Revamp Your Home Office for Less Than You Think
Working from home is quickly becoming more accepted and is trending toward becoming the standard. Originally viewed as something that freelancers did, it’s since evolved into a viable option for far more professions. This evolution raises the importance of having a home office that meets the needs of someone working full-time.
Previously, home offices have mostly been a way to fill the space of an extra room for occasional uses like doing taxes or budgeting monthly expenses. To facilitate a work-from-home situation, it needs to be much more. However, that doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot to get a home office into shape.
Before even getting started, check in with your employer to see if they offer any assistance with this. If a large portion of their workforce is going remote, they may provide things like chairs, monitor stands, mouse pads, and other common office supplies that you can cross off your list right from the get-go.
Floating from room to room doesn’t work well long term. Pick a space that you can close off completely to the rest of the house. Whether it’s truly a separate room or if it needs to exist in a bedroom or basement, you’ll want to be able to close a door for some peace and quiet.
As with painting any room in your house, it’s a greater investment in time than in money. However, a change of color to your home office could help bring you into the mindset of being at work. For that reason, consider making it something different than the rest of the color scheme in your house. Have a color you always wanted to paint a room but shied away from it? Consider this a blank canvas!
Think through what you need your desk to be and buy based on that. Do you need drawers? Do you need room for two screens? To save money, check out thrift shops or online platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for used desks. Put an ask out to family members as well to see who might have something in storage. There are a number of plans available online to build your own desk at a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy a new one. Pro tip: Make sure it’s tall enough for you to maintain good posture. For you DIY daredevils, consider building one!
You’ll be here more than before, so your plastic or metal folding chair might not cut it. At the very least, add cushions for a low-cost fix. Otherwise, again, turn to the “used goods” marketplace for a new-to-you solution. Being comfortable is important, so spend the money if you have to.
Baskets, bins, shelves and wall-mounted file holders are great low-cost options to get your office organized. You can also look to other items you might already own like mason jars, small pots for plants, and silverware trays that can add some form and function. Lean toward less clutter at first, because it’s likely you’ll add more over time.
For people who do a lot of video conferencing, you know lighting matters. If your office has a window with good natural light, you’re all set! But be wary of backlighting that might already exist. A small desk lamp or spotlight can brighten up your appearance on your calls for little to no additional cost.
From frames to flowers, home office decoration is all about reminding you that you’re at work without making your feel like every day is the same. Pictures of family always work well, but maybe throw your college degrees up there, too. Succulents are great for office decoration and can be small enough to fit any space. Fake flowers from a craft store can also do the trick.
When it comes to office supplies, don’t buy more than you need. Do you really things like a printer, paper shredder, pencil sharpener, filing cabinet or bulletin board? If you do, go for it, but don’t fill the space just to fill the space.