Setting up your dream home office may cost more than you think. Before you know it, you could be spending thousands on just your equipment. As most of us are working from home more than usual, you may be wondering how you’ll stay productive. If you’re ready to take the leap and make space for a new desk set up, you don’t have to break your budget.
If you’re consistently working from home, you may need an office that allows you to fully focus and stay on track with your schedule. To start off, check up on your office budget using our app to see how much you have to contribute. Then, continue reading our tips for creating your dream office on a budget, or jump to our infographic for our 16 quick tips.
1. Identify Items That Can Be Repurposed
Sift through things you may already have on hand. If you really dig, you may find pens that have gone unused since college. You may even have a spare whiteboard from your old study sessions that can now be used for work reminders. Get creative with what you already have and then write a list of everything else you may still need. If you’re working for a company, check with your team about borrowing items for work so you don’t have to spend your own budget.
Some offices may allow you to take home a laptop, desk, computer setup, and supplies. If they don’t, they may offer free pens and notepads! From there, continue to keep a list of things you still need to buy.
2. Decorate With Inexpensive Decor
For an inexpensive and easy decor option, consider adding plants throughout your office for a touch of greenery. When you can’t get outside, bring your outside plants indoors. Even run over to your local flower shop for a fresh bunch of blooms.
You may choose to plant your own and watch them grow every day. Gardening is linked to an increase in happiness and a decrease in mood swings. Not to mention, you could save some extra green.
3. Utilize Free Organization Resources
Once you have everything you need in your area, make it your own! Your workspace should be inspirational and motivating. Instead of breaking your budget with decor items, see what you may be able to find for free. To live your most successful life, print out motivational quotes to hang on your wall. Even consider swapping out your computer background with an image that inspires you.
You can also download our motivational signs to hang up on your wall and swap out every few weeks. You can even give them as a gift to your fellow hardworking co-workers.
4. Buy Pre-Loved or Discounted Items
If you’ve taken the step to create a home office out of your spare room, you don’t have to spend more than your budget allows. As luxurious offices can cost up to thousands brand new, opt for buying pre-loved items. When you’re filling up your space, keep an eye on online marketplaces and store sales.
Not only could you save tremendously, but you’ll also help the earth. Later down the road, if you’d like to redo your office or invest in new items, you can sell old pieces online to earn a little extra.
5. Add Your Own DIY Twist
You may not find exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s okay! Instead, you may find something similar and take it upon yourself to make it perfect. For instance, you find an inexpensive desk that’s not your ideal color. You could buy some spray paint and add just the right twist to fit in with your theme for a fraction of the cost.
You may even put your hard hat on and build furniture from scratch. Not only could this save you money, but it could also save you time from hunting down the “right” piece. Have your family join in on the DIY and create art to hang on your wall once everything is set up!
6. Keep Track of To-Dos and Your Budget
Even though your calendar may be a mess, your to-do list doesn’t have to be! To hack time management skills, print out our daily to-do list printables and laminate them. Every evening when you log off work, write out five priorities for the following workday. Even consider printing out free online planners and calendars rather than purchasing one.
Once you get in the groove, consider keeping track of your monthly goals. If you do, write out five goals you have each month and set short-term goals to reach them. For instance, if you’d like to workout four times a week, draw checkboxes to check off each week you complete that goal.
7. Define Your Work and Play Zones
While working from home, you may be tempted one too many times to work from the couch. Even though this can seem like a luxury, you may find yourself falling asleep or reaching for the TV remote. To keep your mind in focus, designate specific areas for each activity. Have a place where you like to eat, lounge, work, and workout to keep your mind in focus.
As our drive into work isn’t always able to suffice for our task transitions, create your own. Even consider going on a walk before and after work to help your mind switch between work and play. This may help you stay concentrated and advocate for a more work-life balance.
8. Minimize Printing to Save on Supplies
Along with adding touches of green into your workplace, you may want to save some trees! Rather than looking at contracts or projects on printed paper, consider storing everything on your computer. For your daily to-do lists, laminate our printables to reuse or invest in a whiteboard.
Plus, there are many different software materials out there for free. Keep an eye out for tools that may make your life easier without costing you a thing.
9. Only Splurge On Necessities
In most cases, furnishing costs can sometimes add up faster than you may recognize. Instead of investing in new items, consider picking a few luxury items to add that “new” feeling. For instance, you may want to DIY your desk, but get a new computer. Your desk isn’t always as important as your computer — consider what luxury items may have the best pay off value.
As you may be brainstorming the office of your dreams, check out our infographic for our 16 tips to building your home office on a budget. You may find yourself inspired and re-energized to check off everything on your to-do list.