If you think you don't have a spot for a desk, file drawers and some shelves, one place that might provide a solution is a closet in an unused bedroom. You can turn a closet into a mini-office by installing shelves and a desktop supported on a two-drawer file cabinet. These installations are most practical when the closet has a 48-inch wide opening and folding doors. We replaced the folding doors' hinges with a specialized hinge system that allows the doors to swing to the side of the closet opening.
Keep in mind that you will need electrical power in your office to run a computer or related office electronics. This will be a relatively easy matter if the closet is lighted. If the closet is not lighted, or if the house's wiring is outdated, then installing an outlet and lighting will be more difficult. Also, it's important to note that if you plan to install a file cabinet in your closet office, such as the one shown here, you should be aware that these come in different widths, depths, and heights. Be sure to choose a cabinet that will allow a comfortable height for the desktop, and a suitable width. Finally, it must not be too deep for the closet.
This project was originally published in the January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics. You can find more great projects at Popular Mechanics DIY Central.