the laptop that’s perfect for a small plant.
Takeaway: Your place is what you make of it. If you are strapped for cash, consider building your own furnishings from salvaged materials, or shop around at garage sales or thrift shops.
Read more about this resourcefully furnished San Francisco apartment
7. Focus on your needs. This professional photographer keeps only the workday essentials at her fingertips, and uses the rest of the office space as a home photography studio. That’s why the space in front of the desk is kept open and filled with wonderful natural light.
At her long, narrow desk, she has her computer, a basket for her camera, and a few Polaroids of friends for a little inspiration. That and a handful of reference books on the shelf are all she needs during a typical workday.
Takeaway: Empty wall space can be workspace too. Maybe you’d love a clean backdrop for photos or want to have a spot to do some afternoon stretches.
Read more about this Portland, Oregon, bungalow
8. Add storage on all sides.
An extra bedroom in their new place meant this couple could finally have an office. When they set up the space, they furnished it with storage options on every side of the desk: right, left, below and above.
The bookshelf on the right holds reference material. The file cabinet on the left makes for a perfect home for the printer, and the wall rack holds folders and magazines. Below, they added another file cabinet.
Above, a shelf made from pipe and pine holds favorite decor.
Takeaway: Nearly every piece of the office can help you organize your belongings, from the heartwarming keepsakes to the mundane bills.
via 8 Home Desk Areas That Work and Stay Tidy Too