A home office workspace doesn't have to break the bank. Here's our 10 money saving tips for setting up a home office.
As companies become increasingly digital, working from home becomes more and more common. Working from your home office is great; you can sleep in, wear whatever you want to work, and design your workspace exactly how you want it.
It also comes with its own challenges, like more distractions and a harder time separating work and leisure. One reliable way to minimize these challenges and ensure productivity is to design a great home office.
Your workspace will directly impact how well you can focus and how organized you are. Setting up a great space will enable you to get in the flow easier and stay mentally organized during your workday.
But what if you don’t have tons of cash to spend on a fancy setup? Thankfully, you can get creative and save money, while creating an awesome workspace. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Use What You’ve Got
You might already have some items around the house that you can use to create a great home office space. Search your closet for printer paper, staplers, and other small items you may need. Consider repurposing your old dresser and using it to store your office files.
2. Paint Your Space Yourself
Instead of hiring a company to paint your office space, consider doing it yourself. If you aren’t very experienced or confident about this, ask around and find a friend or relative willing to help you. Choosing an inspiring color to paint your office will help you feel better in your space and get more work done.
3. Go Paperless
Using paper for all of your work duties is not only outdated but unnecessarily expensive. There’s the cost of paper itself to consider, in addition to the cost of running the electronics involved in printing, faxing, and scanning.
While you’ll still likely need these devices in your workspace, you’d do well to depend on them less. Set up a paperless home office to save some cash. You’ll also find that it gives you more peace of mind and enhances organization in addition to saving you money.
4. Buy Used Items
Need a desk lamp or filing cabinet for your home office? Instead of buying new items, try looking at Craigslist or going to yard sales to find what you need. When people move or renovate their homes, they often get rid of high-quality, brand name items that they just don’t have room for any more.
Don’t assume that you’ll only find subpar products when you buy used. You might be surprised at the type of items you can find for much less than you’d buy them new.
5. Wait for Sales
Instead of going out and buying everything you need for your office in one day, consider keeping a list of what you need. Then, you can keep your eye out for sales and buy the products when they cost less. To take this a step further, keep an eye out for coupons you can use to save some money when you shop.
6. Ask Your Friends
You might not have to spend anything to get the basics set up in your home office. You can make a Facebook post asking your friends or family if they have any old office furniture or supplies you can use. You may even be able to trade some old items you don’t need anymore. This will be much cheaper than buying office products new.
7. Be Mindful of Electricity
When you’re shopping for electronics for your home office, try to buy energy-saving devices to lower your electric bill. In addition, remember to turn off lights when you leave your space, and unplug your phone charger when it’s not in use.
While these steps may seem small, they can really add up over time and save you lots of money over the course of the year.
8. Use a Smaller Space
While a bigger office might be an attractive idea, it can also end up costing more. More space means you’ll need more furniture to fill it with. Consider blocking off a corner of your living room for your home office instead of devoting a whole room to your work.
Using a smaller space can save you some money while you’re setting your office up. And when you have a more compact space to work in, you might find it easier to stay organized, since there’s less room for clutter.
9. Buy High-Quality Items
This may sound counterintuitive since higher quality items cost more than cheaper ones. But when you buy great products the first time, you don’t have to keep replacing them, and you’ll save money in the long run.
One example is opting for a glass chair mat instead of a polyurethane mat. A glass mat is much sturdier and won’t crack or fade, so you only have to buy it one time.
When buying stuff for your office, emphasize value for the money rather than just picking the lowest cost.
10. Decorate Your Space Yourself
You don’t need to hire a designer to get your office set up the way you want it. You may just need to learn a little more about DIY projects or crafting.
Instead of buying expensive items to put on your wall, consider building your own picture frames to hang in your office. Decorate your space with knick-knacks you found at the thrift store to save some money.
Or you can ask your artist friend to paint you something for your workspace. You can also teach yourself new skills like building furniture if you want to take this a step further. Look into creative office décor ideas to get some inspiration.
Know When it’s Worth Spending More
While I created this guide to help you save money, affordability shouldn’t be your main goal with everything you buy and certain items are worth spending a little more on. When it comes to products that affect your physical health or information security, it’s worth shelling out the extra dough.
Get yourself a high-quality office chair so that you can maintain a healthy posture as you work. Don’t skimp on important electronics for your office, such as your paper shredder, which can help keep your identity safe. You’ll also want to make sure you get a high-quality, ergonomic desk for your home office.
One of the most important aspects of setting up an office on a budget is knowing when it’s better not to cut corners. Follow my advice and you’ll be well on your way to an affordable, productivity-enhancing workspace!