How to Fit a Home Office Into a Small Apartment

My husband & I live in an 850 square foot, one-bedroom apartment. 

Plus we have a baby on the way. So it goes without saying that it is a bit of a tight squeeze.

We have to be super cognizant that we organize our space for multi-purpose use. And we definitely don't have a lot of room for "extras".

Since I've been working from home for a few years now, I feel like I finally have a good handle on what works.

So here are my top 3 tips to make a home office work in your cozy apartment: 

1) DON'T WORK IN YOUR BEDROOM

In the past, I've tried to save room in our living space by working in the bedroom. But it just doesn't work. It's hard enough for us work-at-home-ers to shut our brains down at night. Not to mention, if your desk full of work is staring at you while you're trying to sleep. If you can help it, pick a different spot for your work so you can make sure you get some downtime. That keeps this whole arrangement sustainable for you for the long term.

2) RETHINK THE DESK

I've tried a few different desks over the years. I had a small one from Target that suited my space, but just never worked right for me. And then a big desk - gorgeous dark wood with plenty of drawers. That was a flop, too. I finally realized that both of those weren't the right height for working with a laptop - they had the pull out drawer for a keyboard - so my wrists were too uncomfortable throughout the day. And that's why I spent a ton of time working at the kitchen table - while this huge desk was taking up precious space in my living room.

I finally solved the problem with Floyd Legs. And it was a huge game changer for me. They were not a small investment (about $200), but were totally worth it.

Saffron Yellow 29" + Vermillion Red 16" #floydleg #colorcollection #furniture #home #design

A photo posted by Floyd (@floyddetroit) on

^(I have those yellow ones.)^

The legs are the perfect height for me and the same as my kitchen table that I liked working at (29.5"). And they can be reused & reworked. The legs are U.S. made (in Detroit) and you get 4 legs that have a clamp at the top. Then you choose the desktop material

We went to a local shop here, called Buffalo Reuse, and picked up an old door for $5 that was the length I wanted for my desk (about 54").

 

Buffalo ReUse.

A photo posted by Julienne (@jmasc1) on

 

And voila! I had a custom desk that was perfect size for me and our space. (One caveat: the desk is sturdier if you can place it up against a wall.) 

3) DITCH THE CLUTTER

This is such an important part of making an office work in an apartment. Don't have a ton of extras! In the pic of my desk above, you can see I use a small basket & a repurposed coffee canister (that's holding my pencils on the right) to organize my desk. And I recently bought this new cart:

 
 

It's on wheels, so I can move it out only when I need to get into the lower drawers. And I keep my printer on the flat, top surface. (If you look you can see my shredder underneath my desk, too.) It's been a really nice addition to my space. (Plus the fronts of the baskets are chalkboard! Who doesn't love that?) :)

 

Working from home on our own businesses is only 'the dream' when your apartment doesn't start looking like a nightmare! :) I hope these tips give you some new ideas about how to organize your space.