5 Secret Storage Tricks in the Office
When I first set out to make over our guest room into an office one of my main goals was to add as much hidden storage as possible. I live in a 1,000 square foot house and storage is at a premium around here. I’m definitely not complaining because the minimal amount of storage really forces me to live with only what I need, which is a lifestyle I have come to LOVE over the past few years.
However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not always brainstorming ways to add more storage whenever possible. The creative solutions I have experimented with has really helped our small space work hard for us and that’s exactly what happened in our office.
This room has come a long way since its days as a guest room and there is so much I love about it! But the thing I love most about this space is how functional it is. Our new office works very hard yet doesn’t look/feel cluttered and I credit that to the secret storage that is sprinkled throughout the room.
Today I want to show you guys around and dive a little deeper into the 5 ways I incorporated storage into this room without compromising the overall design.
The DIY fauxdenza is hands-down the most hardworking piece of storage in this space. It’s made out of kitchen cabinets, which gives you an idea of how much storage it provides! But the best part is that the fauxdenza doesn’t feel like I have clunky kitchen cabinets in the office. It actually feels super thin and sleek…
… especially when you see it from the side. This is the view we see looking down the hallway and I’m always amazed at how this slim fauxdenza holds ALL of our office essentials, including our printer! (more details here)We’ve been using our printer from inside the fauxdenza for a few months now and I LOVE it. Yes I have to remember to open up the cabinet door before I press print and I also have to lift the printer onto the floor when I have to scan or copy a document (which is pretty rare), but honestly I don’t mind those small inconveniences if it means that this clunky office staple is MIA.
The top of the fauxdenza even holds some more secret storage. The box in the middle holds some jewelry and the bowl above it holds a few necklaces I wear often and my sunglasses. The round basket holds my earbuds. Although these items may be small every little bit counts, right?!
Shelves with Drawers
The next most hardworking item in this room is these shelves (similar).
Not only do they offer some space to style, they also offer some amazing organization opportunities. The drawers at the bottom of these two shelves are by far my favorite part of these pieces. The drawers are wide and deep enough to store pretty much anything you want, but they also come with the tools necessary to make them into file cabinets.
I set up a filing system for our personal files (banking, home docs, medical docs, etc.), the DIY Playbook (receipts, contracts, invoices, etc.) and for Matt’s business. I’ve never lived with a file cabinet before this and honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old ways. It’s SO convenient to open up these drawers and easily file away all of our important documents. This is also a storage option I didn’t originally plan for in our office space, but it’s a component I will definitely put a priority on in any future office projects.
*Note to self: having an easily accessible filing system is such an important factor to keep important docs organized. Keeping this paperwork accounted for and organized was never a strength of mine because I never had a place I could easily drop my files without investing a lot of time. This organized and accessible filing system has changed that and I’m so thankful!
Believe it or not, the hard work of these two shelves doesn’t stop with the drawers.
Some of the accessories on these shelves are solely for decoration but there are others I snuck in there to offer even more extra storage.
Doing Double Duty
You can only see three of the decorative storage boxes in this picture, but there are actually 4 storage boxes and 5 additional jars/canisters that are ALL offering extra storage. Although these boxes/canisters aren’t storing a ton of stuff, every little bit matters!
Lower Left-Hand corner: I bought this drawer organizer from HomeGoods a few years ago and it’s home to all kinds of little stuff like cords, USB ports, binder clips, pens/pencils and mini office supplies. I love the drawers because they act as simple dividers to keep the cords/small stuff separate.
Lower Right-Hand Corner: This clear box with the gold embellishments is from Michaels and stores some extra sunglasses and a few pieces of jewelry like bracelets and a watch. Again this isn’t a ton of storage but I’ve found that when everything in my house has a specific home, I stay a LOT more organized.
Two-Toned Box under the antler: This is also a box I scored at HomeGoods for under $10. I used to have it on my coffee table where it held our remote controls, but after we got the new coffee table, this color scheme didn’t work anymore. So I brought this box back to the office where it now looks good and also holds our business cards and branded DIY Playbook stationery/stamps. I typically just grab the whole box when I have to write a thank you or send someone a check because everything I need is all in one box. Cute + Convenient = win, win!
If you look past the lamp, you can see another white box on the bottom shelf. I bought this one (and a few others just like it) from IKEA for $6.99! It holds all of my camera gear, including my camera itself.
Now I don’t have to search in three different spots to find a new lens, the USB cord, and the charger because the camera and all of its accessories are all in one place! Plus, I love that I can take the whole box with me if I’m working from a different part of the house.
Plus we have two laptops and one fits perfectly on the box’s top. Having a place to set the other computer is super helpful to keep this simple space feeling less cluttered.
Jars & Canisters
I also have a few canisters/jars on the shelves that hold a lot of stuff. This canister holds our extra ink cartridges for the printer.
These three jars hold random items we use in the office or around the house. I love that these jars hold everyday office items like my collection of washi tape, yet do double duty as acceptable shelf decor. At first, I did this because I didn’t want to buy anything new for these shelves and had these jars lying around. Once I saw the function of these jars and how they doubled as free decor, I haven’t moved them!
Last but certainly not least — the closet! Changing this closet door from two small bypass doors to one oversized barn door has been a total game changer! Before I could only see or access one side of the closet at a time. Now I feel so spoiled for the opportunity to open the entire barn door and look at the WHOLE closet at once.
I know it’s still a small closet but this door honestly makes it feel more like a walk-in closet now! Maybe I’ve been living in this small house too long, but honestly, the upgrade is one of my favorites in our house to date!
I still have some work ahead of me when it comes to creating an organizing system that works, but just the opportunity to open the door and look at/get to everything at once feels like an amazing start. It’s home to some of my clothes, all of my wrapping paper, craft supplies, and old files. It’s also the access point to our crawl space, which makes getting down there 1,000x’s easier!!
I knew I wanted to add extra storage to this space but the amount of storage in this small room has exceeded my expectations. For my fellow homeowners or renters short on storage, these are my two best tips:
- Do everything you can to make your furniture and decor do double duty. Choose items that look cute AND offer secret storage.
- Make sure everything (even the tiniest items) has a home. Maintaining these organization systems will be SO much easier when you know where each item belongs!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.