The cloffice is trending: What is it, and why do you need one?

Bethany RamosDIY, Homeowners, Lifestyle

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Are you, like millions of other now-remote workers, pressed for home office space and scrambling to find a solution? Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. While cloffices have always existed — a closet turned into an office — the pandemic drove this space-saving hack to the forefront.

How to make your own cloffice in a weekend

It’s simpler than it seems. Use a free afternoon or weekend to set up your cloffice in a few steps:

1. Decide whether you’ll DIY or hire help.

If the spare closet you select — ideally in a less-trafficked area, like a bedroom, guest room, or basement — is spacious enough, you should be able to easily transform it yourself. Most cloffices are DIY. But should you need a doorway expanded or a wall removed, consult with a contractor. A small handyman job may start at $60, depending on the complexity of the project.

Have plans for bigger upgrades? Refinancing could give you the extra cash you need to renovate.

2. Lose the door.

Or don’t. Cloffice creators are divided: Many feel strongly about needing a door to close off the hidden office when not in use. Others say doorless is the way to go, pointing out how it shows off their handiwork and helps open up the space. There’s no wrong answer on this one. Which cloffice camp do you fall into?

3. Find the right chair.

This is your chance to nab the stylish pink reupholstered chair you’ve had your eye on or to keep it simple (and supportive) with an ergonomic office chair. Selecting a colorful chair allows you to add personality and a pop of color to what might be an otherwise neutral-toned cloffice. If you want to keep costs down, repaint and use a dining chair or stool you already own.

4. Upgrade your lighting.

Most closets, as you know, are dim or entirely dark. Improving your closet’s lighting might look like changing out light bulbs or putting in a new light fixture altogether, either from a YouTube tutorial or with the help of a handyman. Consider one or more lamps to brighten up your space if you have the room. A string of hanging lights is totally optional but encouraged.

5. Paint or wallpaper it.

When it comes to your cloffice, there are no rules saying it has to match or complement the interior of your house. Here, you can try out the funky wallpaper patterns and loud paint colors that might have overwhelmed a living room or bedroom. (Check out this year’s wallpaper trends for inspo.) Hang the photos and artwork that you love to make this your happy space.

6. Add some shelves.

As you shop shelves and storage solutions, put functionality to the forefront. You get more for less — i.e., more storage for less square footage — by putting in a shelving unit or affixing shelves to the walls. If the desk you select doesn’t have drawers, storage cabinets or baskets can be placed underneath. Does organizing get your heart pumping? Then go nuts.

7. Pick a desk.

Choosing the right desk for your cloffice is kind of a big deal. If you already have a work desk, and it fits, consider yourself lucky. If not, look for a desk – new or second-hand – that suits your cloffice floorplan, whether you’d like it pushed straight against the wall or even angled in a walk-in closet.  A DIY floating desk is also a solid pick.

8. Finish with flair.

Again, this is your time to shine. You can pull out all the stops as you put on the finishing touches with your favorite accessories. Thrift store vases, scented candles, a cute or even offensive coffee mug, and a nap pillow are all welcome. Don’t forget the office décor basics, like an area rug, wastebasket, pencil cup, and some plants.

If you’re in need of extra space:

You’ve got options. The average homeowner gained a whopping $51,500 in home equity in the last year alone.* So, you could refinance and cash out on this equity to reinvent the home you’re living in. Or, you could leverage this equity to sell and trade up to a bigger house, still made affordable by today’s record-low rates. Contact us for guidance.

*“Homeowner Equity Report,” CoreLogic, 2021.

While refinancing could make a significant difference in the amount you pay each month, there are other costs you should consider. Plus, your finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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