Going into the closet: to, you know, work there

May 26 |

"Cloffice" kind of sounds like… I dunno, maybe an equine venereal disease. But sound it out with me and you'll see we're actually talking about offices built in closets. It's genius, right? If you have a small space or you don't need an office all of the time, putting your workspace in a closet might be a perfect solution.

If you haven't seen a cloffice before, you're probably thinking, "What the hell, Cat. I want my office to be a pleasant space to work, not weird and dark and cramped like Ryan's closet desk on The Office."

It's okay! Take a look at what Martina from MyMcLife did with her little cloffice:

Perfect location: end of the hallway.
Oh, hello!

Right? This looks pretty workable to me, and she's not blocking the flow of traffic in the hallway.

So, if Martina can do that with a small linen closet, think of what you could do with a walk-in closet. Lucky us, we can also see what Anna Bergquist did with her cloffice:

Look! So much space, neatly organized, well-lit! Plus, I bet you can't hear noise from the rest of the house.
And Anna didn't even lose an entire closet: behind the desk sits still-usable hanger space.

Plus, Anna was nice enough to send along her most important advice:

  • Identify what needs to be stored in your cloffice. The items you use regularly should be easily accessible, while other items can be stored away.
  • Most importantly, make it visually fun — adding pops of color will keep it from looking and feeling tiny or unpleasant.

If you're now plotting your own cloffice, you could do a build-out — but after I pitched this post I went to a rummage sale and picked up something exactly closet-sized, so I wanted to plant an idea for the interested: school desks.

Granted, I'm 5'4, so if you're much taller than me this just won't work. But this desk fits me perfectly -- and would fit a closet, too.

The desks that show up on eBay currently are all older and smaller, but I've seen desks in this '60s/'70s style in lots of local sales. If you really want one — try a Craigslist ad.

  1. Loving all the tips for small spaces! our house is tiny, and we're redoing the kitchen and laundry room soon (to very small spaces in our house)

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  2. I have a desk in the walk-in closet that's my "office." And I always loved my undergrad writing professor who said she had an office in the laundry room because it was the only room in the house with a lock on the door.

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  3. love it!
    and at the end of your working hours you get to say that you're coming out of the closet!!!

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  4. The upstairs linen closet of my childhood home was converted to a computer nook, right around the time we first got the internet. My parents always maintained it was a good way to monitor our usage, but all three of us kids got pretty adept at making ourselves as small as possible so we could close the door and have a little privacy from time to time.

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  5. My parents had something similar to this at their house – it used to be the laundry right off the kitchen (our house was designed so a housewife could be lashed to the stove and still be able to do the washing, we think) but after they remodeled, it became a pantry with a little writing desk. It was more used for doing bills and whatnot, although I think once my mom got a laptop it ended up sitting there sometimes.

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  6. My husband and I have been planning his "cloffice" for awhile now. We have a walk in closet in our guest room that has a window. Natural light! Yay! Now we just have to clean it out enough so we can get his desk in there…. that might take awhile…

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  7. How timely. I was at The Container Store with my husband last week saying I want to do this in a closet we barely use. He was having a hard time getting what I was saying. Now I have pictures to show him :)

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  8. My desk isn't in the closet, but it is occupying a closet-sized space in the windowless end of the living room. I love how organized and funky these spaces are — time to have a hard look at my own!

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  9. It's just a shame that they just don't build many houses with walk in closets in the UK – I don't know why, they are such a good idea!

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    • I'm in the UK and you're right Fiona, it depends on the area and time the house was built.
      This is the first house I've had that has the most amazing built in closet spaces (it was built in the 1950's)
      Now I'm excited to see what I can do with them – my little girl wants hers to be a tiny fairy/princess space she can hide in :)

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