How to Organize a Small Home Office Closet
Power cords, Post-its and paper, oh my! These expert tips will help you organize your small home office closet.
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Even the smallest closet in your home office can be a useful and organized space that helps you work more efficiently. That little closet is a convenient spot to hold office supplies, backup cables and batteries, quick-grab snacks and beverages, reference materials and more.
We’ve gathered our favorite expert tips for organizing your home office closet and getting the most out of every square inch.
Purge the Clutter
The home office closet is a magnet for clutter. And when your office closet is small, you have to be diligent about how you use that limited space.
The first step to organization is to empty out the closet and take inventory of what’s inside. Get rid of old documents, cables that are broken or for devices you no longer have, and items that you don’t need in your home office. If you’re mostly paperless, why keep a box of binder clips?
Remember to stay environmentally conscious as you purge office supplies and equipment. Instead of contributing to the landfill, consider donating what you can to a local thrift store. For old electronics, companies like Sprint, Hewlett-Packard and Best Buy offer recycling programs.
It’s also a good idea during this step to check the rest of the house for rogue office items. Professional organizer Donna Smallin Kuper says, “I once organized the office of a graphic designer who had office supplies stashed everywhere. So my favorite tip is to round up all of your office supplies — Post-It notes, printer paper, pens and pencils, paper clips, everything.” You can’t effectively organize the closet until you know everything that needs to go in it.
Shelf Space is Essential
Customize the closet to best fit the needs of your office. For most people, that means plenty of shelves. Organizing expert Aby Garvey suggests, “Remove the closet door and replace it with a curtain so it’s easier to see and access the items inside. Then install shelves and use them to store office supplies, books or craft items.”
Once you’re ready to put items back in the closet, think about the storage layout that will work best for you. Kuper suggests using zones. “Create zones in your office closet similar to what you would see in an office supply store,” she says. “That way, when you need something, you can easily find it in the appropriate zone. It also makes it easy to see what you might be running low on.” Keep things you use the most on the eye-level shelves, and reserve the higher shelves for things you don’t need every day.
Utilize Containers and Baskets
“Use small plastic bins or boxes to corral smaller items such as staples and paper clips,” says Kuper. Label everything! Boxes, bins and labels make it easy to find things and help you avoid the temptation to put something where it doesn’t belong. The right containers can also help you maximize shelf space. Handy items like this four-shelf organizer and these stackable bins utilize vertical space while keeping all your supplies tidy and within reach.
Avoid the Catchall Trap
The home office closet can easily become a catchall for items in your home that don’t really belong anywhere else. To help with this problem, Garvey says, “Designate a single container to collect random items. Then make yourself the agreement that when the container gets full, you’ll disperse the items to their proper home.” A simple basket at the bottom of the closet can serve this purpose. But make sure it’s not too big, so when it’s time to empty it out it’s easy to carry around the house.
If you work from home, your closet can help you be prepared for unique situations. Hang a professional sweater or jacket on the inside of the closet door for when you have an unexpected video conference. (Here’s a simple over-the-door hook, no tools required!) To avoid interrupting your work flow with a trip to the kitchen, place a small basket on a closet shelf filled with your favorite quick snacks.