Most of us can only imagine what living in an itsy-bitsy house is like; author, Whitney Leigh Morris has experienced it first-hand. Her Venice Beach, California, home, which she dubbed the Tiny Canal Cottage, spans a mere 400 square feet, and she not only shares it with her husband and son but also uses it as her office. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it's far from it. Rather than a sacrifice, Whitney says life in tight quarters is a joy for her family. Lucky for us, she reveals the secret to this perspective in her new book ‘Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully.’
"For me, the key to living in a small home or apartment is not figuring out how to Tetris a life's worth of stuff into limited square footage. It's about understanding what you truly need—and don't need—in order to live comfortably and contentedly, day by day," she writes. Nowhere is this approach more important than in a home office, where papers and cables are constantly accumulating.
In an excerpt from the book, Whitney shares her favourite office space-savers:
Banish those boxes of receipts, financial records, medical documents, business cards, photos, and more with a compact scanner—some models are no larger than a thick ruler. Once you convert your documents to a digital format, shred the originals if you don’t need them and then organize your files electronically. (Be sure to keep a secure backup; external hard drives and cloud storage are smart options.)
Hide a wireless printer
There’s no need to keep a printer on your desk. Even cleverly designed compact models are an eyesore and intrude on the aesthetics of a carefully decorated, multifunctional room. Instead, store a small wireless printer out of sight nearly anywhere (a large drawer or closet shelf would do the trick), and “connect to it wirelessly from all of your devices.
Get a shelf for your monitor
While desktop computers are sleeker than ever, their accessories can clutter up a workspace. You can place risers with mini cubbies under your monitor, but they make a mixed-use room feel “office-y.” Instead, try securing a shelf to the monitor’s back side. This platform can hold an external hard drive, a portable scanner, and USB keys. From their perch, the devices remain plugged in and ready for action, but with their cords out of sight.
Shred paper right away
You can shred the occasional paper bill or personal file safely with a hand-operated shredder that’s about the size of a pair of sunglasses. If you need to shred a significant number of documents only once or twice a year, take them to an office supply center that offers bulk shredding. There’s just no reason to buy and store your own industrial paper shredder.
Manage multiple cords with cable sleeves, which corral numerous wires into one bundle that you attach to the underside of a desk. Or, if you’re plagued by just one or two cords, keep them in place via small peel-and-stick clips that adhere to nearly any hard surface without damaging its finish. You can also pack your cords out of sight when not in use in a handsome, compact kit that can sit on your desk without detracting from your decor.
Take your desk with you
If you use a laptop, challenge yourself to keep your entire office in a stylish portable portfolio. Before investing in one, make sure it offers a handful of key features. Does it hold your charger, wires, earbuds, and earplugs? Will it fit your laptop or tablet? Does it cleanly sort pens, paper, and notepads? Is there a dedicated space for credit cards, an ID, and other items you’ll need on the go? Is it beautiful to look at and comfortable to transport?
Choose desktop accessories in pretty materials
Every surface in your home is basically a stage, so carefully consider the objects you display prominently. If an office tool gets a designated spot on your desk, make sure it is as beautiful as can be—perhaps it’s made of natural or intriguing materials (like this driftwood business card holder). Handmade and unique details, shapes, or colors can distract from its utilitarian role.
Feature Image: Pexels