A couple of years ago, a huge portion of the workforce switched to working from home nearly overnight. But most people didn’t suddenly sprout a home office overnight to accommodate the transition.

So, what’s a desperate professional to do? Work with what they have, of course—and for many of us, that’s closets. The cloffice (a.k.a. the closet office) is a savvy work-from-home solution for anyone who’s dreaming of a separate workspace but is limited in their options of where to put it. It’s worth sacrificing storage space for, so roll up those sleeves and tap into your inner interior designer because we’re covering how to turn a closet into an office and finally ditch that corner of the kitchen table once and for all.

What Is a Cloffice?

A cloffice is a closet turned office. In 2021, a Pinterest Business trends report declared that searches for “cloffice ideas” had doubled in the preceding 12 months, which is not so surprising when you consider the millions of people who had recently started working from home—often alongside partners, roommates, or kids. Many are still there, and having a space they can call their own from 9am to 5pm every day is key for maintaining WFH sanity.

The cloffice provides a small but efficient area for getting work done that doesn’t take away from the rest of the home. It’s a win-win, particularly for those who struggle to mentally clock out from work when their home and office are the exact same place.  

desk with computer
Everything really is possible, including turning a closet into an epic home office.

Benefits of a Closet Office

If you’re someone who would benefit from a home office, then you’re someone who would benefit from a cloffice.

Cloffices offer some much-needed separation between your work life and your home life. They also give you a designated space for work-related activities and storage. Sit down when it’s time to do some work or hop on a Zoom meeting, and step away when it’s time to sign off and relax. A cloffice can also be useful for students who are doing virtual learning or parents in need of a control center for managing the household.

How to Turn a Closet Into an Office

How do you make a cloffice? It’s easier than you might think. Follow these steps to turn a closet into an office, then check out our cloffice ideas below for adding in designer touches that bring your unique personality to the space.

desk with laptop
A bedroom is a great place for a cloffice since you can close the door for some added quiet.

1. Pick a Closet

A closet doesn’t have to be a walk-in in order to be turned into a cloffice. In fact, any closet will do, so think more in terms of logistics than size. You’ll want to choose a closet that’s located in a place in your home that’s conducive to getting work done (away from the living room TV, for example) and that you can theoretically do without as a primary storage space. Ambiance is important too, so if you can utilize a closet by a nice sunny window, that’s ideal.  

2. Empty Everything Out

Before you can turn a closet into an office, you need to start from scratch with the space. How long this takes you will depend on the size of the closet and how much you have stored in it, but plan to set aside at least a couple of hours for the task. This is a great opportunity to do some home organization, so donate, recycle, or toss anything that you no longer need, then find an alternate storage spot for everything else.

3. Take Measurements

Figure out exactly how much space you’re working with. You’ll need to know these measurements if you’re planning on bringing in new shelves or a desk, especially if you also have a door to the closet that you want to make sure you can close when the workday is done.

4. Style the Space

How you style your cloffice is totally up to you. Open shelving is a popular choice, as are floating or foldaway desks. As you mock up your design plan, consider what your needs are. Is this just a space to set your computer? Do you also need storage for papers, samples, or other work-related items? Do you want to be able to easily convert the space back into a closet later on? Work out the details before making improvements, and don’t forget about basics like outlets or extension cords, lighting, and a desk chair.

desk in closet
Source: Instagram
Design a cloffice you love, and you might actually look forward to working in it each day.

Smart Cloffice Ideas & Organization Tips

You’ve got the space, so now it’s time to make it yours. Try out these cloffice ideas and create a work-from-home space that’s expertly geared toward productivity.

  • Make it colorful. You can have lots of fun with a small space like a cloffice. Go bold and colorful with paint or wallpaper and make the cloffice a truly standout spot in your home.
  • Take advantage of vertical space… Closets often have more usable space than we give them credit for. When in doubt, go up, installing additional shelves high on the wall for extra storage and utility.
  • …and floor space. If you have free space on the floor after pushing in your desk chair, put it to use with baskets or bins that can offer up additional storage.
  • Avoid clutter. Clutter is a killer of productivity. Avoid it as much as you can in your cloffice, and always look for storage solutions in lieu of just shoving everything into a corner.
  • Remove or swap out the closet doors. Some people like to keep their cloffice out of sight (and thus out of mind) after a long day. But if you’re proud of how it came out, why not remove the doors and turn it into a focal point of your home? Alternately, you could swap out the current door(s) for something more style-forward, like a sliding barn door or glass partition.
  • Mount your monitor. Mounting your monitor to the wall makes your cloffice look even more professional. It also frees up desk space, which may be a necessity if you’re someone who likes to—or needs to—spread out as they work.
desk next to clothes
Don’t have any storage space to spare? You can have an office and keep your closet too with some good organization.

How Do You Light a Cloffice?

You can certainly wire in a light fixture for your cloffice if you’re up for it, but it’s not the only way to ensure you’ve got sufficient lighting. Lamps, battery-powered or plug-in wall sconces, string lights, and press-on LEDs are all excellent options for lighting up your cloffice. If you’re on regular video calls or filming content for your job, stock a ring light in there too.

Desk space tends to be pretty limited in a cloffice, so account for that when choosing a lighting solution. It may make the most sense to opt for a wall-mounted fixture if a lamp would clutter up your desk too much.

Where to Look for More Cloffice Inspiration

Never let a lack of interior design experience stand in the way of creating your perfect cloffice. There are lots of places to look for inspiration and motivation, including Pinterest, Instagram, and articles like this one. If it helps, put together a vision board of cloffice ideas that you like to help guide you as you make decisions—then get to work creating an office that you legitimately love to work in

Written By

Laura Mueller

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