How to Set Up a Home Office on a Budget
If you work from home, you simply need a dedicated space to put forth your best effort. While you can set up at the kitchen table or on the couch for a little while, it simply doesn’t have the same level of organization and it doesn’t give you a superior working environment.
Yet home offices can conjure mental images of expensive office furniture and elaborate setups that someone just starting out just can’t afford. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case. If you have a decent room or nook to hold all of your working materials, you can have a space that will boost your productivity, keep your paperwork and equipment organized, and keep distractions at bay.
Simply put, creating a home office for yourself is a major step in your professional life, and you don’t need to be wealthy to make one.
If you’re interested in taking that step and want to do so cheaply, here are some important notes and strategies for the process:
Appreciate Minimalist Design
You don’t need to decorate everywhere. In fact, a great deal of decorations will only serve as distractions. If you aren’t interested in looking at a blank wall for several hours each day, we recommend positioning your desk so that you can see out a window, if the room or corner you’re using provides that opportunity.
If you’re short on space, then we recommend a simple desk and smaller (yet nonetheless comfortable) chair in a dedicated corner of the room. With some rearrangements, you certainly won’t need to renovate your home. You know your space best, it’s just a matter of looking at it with a new perspective.
Find Inexpensive Supplies and Furniture
When buying items for your home office, especially at the start, you don’t need to impress anyone. So long as you’re happy and productive in the space, that’s what matters. New and custom furniture is not required and used furniture that might be a bit mismatched at the start is a perfectly fine option for a budget office.
The internet and local thrift stores can be your best friends with this endeavor. Social media marketplaces can usually help you find a good desk and related furniture for cheap or even free if you jump on the opportunity, and a good polish and cleaning of what you find can often make items look and feel new. Additionally, perhaps friends and family members have things they want to get rid of. Put out a post just to test the water, it can’t hurt.
As for supplies, get in bulk the items you know you’re going to use often, and try to wait for the best deals online. Avoid large office supply stores, as the markup is often preposterous at those stores. Online ordering can be a great deal, so long as you’re patient.
Go Digital and Green as Much as You Can
While using green technology in your home office can be an expensive thing to invest in if you’re current equipment works fine, it’s a great consideration if you’re buying a new computer, printer, etc. to start your home office efforts. The savings will add up and you will be preventing environmental damage.
The easiest way to save money by going green is to use more digital services. Use cloud storage and good file organization instead of printing out every document. Use online contract signing services and have a scanner at the ready and start using it. Your type of work will dictate what you can do, but try listing out how you will be using resources and brainstorming from there.
Make It a Fun DIY Project
It’s hard to think of a reason why you would need to hire professionals to set up your home office. You probably aren’t going to be dealing with plumbing or rewiring After getting the furniture in, everything else is just tech setup and rearranging the space as you see fit. If you want anything extra or special, there is almost certainly a way to do it yourself, with a video tutorial to guide you.
This is something you can enlist family and friends in and make a fun day out of, and it will certainly give your home office the personal touch a lot of entrepreneurs and remote workers want. Let them get creative, paint the walls, and give you ideas.
You can absolutely set up a home office on a budget, and there are multiple ways of going about it. Consider some of the above ideas and look for additional opportunities as your needs dictate, and you can have a working office for yourself in less than a month!
Are there any additional strategies that you know of that might help? If you already have a home office, how did the setup go for you? Are there any other thoughts you would like to share? If so, please leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.
Kevin Conner is the founder and CEO of Vast Bridges, a customer acquisition and lead generation company in the home services arena. Most recently he and a small team have launched broadbandsearch.net, the U.S.’s leading home services (broadband and TV) search engine.