If you work remotely, you'll understand the struggles of organizing a home office, especially when it comes to chic storage methods. Since when did you accumulate so many pens, right? While we wish setting up an at-home workspace were as simple as popping in a desk, chair, and shelf, the professional life requires a little bit more stuff. And whether you have a dedicated room or just an office nook, that stuff has to go somewhere.
Coming up with effective and visually appealing storage solutions can be a challenge, but there are many ways to create a home office that works for you. Interior designer Nadia Watts recommends using your space wisely by creating built-ins where possible and tucking away bits and bobs that you don't use daily. She also takes the whole room into consideration — including the direction you're facing while working.
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"I always keep in mind where someone will be sitting and what they will be looking at," she says. "I prefer looking out and at the door, which then puts the storage behind or to the left or right in closed drawers or cabinets."
Read on for more functional yet fabulous storage ideas for your home workspace.
18 Home Office Storage Ideas
1. Embrace open shelving.
If you're working with a small home office, you'll need to make the area as efficient as possible while also keeping it cute. One solution? Build upwards. Opt for open shelving that will provide endless storage and styling opportunities. Dabito of Old Brand New used a wall-mounted shelving system for this minimal, boho setup. The baskets hide clutter, and the abundant greenery steals the show.
2. Hack an existing piece of furniture.
Home office storage furniture isn't always the most aesthetically pleasing, so why not hack something to suit your style? Ashley of The Gold Hive upcycled a set of IKEA Besta units by adding new handles, legs, and shelves. The result is chic and ultra-functional. Check out more Besta hacks here.
3. Combine multiple storage methods.
Does your home office also serve as a place to get crafty? This workspace by sewing pattern designer Megan Nielsen is about to get your mind whirring. There's a dedicated place for everything here. Hooks on the wall hold the most-used tools. There's also open shelving, drawers on either side of the desk, and a row of magazine racks along the wall. Working from home has never looked so good!
4. Configure your cupboards.
Built-in cabinets can perfectly store all of your office essentials without impacting the overall look of your space. The floor-to-ceiling unit in this work spot from Camille Styles is filled with shelves and different drawer configurations to hold everything work-related — even a printer. We're suckers for the handmade labels, too.
5. Use a customizable storage system.
Before you get started on your home office design, think about how you might like to customize it — maybe with drawers, cabinets, or a pegboard. Specialized storage will ensure that your space works perfectly for you. Lindi and Russell of Love Create Celebrate used the online IKEA kitchen planner to design the layout of this workspace. Then, they chose IKEA Kungsbacka fronts for a stunning black and white office.
6. Use the spaces above and below your desk.
Home offices are rarely as spacious as we'd like. But that's okay. Small work stations can be both super stylish and functional. Get the most out of yours by making good use of the spaces both above and below your desk. Drawers on either side will keep it organized, and slick and built-in or floating shelves above can extend the space.
"A built-in is a fantastic solution for home office organization. It not only offers clear and fixed storage spaces, such as the drawers seen here, but also can serve as a space to bring in art, objects, books, and other decorative items to lend additional depth to the overall design," says Karen Wolf of k+co Living.
7. Hide it all!
When in doubt, go with one of our favorite storage ideas: Hide it all! We love this simple office space that's built into the London kitchen of 2LG Studio. The vibrant blue desk area has drawers for files, while the shelf is perfect for decor and storage boxes. Plus, if things get a little messy, you can just shut the door on it all.
8. Face your files.
We love this easy organization trick from IKEA. Instead of hiding files and paperwork away in a cabinet, place them front and center. Displaying file holders on a wooden board like this will keep important documents easily accessible. And let's be honest, the look is super cool, too.
9. Go for a desk with drawers.
Desk drawers exist for a reason, so use them! Some desks even have a shallow drawer in the middle, whether you use it for a keyboard or other supplies. Watts particularly appreciates this feature. "I love pencil drawers right under the middle section of a desk. You can keep writing utensils as well as paperclips and other little doodads that are needed," she says. (If your desk doesn't come with drawers, consider these brilliant alternatives.)
10. Embrace the pegboard.
Turn your wall space into a multifunctional storage area with the help of a pegboard. There's not much these simple accessories can't do. Hang tools, add shelves and baskets, or display inspirational quotes and create mood boards. Experiment with combining multiple peg boards in different sizes, orientations, and colors.
11. Streamline with matching bins.
If you're working with a small office, make the most of what room you have by installing simple floor-to-ceiling shelving or cubbies. Then, add some bins — they're one of our favorite storage solutions, especially in small spaces where you need to make the most of vertical space. They come in many different sizes and materials and are perfect for stashing clutter.
12. Choose a small file cabinet.
If you're stuck with a smaller desk, like the one in this minimalist office, pick up a similarly sized file cabinet to keep your workspace streamlined. You can use it not just for your filing system, but also as a place to store small items like sticky notes and notepads. That way, you can keep your desk space clear and your mind fresh.
13. Celebrate the simple cork board.
Whether you like creating mood boards or need to keep your important paperwork displayed so you don't forget about it, cork boards can help. Like pegboards, they can be endlessly and easily reconfigured to meet your changing needs. Plus, they just look good, especially in a monochrome setup like this one. If you'd like to start small, you can DIY a miniature version.
14. Add wheels.
If you're adding file cabinets to your home office, take a cue from The Fresh Exchange and consider a set with wheels. That way you can easily move your materials wherever they're needed. This will add a ton of flexibility to your workspace, especially if you share it with others in your home.
15. Incorporate vintage finds.
You don't need brand-new furniture for a functional home office. For a more lived-in, eclectic look, mix in some vintage or secondhand pieces. Gently used cabinets and other furniture can make your workspace look truly unique.
16. Bring in a storage locker.
Channel your days as a student with a metal storage locker. Graphic designer Kate Moorhouse of Solo Design Studio chose this especially cute, blush-colored one that perfectly matches the lamp beside it. Whether you use the space inside for books, as seen here, or to conceal paperwork and plastic bins, the locker itself can function as decoration — especially when accented with artwork and plants.
17. Use bookshelves as a catchall.
Declutter your desk, and move everything over to decorative bookshelves. All the better if, like the ones in this workspace, they have cabinets or drawers on the bottom for paperwork and office supplies. "I love using bookcases where possible in offices as they offer clean and ample storage solutions," says Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions.
18. Create a multipurpose room.
If you don't have a whole room to dedicate to your work station, take a look at this inspiring space designed from Interior Impressions. This home office is located within a living room, which presented a storage challenge. "We had to make it beautiful yet function well," says designer Leferink. "The bookcase here does just that, and the boxes we chose to display on the bookcase and desk are beautiful but double as storage containers for things like pens, paper clips, etc."