Learn how I turned a cluttered closet into a home office space on a very small budget.
Update 3/27/20: This is a DIY project I completed this time last year. It really didn’t fit into my blog niche so it was never promoted after I initially posted it. In light of so many people having to work from home now to try and minimize the spread of COVID-19, I thought I’d update it and hopefully help someone who may be looking for advice on converting an area in their home into an office space.
Recently, I sent out a 5 part email series on decluttering your home in order to get ready for your spring cleaning. I was happy to hand out plenty of tips…while hiding a huge mess of clutter of my very own.
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Attached to my daughter’s bedroom, there is a walk-in closet. At one time, it was used as my son’s nursery. It has a window and was large enough to house a crib, dresser and changing table. Once we didn’t need the crib any longer (almost 17 years ago), my daughter used it as her closet. When she went away to college, and then later when she moved across the country, it ended up being filled with all her mementos that she wasn’t able to take.
As time passed, it became a great catch-all spot in my house. After all, I just had to close the door and it was hidden from view. So as you can imagine, it filled quickly with a lot of “stuff”. Mostly stuff I didn’t feel like dealing with at the time – it became too easy to just toss something in and forget it.
I even started using the closet to hang the clothes I should probably have gotten rid of but didn’t because…hey, out of sight, out of mind, right? Eventually, the closet ended up looking like this:
Time to declutter! I wanted to turn it into my own little office. We have an office in the house already, but our plans are to eventually knock down the office wall to expand the kitchen. I figured this was a perfect time to tackle this closet and reward myself with a bright new office space.
The first step was to remove everything and sort it out. My daughter was adamant that her memories and keepsakes be saved, so it went into bins and carefully tucked away in the basement. That was the easy part. The items I had thrown in because I didn’t want to deal with, now had to all be dealt with at once. It took a while, but I finally finished and it felt soooo good to have that chaos tamed!
After the decluttering was done, it was time for a deep cleaning. Walls and floors were scrubbed, and prepped for painting. When it came time to pick the colors, I went with colors that would match with my Cool Bean Living logo. From Lowe’s, I purchased Valspar Sherwin Williams in Tidewater for the walls and Valspar High Gloss Enamel in Ultra White for the trim. I spent $37 on the paint and $6 on a new paint roller.
I am very impatient when it comes to things like waiting for paint to dry (and pretty much everything else). When I’m on a roll, I just want to keep going. So when the paint finally dried, I was so excited because then it was time for the fun part – decorating!
I chose to do this project on a whim. Meaning, I didn’t plan and save for it, so it was going to have to be done on a tight budget. I had a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted it to look like, and I really didn’t want to settle for less…or worse, have to wait longer while I saved up for it. You already know I am impatient 😉 I set a budget for $200. I figured I would be able to get a few items put together, and I’d hopefully be able to use the office, in some capacity, as I continued saving for the rest.
Having the extra closet space had been very nice up to this point, so I wanted to be able to keep part of it as a clothes closet. I kept the large dresser that was originally in the closet, and filled it with stationary items, crafting supplies, etc. I then added curtains to keep the clothes out of sight, while still allowing the room to look like an office. The long curtain panels came from Lowe’s. I found them while I was waiting for my paint to be mixed. They matched my color scheme perfectly! I found shorter, sheer panels at Walmart, for a great price. They allow the sun to shine in all day long. All the curtains together cost me less than $25.
Time to figure out the furnishings. I envisioned a white desk. I knew we had a white desk that was not being used in the basement, so that could save me some money. That’s one perk of getting older, I’ve accumulated plenty of stuff over the years. I thought it would need some work, and at the very least to be repainted, but after cleaning it up, it looked great.
I was so lucky to find the perfect chair on sale at Kirkland’s. It was tossed in a corner with a stack of pillows on it and a throw blanket draped over it. People probably thought it was a prop. When I pulled it out, I saw it was marked down to $55. Yes! The lamp was another great find at Kirkland’s. It was on sale for $20, plus I had a 30% off coupon.
The large print I found at Hobby Lobby for just $8.50, plus 40% off with a store coupon. I was looking for a print just that size because I already had the frame collecting dust in the basement. It’s amazing what I find down there!
The white shag rug was the single biggest purchase of the entire room. It came from Target for $59.99. I think it really ties the room together.
I sent my logo to Walgreens to be printed as an 8×10. I also printed the little bird to sit in a frame on my desk. After another coupon (I love my coupons!), I spent a total of $3.99 on the prints.
I had the frames for those prints, as well as all the other knickknacks, in other places in my home. I just relocated them to the new office.
All in all, I spent less than $200 on this transformation. I absolutely love my new office space and I am so glad I decluttered the closet to give myself a little sanctuary to work on my blog.