How To Create A Portable Home Office


I work from home. No surprises there. However, I do not have a home office. Crazy I know but I know many of you are faced with the same options that I have. I have a four bedroom house with three children. Everyone has their own room and because of this my office was lost to the privilege of all of my boys having their own space. My oldest is leaving for college in the fall and needless to say I am a little giddy about reclaiming a space of my own. If you were to walk into my house right now you would see me typing away at my island with an extra large monitor and my laptop. Next to me you would find my husband with his large (note, his is not extra large) monitor and his laptop. Next to him you would find my oldest son with his laptop. I sit in a chair that is not comfortable. I look at dishes in the sink and think I should probably get up and wash them. Truth be told…I probably wont.

So in the meantime I muddle my way through and have had to become super organized in what I keep near me when I work. I thought there has got to be other people out there like me who need help with their portable home office organizing so I will share some of the things that I have found to be most useful.

  • Clipboards: Each clipboard holds a project that I am working on where I need to physically track things on paper. Each project has their own clipboard. When I want to work on that project, I simply grab the clipboard and I can go anywhere in my home or car to work on it.
  • Metal file basket: This is the home to all of my clipboards. They are neat and organized here and I can easily see where each clipboard is at. The basket is small enough that I can grab it with one hand and move it around or put it away at night. Along with my clipboards I keep a three ring binder, envelopes and stationary for my business in the basket.
  • Sophisticated File Tote: Disclaimer, I sell these. But even if I didn’t I would tell you how great they are. It has a built in hanging file folder system and I have all of my business papers and supporting fliers and documents right in there. If I am going to meet someone for coffee about my business, my tote goes with me. It is cute and makes me feel all girly in the land of teenage boys and testosterone.
  • Timer: Clipped to the Sophisticated File Tote is a timer. This is what I use when I don’t want to work on something but I know it has to get done. I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes and work on it non-stop until the timer goes off. It is a great way to trick my brain into getting things done on my to do list.

When faced with a situation of having to organize with the confines of a small space, it can be done. Use some creativity and the right organizing supplies and make the best of the situation. Often this is when we have to become hyper organized as our space is so limited. We are able to figure out what we really need to work with and we keep just those things. Faced with a large space, we seem to find items to fill that large space and it is not full of what we just need. So I am going to embrace my tiny working environment but continue to countdown to the fall when I get a space to call my own.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


2 Responses

  1. Great home office organizing solutions! I especially like the timer attached to the file tote….that’s a great way to address those tasks that we tend to procrastinate doing. As an apartment dweller with a home office, I agree that the space limitations create an opportunity to be creative in identifying the best organizing solutions.

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