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How to DIY a Closet Office (Cloffice)

As work-from-home hybrid or full-time opportunities continue to become more common, a great home office space is a must-have! But not every homeowner or renter has an entire room to spare, so creating a functional workspace can be challenging. One solution is a “cloffice,” a closet transformed into a practical office.

It might seem a little far-fetched at first, but with a little imagination — and some inspiration and tips from us — you won’t believe the transformation from a place for your things to a space to work towards your dreams!

What Is a Cloffice?

A closet office — also called a “cloffice” — is a closet or other small space in your home that has been repurposed into a workspace. You can take any unused or underutilized space, such as a guest bedroom closet or a vacant nook in your living room, and turn it into a cloffice. This space will be great for working from home, virtual learning, homeschooling or whatever kind of work you need to get done!

Besides a space for working, there are plenty of reasons to invest in a cloffice:

  • Provides a designated space for virtual schooling and work-from-home lifestyles
  • Maximizes every area of your home
  • Adds value to your home
  • Helps keep office supplies organized in one place
  • Easy to set up in an existing space you already have
  • Creates a designated place for dreaming

Cloffice Ideas

While the possibilities are endless when it comes to your cloffice, some inspiration can help get you started. Here are some common areas in your home that can be transformed into a workspace. Check them out and start brainstorming your own ideas!

Closet

A small closet is one of the most popular locations for a cloffice. This can be as simple or elaborate as you like, depending on your space and needs.

An office set up inside a closet

Nook

Create a workspace in a corner of any room in your home. This could be inside a larger walk-in closet, in a corner of the family room, or an unused area in the kitchen.

Closet office Nook

Small Room

Have a room that’s too small for a bed but too big for a closet? Whether it’s a cozy den in your apartment or a sunroom in your home, you can give that space new life by adding a small desk to make a functional and private space.

small room or sun room transformed to office

How to Build a DIY Closet Home Office

Turning a spare closet into an organized office is an easy and budget-friendly solution to creating more workspace in your home. Live in an apartment? Make sure to talk to your landlord about it first and confirm they’re okay with your plans!

Determine where your cloffice space will be

Take a tour through your home and identify any areas that could be better used as a cloffice. Don’t forget to consider the essentials: easy access to a power source, good internet connectivity and privacy if you need a quiet space to work.

Next thing on your cloffice to do list? Get building! We’ll guide you step-by-step to take inspiration and turn it into a reality.

Gather your materials

To build a simple desk across the entire length of your closet, you’ll need:

  • 2×2 boards
  • 1/2 foot plywood
  • 1×3 board

Note: The amount of wood you’ll need will depend on the size of your closet and what you want to build inside it. This could include a desk, shelves or cabinets.

Tools:

  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Kreg jig and 2 ½ feet pocket hole screws
  • 3 foot wood screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Drill and large drill bit
  • Cord grommet

DIY Cloffice Desk Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Choose a height for your desk. A standard desk height is 28 - 30 inches, depending on your height and what feels right to you.

2. Position your studs. Using a level, mark a line ½ foot below the final height of your finished desk for the studs’ location.

3. Build a desk frame. Start by securing 2×2 boards (cut to the desired desk depth minus 1 ½ feet) on the sides of the closet. Line them up along your level line and attach to your studs using the 3-foot wood screws.

4. Secure the frame to the wall. Measure the space between the two boards. Cut a 2×2 board to that measurement and add pocket holes to the ends. Secure it to the walls with the 3″ wood screws and then attach it to the side boards with pocket hole screws.

5. Add a front. For the front of the desk frame, measure the space between the front of the two side boards. Cut a 2×2 board to that measurement and add pocket hole screws to the ends. Attach it to the front of the side boards with pocket hole screws.

6. Add center braces. Measure the space between the front and back boards, then cut two 2×2 boards to this length and add pocket hole screws to the ends. Attach these evenly between the two walls with pocket hole screws.

7. Cut the top. Cut the plywood so it’s the width of the desk and the depth you want your desk minus 3/4 foot. Dry fit the plywood to make sure it fits in your closet. Then cut a piece of 1×3 board to the length of the front of the desk. Secure it to the front of the plywood with wood glue and finishing nails. Sand well for a smooth finish.

8. Attach the desk. Add wood glue to the top of your frame, then place the plywood desktop. Tap the corners down with a hammer to ensure they are lying flat. Secure with finishing nails around the edge and back. Fill nail holes.

9. Stain the desk. Wipe the desk with a damp cloth to clean off the sawdust and open the wood up to get it ready to receive the stain. Then apply your choice of stain according to the manufacturer’s directions.

10. Seal the desk. Let the stain dry completely, then apply three coats of polyurethane. Sand between the coats to get a smooth finish.

11. Add a cord grommet. Make sure you add access to outlets for laptops, electronics and chargers. After the sealer is dry, cut a hole in the desk for cords. Then fill with a cord grommet.

Consider removing the closet header to open up the space

Gaining extra space in a closet can feel impossible. But all you have to do is look up! Taking out the header above your closet will give you more vertical space where you can add shelving and lighting to give your cloffice an open, airy feel.

Install lighting to save space on your desk

Good lighting is essential in any workspace, but desk lamps can crowd the already limited desk space in a cloffice. Instead, install light sconces on the wall or overhead lights in the ceiling to get the lighting you need to work without sacrificing desk space. You can even attach lights to the undersides of shelves above your desk for a fresh look.

DIY closet office lighting illustration

Install shelving on the sides of your cloffice to maximize space

The back wall is great for shelving and art, but don’t forget to use the sides of your space, too. Adding shelves here will give you even more storage to keep office clutter out of your way.

Consider cabinets for extra storage

Storage doesn’t have to be contained to just shelves. Consider installing cabinets to hold (and hide!) your office gear.

Personalize Your Cloffice

Now comes the fun part — decorating your new space. Adding personal touches to your cloffice makes it feel comfortable and inviting. No matter your style, keep function in mind to create a space that’s as efficient as it is personal.

Have fun with paint

A little paint can go a long way to making your cloffice feel personal, yet professional. Pops of color can add energy to your space to keep you on task all day long.

DIY illustration of closet office painting

Dabble with décor

Personalize your home office by displaying favorite items, showing off family photos and hanging artwork. Small touches like plants and favorite keepsakes will keep you engaged and inspired.

Use pegboards for fashion and fun

Mounting a pegboard in your cloffice gives you nearly unlimited options for organizing and decorating your new workspace. Paint it with your favorite color, add hooks and organizers for additional storage of small tools like scissors, display artwork and rearrange items as needed. Bonus points: it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to install or remove when you’re ready to redecorate.

illustration of closet office décor

Use closet doors as extra “wall space”

If you can, consider keeping the closet doors to create more space for organizing supplies and holding office essentials, like a calendar. You can even line the inside of the doors with corkboard or chalk paint to add additional storage and writing space.

Add curtains to hide clutter

Even if you remove the door to your cloffice, you can add a curtain to instantly hide your workspace. Or, if you have an open space under your desk, add fabric around the edge to cover up clutter without limiting access to necessities. That way when you’re done working, you can truly turn off for the day.

And there you have it! However you decide to create and design your cloffice, just make sure it fits you and your unique needs! With thoughtful planning and creativity, you can create a place to dream big, even if the space is a little small.

Protect Your New Cloffice with Homeowners or Renters Insurance

You’ve worked hard to set up a home office that works for you. Now make sure you protect it. While fine-tuning your new workspace, be sure to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent. They’ll help you build a homeowners or renters policy customized to your needs.


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Related Topics: At Home , Home DIY