Small office storage ideas — 15 ways to get the job done

Boost productivity all around with these stylish small office storage ideas

Light wooden desk with green office chair, with books and laptop
(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Employing effective small office storage ideas is essential for creating a motivational work environment. Keeping work-related essentials neatly stored also ensures your home and work lives stay separate, so you can switch off at the end of a busy day. 

Whether you have a dedicated small office or you’re looking for ways to integrate one into your communal living space, our pros are on hand with stylish storage solutions to suit, with a few space-boosting buys penciled in, too. 

Functionality is key of course, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative with small space storage ideas in a home office. Inspirational surroundings boost productivity, as well as mood, so feel free to style up shelves as you like. 

Small office storage ideas 

The best small home office ideas are those with savvy solutions that enable not just neatness, but effective home office organization ideas, too. 

When it comes to home office storage ideas, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Needs vary across households, depending on the size of the space, as well as who’s using it and what for, so consider your requirements carefully and pick storage solutions to suit.

1. Utilize every nook

Red desk against blue walls with retro wooden chair and floating shelves

(Image credit: Shannon Eddings Interiors/Molly Culver)

Think of ways you can utilize unused space in communal rooms to create designated office storage, whether it be an empty alcove, fireplace, or our favorite, an unused closet — simply close the doors to hide everything away at the end of the day! 

Depending on your needs, you could build a desk or use it purely for storage. For the best of both worlds, try the Trent Austin Little Italy Desk from Wayfair, it fits neatly into small nooks and has inbuilt storage above, leaving space underneath for a stool. Its sleek silhouette makes it perfect for modern small offices

Bespoke cabinets, shelving, and drawers ensure no inch goes to waste, but if you’re looking for renter-friendly small space DIYs to try in your place, store-bought versions work just as well. Be sure to measure up properly beforehand and don’t forget to factor in door and drawer opening areas. 

2. Set up an easy filing system

White desk with computer and lamp in closet

(Image credit: Neat Method/Martin Vecchio)

If your in-tray is constantly in overflow mode, a sensible filing system needs to be a priority. If you haven’t got the room for a filing cabinet don’t panic — there are other options available. 

“An uncluttered environment is essential for productivity, so we recommend storing paperwork inside desk drawers using KTRIO file holders from Amazon”, says professional organizer Shannon Krause, co-founder of Tidy Nest. “Storing papers upright makes them much easier to identify and access, plus prevents unruly paper stacks building up.”  

Shannon Krause, professional organizer at Tidy Nest, a woman with long brown hair picutred in a garden with pink flowers in bottom right corner
Shannon Krause

Shannon Krause is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Tidy Nest, an award-winning organizing and relocation management company. Her unique approach blends her expertise in professional organizing with her skills as a Certified Reiki Master, integrating energy work to enhance her client's experiences. 

Another option is to line a shelf with uniform magazine folders, mount clips to the wall, or invest in a moveable unit like the graphite mesh stackable file crate from The Container Store. Each cube features side rods for hanging folders and has built-in handles so it’s easy to lift.

Whatever you decide to do, be consistent with your labeling, so you can keep track of what’s where.

"Position file tabs in a straight row to avoid your eyes darting back and forth and arrange them in alphabetical order", says Ashley Murphy, co-founder, and CEO of NEAT Method. 

blonde white woman in a black top
Ashley Murphy

Ashley Murphy is the co-founder and CEO of NEAT Method, a home organization brand committed to creating simple and versatile organizational systems for its clients’ homes and lives.

3. Hide storage in plain sight

A foldaway desk is a space-saving solution in communal rooms (or if you want to fit a desk into a small office without it feeling cramped), but you’ll need to take a similar approach to storage if you want to avoid clutter building up. Examples include upholstered ottomans with concealed compartments and coffee tables with hidden inserts.  

You don’t have to buy pieces specifically designed for multiple uses, of course. Think of ways you can adapt what you already have. These Home Depot under-bed storage boxes on wheels at Walmart offer easy access storage in a bedroom office, for example. 

4. Use stackable storage

“Going high instead of wide is a great technique when you’re short on space, so opt for stackable storage where you can. Clear caddies are handy as you can see what’s inside at a glance Alternatively, these chalkboard labels from The Container Store are handy for easy updates," says professional organizer Heather Aiello, founder of The Organized You.   

Professional organizer Heather Aiello, founder of The Organized You
Heather Aiello

Heather Aiello is the Founder and COO (Chief Organizing Officer) of The Organized You. Heather is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO), multiple Boston business groups and an independent representative for The Container Store’s Contained Home Program.

5. Divide your drawers

Small office desk with neatly divided drawers

(Image credit: Neat Method/Martin Vecchio)

Save yourself the hassle of rummaging around for what you need by using drawer dividers. Measure the inside dimensions of each drawer, including height, width, and depth to ensure you maximize on storage space and separate your sections by category; stationery, sticky notes, staplers, and so on. 

“A label maker (try the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus from Amazon) is one of the most important items in our supply kit. Labeling files, drawers, and/or bookshelves will maintain organization but also increase productivity by eliminating wasted time searching for items”, says Shannon.  

This Brightroom Monitor stand from Target also makes for a smart addition to your desktop. It’s got a drawer with compartments already built in, perfect for storing essentials you use all the time. 

6. Streamline your desk space

Neutral office space with framed tree artwork hanging above a white desk

(Image credit: Michelle Berwick Design/Mike Chajecki)

“It's important to nail your desk organization ideas so you’ve got space to open your laptop, fill out paperwork, or shuffle paper files. Keeping a desktop organizer to hold all of your most frequently used items is the perfect solution to keep everything from migrating all over your desk”, says professional organizer Lauren Saltman, founder of Living Simplified. We love this modern farmhouse writing desk from Pottery Barn for a sleek and sophisticated look.

Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and founder of Living. Simplified, a woman with dark hair wearing a black and white patterned blouse pictured against a blurred garden background
Lauren Saltman

As a professional organizer and founder of Living. Simplified., Lauren Saltman is an expert on decluttering and organizing. Whether she's organizing her home, a friend’s office, or a client’s bathroom, her resourceful approach yields happy clients.

She also recommends the Bigso Eliza desk organizer from Wayfair. Available in various shades, its textured paper finish makes for a stylish yet understated addition, it’s got seven compartments so you can corral items by category. 

7. Keep cables under control

Neutral home office with gray wallpaper and framed beach print above desk

(Image credit: Daley Home/Molly Culver)

There’s nothing like a mass of tangled cables to up your stress levels, plus you run the risk of damaging expensive tech. Standard cable tidies are a good solution, but experts advise taking things one step further if you want a stylish finish. 

“We recommend this 6-in-1 bamboo charging station from Amazon”, says Shannon. It charges up to six devices simultaneously and comes with a wall output plug which helps to keep your desktop neat and tidy. It keeps all your devices in one centralized place while hiding all those annoying cords within its interior”. 

8. Mount a pegboard

White pegboard mounted on wall with large green leaf design wallpaper and large computer desktop screen on right

(Image credit: Brighroom/Target)

The beauty of a pegboard is that you can customize it to suit your office storage needs, plus it takes up zero floor space. The Brightroom pegboard set from Target, pictured above, can be attached to the wall or a cart, and comes with a range of accessories including hooks, cups and clips. 

For accessibility, consider assigning storage to each family member, so you can move them around depending on who’s using the space. Use the clips to hang inspirational pictures and photos alongside memos and to-do lists, to help boost motivation during late-afternoon lulls. 

9. Incorporate shelving

Neutral office space in hallway with floating shelves and white office chair

(Image credit: Meredith Owen Interiors/Molly Culver)

A modular open shelving unit adds ample storage to a small home office without feeling too imposing, and the shelves are adjustable so you can max out on space. If you’re lacking in square footage however, floating shelves are the more feasible wall storage idea. You could even mount one low on the wall and use it as a desk idea

10. Let storage double up as décor

Small home office with black cabinetry and a floral blind

(Image credit: The Layered House/Jess Isaac)

You’ll need to ensure any open storage (such as shelves, cabinet tops and bookcases) remains neat and tidy if you want to avoid a cluttered feel and make a calming office space at home. Opt for stylish storage baskets to hide away ugly office equipment, then add photo frames, succulents and accessories for a practical yet decorative display. 

Choose designs that suit your home office ideas, or if you’re conscious of budget, opt for something neutral, like these versatile WeThinkStorage rattan baskets from Target. Made from natural seagrass, they go with any scheme, so you won’t have to update them everytime you redecorate. 

11. Use the back of the door

Walls aren’t the only vertical space you can maximize in a small office – the back of a door offers prime storage potential, and you have the bonus of being able to hide what’s there by closing (or opening) it. 

“Use an over-the-door shoe organizer to store office supplies like pens, tape, stapler, envelopes etc. I recommend choosing clear designs (try this Room Essentials clear over-the-door shoe organizer from Target) so you can quickly see what you have and locate what you need without searching through every compartment”, says professional home organizer Michelle Urban, founder of The Organized House.

Michelle Urban, professional organizer and founder of The Organized House
Michelle Urban

As a professional home organizer, Michelle Urban knows how hectic life can get. With years of experience as a working mom, wife, and owner of 'The Organized House', she offers advice and guidance on decluttering homes and restoring harmony in living spaces.   

If you’re planning to hang an organizer on the back of a cabinet door, be sure to measure up beforehand, to ensure you can fit things on the shelves and close it successfully.

12. Keep things moving

If your ‘home office’ tends to be wherever you sit down with your laptop that day, flexible storage might be the solution for you. A trolley on wheels that fits neatly inside a closet can be rolled out and hidden away as required. This KINGRACK utility cart from Wayfair comes in pink or white and has tiers, so you can categorize the contents easily. Use shallow trays or repurpose plastic cartons to keep small-scale items neat and tidy. 

13. Repurpose containers

It’s tempting to invest in pretty baskets and bins, but it’s not always necessary, particularly if you’re using them inside closed office storage. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to refresh a small home office without spending money, simply by repurposing items you’ve already got. 

A slimline cutlery tray is a good example, it slides neatly into a desk drawer and is perfect for separating stationery. Shoe boxes are useful for storing notebooks and files, while toilet roll holders keep cables tangle-free (simply roll them up and pop them inside). 

When it comes to organizing a desk, vintage-style jam jars look stylish and have the added benefit of being clear, so you can find what you need quickly. 

14. Hide away tech

Office space with pheasant wallpapers and blue cabinetry

(Image credit: Shannon Eddings Interiors/Molly Culver)

Printers, scanners, screens and other bulky tech can be tricky to place, particularly if you need access to them often. Rather than cluttering up desk-space (and ruining your room’s aesthetic) consider integrating them into your existing storage system so they’re hidden, but easy to get to. 

If you have wireless tech, they can go straight into cabinets or a deep drawer, but if not, think about investing in a storage unit or desk with media-friendly components built in, such as cable outlets and power strips. 

Alternatively, opt for a portable printer stand from Wayfair, that you can tuck away neatly into a closet or underneath a desk when not in use. 

15. Go paperless

It sounds simple, but one of the easiest ways to free up storage in a small home office is to go paperless. It’s so easy to do these days, you’ll just need to dedicate a chunk of time initially to shred pieces you no longer need, then simply ‘opt-in’ for digital versions, or scan them on to your computer, going forwards. It’s much better for the environment, too. 

“There will be some papers you do need to hold onto, so consider investing in a small paper filing system that you can tuck under a desk or keep in the bottom of a closet. A document organizer can be a helpful storage solution as well”, says professional home organizer Britnee Tanner

Professional organizer Britnee Tanner
Britnee Tanner

Britnee helps other busy women create beautiful, functional spaces in their own homes. Her purpose is to help women (who have a lot going on in their day), simplify their homes and make them intentional and enjoyable. 

Whether you’re working with a dedicated room, an under stairs nook or small living room office ideas, ensuring you have storage to fit is the best way to streamline any work zone. You’ll find your productivity levels on the up, too.  

After the arrival of her second son – and subsequent departure of any free time outside of his unpredictable nap schedule (!) – seasoned writer Tara King decided to move on from her position as a Content Editor and enter the exciting world of freelance, covering interior design, DIY and lifestyle. Alongside features for, Tara writes for Ideal Home, Style at Home, Country Homes & Interiors and other interiors publications. When she’s not working or ‘mumming’, she can be found (hiding) in the garden, attempting DIY projects… with varying levels of success!