8 Tips for Setting Up a Home Office on a Budget

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This article was contributed to Leisure Freak by Michael Everett, who is a chemistry teacher with a passion for house design.

Whether you’re a worker who switched to working from home or a freelancer working after retirement, you’ll need a comfortable working environment you can call your own. Although this space is essential if you want to remain productive, that doesn’t mean you will need to burn a hole in your wallet designing it. After all, not everyone has enough space for a separate room or enough of a budget to get help from professional interior planners. Luckily, you can do it yourself with the help of some of our tips. Don’t worry; these eight tips for setting up a home office on a budget won’t compromise your wellbeing. They will help you remain frugal, comfortable, and happy.

A woman working at her desk in her home office, writing something in a notebook.

Featured image source.

1- Create a budget beforehand

As with any other home design endeavor, you must create a budget. This will not only help you better understand how much money you can spend, but it will also enable you to control your impulses while making purchases for things your workplace needs. Go through your monthly expenses and put aside the money needed for this project. Be realistic about it, and do not spend more money than you can comfortably handle. This budget is the foundation the rest of the tips will significantly depend upon.

2- Designate a spot for your home office

As previously mentioned, you most likely won’t have enough space in your home for a separate home office. This is perfectly alright! Even a tiny, peaceful corner of your living room will do. On the other hand, if any of your other rooms have an odd spot you cannot seem to utilize, why not transform it into a cozy working area? Walk around your home and think about where your future office space would make the most sense. Opt for areas that have less traffic and are less noisy to stay productive even when working from home.

3- Remove any unnecessary items

A great tip for setting up a home office on a budget includes decluttering. Decluttering is an accessible way for you to maximize your home office space. Furthermore, it may even earn you some money! Clear out the space in your designated home office by either selling, donating, gifting, recycling, or throwing away any unnecessary items. However, you may rent a storage unit if you’re not ready to part with some belongings. It is also one of the top reasons why Americans rent storage units in the first place. You can use it when working from home and still keep an eye on your belongings. Alternatively, it will also give you the chance to deal with them at a later time.

4- Prepare a floorplan and a list of the necessary items

Preparation is vital if you want to reduce the number of funds you spend on redoing things you’ve done wrong. Measure the area you will turn into a home office and create a precise floor plan. Additionally, make a list of items you want in your new home office. This list should be categorized so that the absolute essentials are separate from things you may want but not need.

Some of the most notable essentials are:

  • A surface to work on
  • A seat
  • Devices such as computers, laptops, and tablets
  • Office and specialized equipment

5- Repurpose, bargain, DIY, or trade for needed items

We do not advise buying new office items straight away, even though you might be tempted to. Be creative and choose either DIY projects or repurpose old furniture or objects. If you have an old table that needs a bit of love, why not give it what it needs and save yourself some money to spend on other things? Also, do not neglect the benefits of used items! They are always more affordable, and you may find some hidden gems. For example, used art tools can be quite beneficial if you plan to start earning from your hobbies. Lastly, if you need to purchase items, always look for ones that are on sale or that you can bargain for.

6- Do not forget about ergonomics

Remember to take care of your comfort and wellbeing despite your desire to cut down on anything unneeded. After all, you will use your home office for many hours during the day! If your monitor is not at eye level, reuse old boxes or books to prop it up. On the other hand, if your chair is uncomfortable, invest in one that is more ergonomic. Whatever is troubling you shouldn’t be disregarded. Keep a close eye on how your home office makes you feel and make any necessary adjustments.

7- Decorate using items you already have

The decor you use in your home office is one of those things that can not only satisfy your eye but may also inspire you. And who doesn’t need a bit more extra motivation to work? You can choose different decor based on your style and budget. We suggest using whatever items you already have by giving them a new purpose or space. Place a clock above your desk to monitor the time or plenty of lovely photos to calm your mind. Plants will add a sense of life, quotes may motivate you, and candles can make your home office smell divine. If you ever decide to purchase something, keep in mind the mentality of “I deserve it” can be harmful if brought to an extreme. Especially if it makes you purchase more items than you may need.

8- Let the light in

While designing a home office, you may forget about an essential factor besides peace and quiet, and that is light. Good lighting can make or break your working mood and create a different ambiance. Make sure to have at least one source of natural light in whichever space you decide to set up your home office. Use mirrors and lighter hues to make the light bounce about the room. However, you most likely will require additional light sources. A good light, whether it is a desk, wall, or floor lamp, will help you stay focused and avoid eye strain. We suggest using lamps you may have already if you’re working on setting up a home office on a budget. When possible, pick those whose intensity can be altered and that do not add glare to your devices. 

Thank you Michael Everett for your insights on creating a home office on a budget in a time when work from home opportunities are very attainable.

Author Bio: 

Michael Everett is a chemistry teacher by profession but a passionate house designer at heart. He has been sharing his knowledge as a self-employed content creator for numerous websites, including Zippy Shell Northern Virginia. His favorite hobby is spending time with his cocker-spaniel dog named Ruffles.

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