Office Organizing Ideas in a small pass-through

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A client called me in to discuss ideas for organizing her basement & storage area. She showed me her back storage room.  It had a variety of items: Christmas decorations, vases, bankers boxes, laundry items. The actual organizing of that space was pretty straight forward for me but as we toured the rest of the basement I realized the real challenge I wanted to tackle was the SOHO (small office/home office).


Located in a pass-through area between two larger rooms, the office was cluttered and disorganized.  It had large pieces of furniture that did not belong in the space and was not being used effectively.

One other problem was the computer tower on the table and not below. It was taking up a lot of space. There was a variety of items: craft supplies, multiple files, a very large round table, an old obsolete computer, knickknacks and banker’s boxes. There was a lot of piles of paper also.

workspace organizing shelving unit

There was plenty of surface area but we   needed to work with the under-used wall space. The solution was to move a slim bookshelf that was in another room into this space to create more storage for files. Deciding to work with the existing white desks and bookshelf, let us build on a simple black & white palette with a few hits of colour: lime green and baby-blue. Selecting decorative but functional storage boxes along with inexpensive magazine holders, we were able to moved all the ‘stuff’ off the desktops.

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Once I reconfigured and moved the large desk and my client purchased a new compact computer table (see above right), the project started to take shape.

 Purchasing stylish magazine holders and using the narrow ledge as a floating shelf gave my client more storage space for her client files, personal papers and corporate brochures. As well, the leather boxes on the lower shelf of the computer desk provided more storage for office supplies, books and a more attractive alternative to a recycling receptacle.

Working with a professional organizer helped my client understood that this small area could be used and ‘sold’ as a functional, albeit compact, and efficient small office/home office – something a real estate expert – as she is – could appreciate.

Workspace organizing

The creative use of accessories, leather boxes, decorative magazine holders and lighting made this office makeover a success. My client was so pleased with the transformation that she proceeded to buy new furniture and redecorated the adjacent family room. This makeover took her basement from dated to dazzling! [I love what I do…have I mentioned that lately?]

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for and other online media outlets.

5 thoughts on “Office Organizing Ideas in a small pass-through”

  1. The trouble with setting up a home office in a space that isn’t dedicated to that function is that it does tend to gather all sorts of miscellanea – as your client experienced. I think this is especially true in the basement, because it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” You did a great job of turning things around!

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