Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

office in a closet
Home Office in a Closet: Country Living

It is great to have a well organized home. However, my home is often overrun by paperwork — from my own stuff to kids school papers to bills. I haven’t yet got all my “new house” systems and organization in place, so I am ready to start feeling more organized. While having enough rooms in the house for everything would be nice, how do you get creative with every day storage needs when you are short on space?

I’m realizing that it was one thing to feel organized in a large home, but now that my house is about half the size of my old one, it isn’t as easy to stash things out of view as it used to be.

For most of us, we need to make the most of the space we have. In spite of our limitations, we still want our homes to be attractive, personal and inspiring. Time to get creative, so let’s look at some inspiration photos for ideas.

I love the home office in the closet above! It is so pretty and organized!

Desks can be expensive, but if you need one to corral your office stuff you can make your own to suit your needs. Desks can be a clutter magnet, but if you make yours pretty it helps!

My own personal desk is actually two file cabinets with a desktop for a surface. I find that works well for me, and is definitely something you could make pretty easily. Even old ugly file cabinets can be spray painted to give them a fresh look. Another suggestion is to buy or find table legs to attach to an old door. Or, use an old table fixed up with a new paint color. Instantly personalized desks!

For storage, you can take several old file cabinets and give them new life with paint and new knobs. Instant credenza! Or, find an old dresser and give it a fun new paint job. Dressers are perfect for extra storage just about anywhere!

Frame a white board with wood to create your own custom message area to organize your thoughts, lists or calendars. I love having several bulletin boards and message centers in my own home out where I can see them.

With a little color coordination and creative storage containers, you can store all sorts of supplies right out in the open in just about any room of the house. Every room might have hidden or out-in-the open storage possibilities! You can cover storage boxes or even shoe boxes with paper to coordinate to your decor. Baskets also work well to corral papers and supplies.

home office decor

Use tables with skirts or curtains to coordinate with your decor and help hide some of the clutter. Find wasted places under counters, shelves, or tables to claim some space for storage. Perfect “creative concealments!”

In small quarters, you can utilize any corner to hide some every day things! A skirted table in a dining room can hide file cabinets or shelving, and a coffee table can be topped with cushions to create both a charming seat and a place to stash supplies.

What stuff do you have trouble stashing at your house?
Are you getting in the mood for some spring organizing?


Organizational inspiration from:
Better Homes & Gardens,
except top photo
Country Living, this post revised from April 2008

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Comments

  1. I’m 1/2 way done to turning my unused dining room into a fabulous home office!!! I’m using the dining table as my desk and skirting it! Can’t wait for the fabric to arrive…hope to get to reveal soon! Thanks for the inspiration to finish it SOON! Have a blessed day!
    .-= Mary Jean´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to You! =-.

  2. I love the desk tucked into a closet! Space is at a premium in our apartment, and it can be a challenge to find a place for things. Right now my biggest challenge is finding space for items that aren’t in season as well as Hubby’s tools. I may need to tackle our outdoor storage closet soon!
    .-= Imperfect´s last blog ..A Spring Shower =-.

  3. I have an office in a closet. A TINY, TINY, TINY closet!!! Our home has small rooms, so that was the best solution. I love having it all tucked away. I also have a washer and dryer in a closet. Needless to say, creative/beautiful means of storage is always on my radar! ;o)
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Busy Day =-.

  4. Amazing inspiration photos! I live in an apartment on campus and have most of my furniture provided for me (which is not very pretty). I need all the help I can get when it comes to organizing and doing it on the cheap, so this was helpful!
    .-= Sarah @ Dream In Domestic´s last blog ..Man, I’ve Been Benched… =-.

  5. Thanks for the ideas…and blog! Living in a smaller space forces creativity…i love it. Just started blogging this week-thanks for your inspiration!

  6. We just moved into a new house and I have a whole bedroom as my office/scrap room. I love it.

    In our home in Florida I had a big walk in pantry and I had a desk at the end of the pantry and it worked out fine for me.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..It’s Sunday… =-.

  7. BEAUTIFUL inspiration photos! I don’t have a home office, and I am really digging everything you posted today. As a teacher, I have just about everything I use often in my classroom at school. I do hope to work from home some day, so these ideas are really rolling around in my brain.

    Happy Monday!
    Laura
    .-= Laura @ PARING DOWN´s last blog ..Simple Pleasures: Crab Apple Blooms =-.

  8. the top image is my FAVORITE! I want someone to come fix up my little work space like that! So Cheery and Inspiring!

  9. I have trouble keeping my paperwork and computer equipment stored away from my kiddos— 2yrs & 7 yrs…they love getting into everything and it ends up out and ugly. As we get ready to move into our new apartment I am working on a work space in our master bedroom but I wanted it to be pretty and put away. I love the idea of the white cabinet with cubbies and white bins in the photos you shared. Now all I have to do is find the bins to work for my future hubby stuff. Thanks for all of the great ideas. I was kind of stuck on this one…got the nice desk but was stuck on the office storage. These photos are awesome!!!
    .-= Mary Joy @ Life Moments´s last blog ..Creating Beauty on the inside—Beth Moore “So Long Insecurity” Give Away!! =-.

  10. I absolutely LOVE the office in the closet idea. Since I just started blogging I am trying to find a permanent office space besides the couch or kitchen table (obviously not working for me…) I’ve been thinking about trying to convert the spare bedroom closet. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!! Much needed this morning…I have Daylight Savings Time adjustment syndrome…

  11. Living in a tiny apartment in DC and working from home, I have to be extremely creative with my storage. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!
    .-= Elizabeth@LongToLove´s last blog ..The Monday Morning Blues =-.

  12. I have a closet office! It probably was the best thing that I’ve ever done! AND…. It’s a space that is just for me since I’m surronded by men (husband and 3 boys)!
    .-= L.Duncan´s last blog ..DUMP… =-.

  13. Great ideas Melissa ..love the closet office.. given me some brilliant ideas for my home :-)

  14. Everybody probably has a different hot button here and although I thought the closet was very pretty and organized, I have an old house that the closets are very different from this. For me, I was inspired by the shelving with all of the white numbered totes. Clean, organized, and current. Very nice.
    Pam
    .-= pam rosenberg´s last blog ..Glimpses of Home =-.

  15. What great idea’s, thanks for sharing. I am currently dreaming of having “my own little space”!

  16. Oh dang, that closet office is simply divine!!! I wish I had another closet…so I could have an office. HA!
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..No Boil Noodle Lasagna =-.

  17. I always do a purge in January when I put the holiday decorations away, but I’m in the mood for another. In winter, I like tableclothes and covered surfaces – it seems to add warmth! – but in the summer I like to keep it bare and spare and COOL!

    Thanks for the inspiring – and beautiful – ideas!

  18. I love that desk in the third photo.
    .-= Irene´s last blog ..DIY Really Done – Kitchen Island =-.

  19. My messy desk is the biggest issue-mostly because I always have something in progress up there. I’ve been dreaming of better organization everywhere in my house, and slowly tackling some trouble spots. I love these inspiration pictures-they make me feel motivated!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Sunday Gratitudes =-.

  20. Oh how I love office organization. Okay, anything organization related! I use makeshift curtains to hide ‘cord clutter’ since I don’t have those snazzy cable keeper thingamajigs. Thanks for the pictures, it’s all so crisp and clean. I love it!

  21. Great inspiration here, Melissa. As I’m typing this, I’m sitting in my office\workroom surrounded by piles of things that need new homes. I don’t know if I’ve outgrown my space or am just worn out by all the constant corralling. I’m coming back here when I have more time to really absorb all these ideas. Thanks!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Sunday at the Rose Bowl with Eddie =-.

  22. My desk is in a back hallway…I have the most trouble with magazines and craft supplies. :s We have a small home with small closets…the closets are all doing duty with clothes, shoes, and everything else I can cram in. ;)
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Dressing Up My Window =-.

  23. I can never get a handle on All the stuff that lays around the computer.
    You have given me some ideas….like that picture of the desk.
    I think someone needs to come up with computer parts that have some design “beauty” ….and the wires, I hate wires and cords!
    Thanks for the help
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Spring & an imaginary Egg hunt =-.

  24. Hi Melissa, I seem to always be in the mood, never have the time.

    Yesterday I organized my back patio. Felt so good!

    I think my desk area is my worse area right now!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Bush’s Beans GIVEAWAY: Just add Sweet Potatoes! =-.

  25. Love the first photo, but I can only dream since we barely have enough closets as it is. My desk is in our dining room so hiding everything when we are trying to have a nice dinner is always a challenge. I don’t want it to look like an office as much as to blend in and pretend it isn’t there!
    .-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Sunday Night Dinner =-.

  26. I love these ideas! We just recently gave up our dining room to be a home office/library/schoolroom. We use so many items on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean I want to see them when we aren’t having school or I’m not working. I’m going to be borrowing some of these ideas – thank you! Even just color-coded office supplies seems to really bump things up to that next level from “functional” to “beautiful” :-)

    Lovely post!
    .-= kara´s last blog ..Weekend Showcase: Link Love =-.

  27. I love your inspiration photos. I have an office in a closet (which I’m going to be doing a post on just as soon as I clean it up) and it works really well.

  28. Love this post…we cleaned and worked on projects all weekend…my husband completed a couple of fabulous DIY projects for us that I posted about today!!! :)

    I have a clear box that I put all of the stuff that I’m not ready to file or put away….that box is such a dread to us….I’m glad to find that most everyone has a stash…or a pile that they can’t seem to get on top of no matter how organized they get!

  29. I love, love, love these clean, organized office spaces. But no matter how hard I try, I never seem to be able to maintain a space like this. However, this is inspiring me to try again!
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Inspiration from a modern Barcelona hotel =-.

  30. I love your blog and have followed for some time. Tonight I was in the mood to redecorate the armoire that holds our dishes – I like to open it for season display in the dining room. I was running out of ideas and coming the internet for pictures – THEN I went to The Inspired Room and wallah! I now have an inspired room – thanks to you.

  31. OMG that closet office in the first pic is amazing! thanks!
    .-= micaela @ hishouse;herhelp.´s last blog ..casa sneak peak; part II. =-.

  32. great inspiration!
    .-= sherry goodloe´s last blog ..Yesterday at the Rubber Stamp Convention =-.

  33. I also love the first photo of the office in a closet. I have lived in many small houses and have used the closet for many things. It’s great to see creative new ways to use space.
    .-= joy@thriftyparstonageliving´s last blog ..Decorating for Spring on a Budget =-.

  34. I love the office in a closet!

    Because I have a small house, a toddler and a lot of very expensive stock piling up as I get ready to launch Natural History, I have decided to move into a service office immediately behind my house – I’ll be starting to move stuff over there tomorrow morning and I’m very, very excited about it!
    .-= Sarah @ Natural History (was Passementerie!)´s last blog ..Do you notice a pattern? =-.

  35. Melissa,
    I’ve moved around so understand how much work it takes to get a home organized. I’m always looking for attractive ideas that are also functional. I may not take the look as far as Martha, but I like my closets to look neat and tidy.
    Cathy
    .-= The Stylish House´s last blog ..Pottery Barn Makeover! =-.

  36. I just love all of these suggestions…they make office supplies look so visually appealing! :)
    .-= Muthering Heights´s last blog ..The Guest =-.

  37. I love the office in a closet, first photo. I really wish I good give up a closet to do that. Where would the stuff in the closet go???
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..March 17, 2010 =-.

  38. I really like the first idea, where you can easily close the mess you have there and thats it :) but all photos show great ways to hide your artistic clutter :) Nice!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Fruit of the month – banana =-.

  39. This is GREAT inspiration! We are still working on my home office right now and I was glad to read through many of your tips here! =-D

  40. I love the desk in the closet. You have presented some excellent ideas.

  41. I’m always in the mood for organizing. I am itching to redo my hubby’s disorganized desk. I might take the time to do it now that he’s out of town.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..$5 Challenge Inspiration =-.

  42. Such beautiful organizational spaces. I love the one where they put a curtain on a rod under the table. That is an awesome idea!
    tammy recently posted..It Is Just Who I AmMy Profile

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  1. [...] reinvent the wheel here. You can go read the ideas I found and shared by clicking this link Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day. But today’s post is all about the READERS — it is YOUR turn to share YOUR [...]

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