What Can I Use Instead Of A Desk? Desk Alternatives For Small Space

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become a household recommendation. Working from home does have its “fun” side. I mean, from bed, you can jump into work, right? However, switching from working in the usual office environment to working in your home has got its challenges. The first is that you have got to have a home office. But not everyone has got the privilege of having a home office. For such cases, individuals working from home have had to designate a certain part or area of their home into a space that they can work in.

However, working in a designated workspace still requires particular items such as a desk, chair, and so forth. But what if you do not have access to a desk? What can I use instead of a desk for improved focus? Well, let us dive into the various desk alternatives for small space.

If you do not have a desk, do not worry. Various alternatives such as a dining table, a bookshelf, and even an ironing board are easy to implement and comfortable to use. These items are already present in your home.

Another brilliant advantage is that they could still be used for their purpose when you not working on it, and transformed again for your convenience when you need to work. For example, an ironing board could still be used for ironing clothes. Then when you need to work, it is as simple as removing the cloth (if any) and getting to work. In this article, we shall dig deeper into these and other desk alternatives.


Desk Alternatives For Small Space


A Dining Table


It is advisable to make use of either a current dining table, or a spare dining table if you have one. This is because when working it is important to stay away from distractions. If your dining table is set in or next to the kitchen and/or living room, your productivity might be negatively affected. This is because you will either be surrounded by the noisy television or tempted to head into your fridge and/or snack cabinet after every 5 minutes.

That is why having a designated workspace is important. Thus, setting up a dining table in your working space would save you from having to purchase an expensive desk.

One of the biggest advantages of converting a dining table into a desk is that it is already spacious. Thus, your laptop and/computer, mouse as well as other office supplies/tools that you will need to work will all be able to fit on your dining table.

Of course, this will be possible without the common occurrence of desktop disorder, leading to disorganization. The last thing you would need is for your workspace area to be disorganized and cluttered. This is because you will often find yourself spending minutes to hours searching for something that you need.

Imagine spending 15 minutes searching for an entry form that will help complete your work assessment. Research conducted by Reliable Plant Points proves that the average person wastes about 4.3 hours every week searching for paper. The research further goes to show how a messy desk often leads to reduced concentration and creative thinking. A great example of a dining table being used as a desk can be seen here.

Floating Desk


A floating desk is also known as a wall-mounted desk. As its name suggests this is a small-sized, shelf-like set up on your wall. A floating desk has got two advantages. The first advantage is that it can be installed in just any room.

The second advantage is that a floating desk is easy to install! All you would need is a designated wall, a board of a material of your choice, a couple of hinges and screws, and you are good to go. They can also double up as an extra storage spot when you need one. The majority of floating desks or wall-mounted desks are not always used for just work-related purposes. Some of them are often found to store knickknacks and plants.

For example, some designs of floating desks include small drawers under the desk. These drawers could store work-related tools and general supplies for easier reach and access.

Lastly, they serve as impressive space savers. This is because when they are mounted on the wall, items that are usually on the floor can be placed on them. If your floating desk is large enough and built to carry a certain weight, you can go the extra mile by adding some decor. A superb example of a floating desk can be seen here.



A Bookshelf


If you require an alternative that works as a full-on standing desk, then this section is especially for you. On its own, a bookshelf will help you create a designated workspace. This is because it is already divided into sections by the shelves. In addition to that, you can place your laptop/computer, mouse, and other work tools on the shelves.

And, how could I go without mentioning that, you can still be able to use it as a bookshelf to store either books and/or important work-related files. Did somebody say double win? Also, let us not forget how a bookshelf’s spacious property is an advantage. It will not only enable you to work but you can also personalize your workspace with picture frames and/or quotes. The benefits of a personalized workspace should never be underestimated.

Researchers conducted a case study in a large company and it revealed that when an individual feels their workspace reflects or rather aligns with their self-mage, it builds a sense of belonging. This in turn leads to the individual feeling more comfortable in their workspace, more collaborative, and most importantly, more motivated to work. Therefore, greatly increasing their productivity.

While working on a bookshelf, it is important to remember that standing for long periods does bear some health hazards. Thus, it is advised to have a high-rise chair that you could sit on from time to time. You could still choose to keep on working while standing, however, do not forget to balance between standing and sitting down as you work. An excellent example of the conversion of a bookshelf into a desk can be seen here.


Use A Closet As Office Desk


This will work especially well if you are working from your bedroom. While it may seem like an ideal idea, working from your bed is not that good for you, especially in regards to your health.
Working from your bed has been proved to:

  • Negatively affect sleep quality.
  • Decrease work productivity
  • Result in back pain from incorrect posture

Thus, if you are working from your bedroom in a limited space, using your closet as an alternative to a desk would be the best option for you. This is especially true if you have got a drawer or shelves inside your closet.

The last shelf or the drawer is where you could place your work laptop or computer, mouse, and other work supplies that you will need. An advantage to using your closet as an alternative to a desk is that you can make use of what could have been wasted space filled with clutter.

If you are in a position to, do consider adding some form of lighting in case your closet is too dark. A good example of a cost-effective form of lighting is a simple lamp. A marvelous transformation of a closet to a workspace desk can be seen here.


Lap Desk


As the name suggests, this is a desk that you will place on your laps. Other variations of a lap desk often have raised legs. Thus, instead of it being on your lap, your lap would be under the lap desk. If you prefer to work from your bed, this is a great option.

Lap desks are also an ideal option if you prefer to work from your sofa/couch. One of my favorite advantages of a lap desk is that it prevents your laptop from overheating. This is especially true if your laptop’s fan is set up underneath the laptop. If you perform 90% of your work on your laptop, the last thing you will need on your list of struggles is an overheating laptop.

This is because an overly heated laptop will often end up with damaged internal components. Damaged internal components such as the processors, and battery, will often lead to the following:


  • A slow and inefficient system.
  • Poor battery life. In the long run, your laptop may even end up battery dead. This would mean that any time you use your laptop, it must be plugged into the charger.


One of the best ways to prevent your laptop from overheating is by placing it on a surface such as a lap desk. This is especially useful when you are working from your sofa and/or bed. Saving your laptop from internal damage is not the only advantage. Using a lap desk that is raised makes it easier to type.

This is because when using a lap desk, your palms, wrists, and arms are all in alignment. After all, they will rest on the lap desk. Again, this desk saves you from straining your palms, wrists, and even shoulders. An outstanding example of a lap desk can be seen here.



An Ironing Board


The greatest advantage to an ironing board is that it can serve as a sit/stand desk. Simply defined, a sit/stand desk allows for the alternating of sitting and standing while working. This type of setup can achieve this function by having the capability of being lowered or raised.

Sitting for long periods could pose health risks. The health benefits of a sit/stand desk include but are not limited to:


  • Decreased risk of weight gain and in general, obesity.
  • Low Blood Sugar Levels
  • Reduced back pain
  • Improved mood and energy


As with any valuable item, some of the best sit/standing desks cost a fortune. Additionally, the majority of these types of desks need to be assembled and may take anywhere from a week to get delivered.

However, here comes the day’s hero. Your everyday ironing board can save you hundreds of dollars and time when converted to a DIY sit/stand desk for your workspace. An ironing board can be easily adjusted to suit heights that are ideal for standing and when you have sat down. The best part of it all is that when you are done working, you can fold it and put it away. How cool is that?

Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist, and ergonomist is well known for suggesting the use of an ironing board as an alternative to a desk. However, it is not recommended to have a cluster of items on your ironing board. Items such as a laptop, and mouse alongside a notepad (if needed) are more than enough. Look at the incredible way an ironing board can be used as a desk here.





Working from home should be fun and convenient. However, incurring extra expenses for setting up an official home office is not necessary. This is especially true if you can make a desk, whether sit/stand from everyday items such as dining tables, bookshelves, closets, and ironing boards. Not forgetting the classic wall-mounted or rather, floating desk of course.

With whichever alternative you choose, do ensure the following:


  • It has got a form of storage.
  • There is sufficient and good lighting.
  • There is a comfortable chair available.
  • You have personalized your space with decor.
  • Do not forget nature. For example, having a small plant on your desk (optional).


Including the above on your workspace desk will ensure a good workflow. Make the space yours, so as to increase the possibility of higher work productivity and feeling motivated while in your workspace.