From the November 1999 issue of Startups

Take heart: Even the most cramped, inefficient home office can be transformed into a roomy, functional workspace. The right furniture--combined with a little creativity and resolve to remove any furniture that's not serving a specific purpose--can help you make the most of your home office space, no matter how tiny.

1. Make your office flexible by using modular furniture. As your needs change, simply rearrange your office furniture. Consider functionality over aesthetics.

2. Use sturdy shelves or tall bookcases to store books, reference materials and supplies nearby. Store similar items together and place these items strategically. Books you refer to often should be within reach, while supplies and other materials you use less frequently should be placed on higher or lower shelves instead of middle shelves.

3. Make one piece of furniture serve more than one purpose. For example, the top of a lateral file cabinet can double as an extra surface for a paper cutter, a fax machine, a copier, etc.

4. When buying computer furniture, think vertically to save precious floor space, and purchase furniture that holds a computer, a keyboard, a CPU, a printer and any other equipment you use regularly.

5. Be creative and use two file cabinets with a board across them for an extra surface. This trick used to be reserved for starving college students but I've seen expensive home offices furnished this way using high quality file cabinets and durable surfaces.

Lisa Kanarek (http://www.everythingsorganized.com) is a home office organizing expert and author of several books, including Organizing Your Home Office For Success (Blakely Press) and 101 Home Office Success Secrets (Career Press).