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Creating Storage Areas in a Home Office

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/5/2011

Creating storage areas in a home office is a difficult task. To be successful, you have to use every inch of space you have, including walls, closets, cabinets, drawers, bookshelves, and even the backs of doors. It’s possible though, you just have to know a few tips and tricks.

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    It’s a Small Space

    You know your home office is small, and it may be the smallest room in the house. The worst part is, your spouse probably wants you to keep everything related to your home office in it, including boxes of printer paper, your books, client files, tax files, catalogs, printer cartridges, and more. The only way to make this happen is to create useful and functional storage areas. Let’s look into storage options for smaller areas, such as your home office.

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    Replace or Repurpose Furniture

    First, be creative when purchasing furniture, and always being on the lookout for items that can double as storage. Trunks or cedar chests, as well as seating with flip-up seats and storage underneath, can be used to store what you need in the long term. If your office also serves as a spare bedroom, you can store items under the bed if necessary.

    Bulletin, cork, and white boards can double as calendars, makeshift filing systems, and day planners; end table drawers can store small items; and vintage suitcases can hold mementos and photos.

    Look up too — can you shelving, peg racks, and decorative hooks on the walls? If so, you can easily add extra storage space. Simple shelving units and bookcases can hold almost anything too, and offer a good place to store in the long term.

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    More Storage Additions for Small Areas

    Besides replacing and repurposing furniture to increase your storage options, you can add smaller organizers as well. There are several options to consider, and most are inexpensive, can be purchased used, or can be created from recycled boxes or other storage containers.

    Here’s a list of some other items to use as storage in small areas or anywhere storage space is difficult to come by:

    * Shelving, either wooden or wire

    * Stackable baskets, boxes, or bins

    * Wall files

    * Over-the-door hanging plastic shoe organizer

    * Hooks and pegs

    * Chest of drawers

    * Trunks or cedar chests

    * Decorative boxes

    * Skirts around tables (hide your smaller items under the skirt)

    * Closet, drawer, and desk organizers

    * Bookcases for a wall or corner

    * Decorative glass jars

    * Plastic bins that fit under a day bed or desk

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    Other Options

    Consider storing items you rarely use in an attic or a basement. You can also store bulk purchased in your garage. However, be mindful of the following when creating storage outside your home office:

    · Many basements are damp (especially if they are unfinished) and precautions need to be taken to keep your possessions safe. You’ll first want to make sure that you don’t store anything in an area that could be damaged by flooding. If the moisture level is high in your basement, consider getting a dehumidifier. A good dehumidifier can work wonders.

    · Use clear plastic containers and label anything you store in a garage, attic, or basement, so you can find things easily.

    · Spray the basement, attic, or garage for spiders and other bugs at least twice a year.

    · Make sure the areas you store your valuables in are locked and are not accessible by others, for instance, if you use an outbuilding like a shed or garden house.

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    Conclusion

    It’s imperative that you have some type of long term storage, no matter how large or small your home office is. For most people, the garage, attic, or basement can serve as this storage space. Start with your home office though, and see if you can create storage there first.

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