One of the best ways to enhance your work-at-home productivity is to have a designated work office. Working from just any space in the house unknowingly lowers your productivity.
But having a designated working space is not the end of it all. To work from home or study comfortably, you need to set up a proper home office that will enhance your concentration and comfort.
The thing, however, is setting up a functional home office can be very expensive. The office furniture, organizers, art, devices and lighting can cost an arm and a leg.
The high prices should not discourage you from setting up a proper home office. You have all it takes to set up a proper home office with a budget. Looking for ideas? Read on for 14 frugal home office setup ideas.
1. Repurpose Furniture
You do not have to buy new furniture when setting up your home office. Instead, if you are on a budget, consider ways to utilize existing furniture, such as your old desks and dining tables. Besides desks and tables, consider using an old office or gaming chair that you may already have in your home.
As long as these furniture are in workable condition, you can find ways to use them in your home office.
2. Buy Secondhand Furniture
If you want to save money, purchasing new furniture should be your last option. New desks and office chairs can cost a fortune. In this case, consider going for secondhand furniture.
You can find these furniture in thrift stores or even in online marketplaces. Looking for specific models? A filtered search on Facebook Marketplace and on Craigslist can land you some gems.
To ensure maximum value for your money, be sure to get items that are gently used or those that are still in excellent condition. For instance, you do not want to get an office chair that is already falling apart. You may have to replace it sooner, which will be a waste of money.
3. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Looking to save some bucks on your energy bills? This is an excellent place to start. Forget about investing in expensive office lighting when you can use free natural light.
For optimal results, ensure that you place your desk near your home office window. By doing so, you will forget about having to pay for the cost of keeping the light bulbs on and buying expensive office lighting.
4. DIY Wall Decor
A home office should be a comfortable space. You want to add some life to the room to keep you going when busy.
To create a focal point in your room, consider making your wall art using less expensive materials such as fabric, washing tape, corkboard, etc. This will not only help you bring life to your home office but also enable you to save some money.
Learn to make your art, and you will forget about having to buy expensive art.
5. Add Plants
Are you looking for a cost-effective way of improving the air quality of your home office? Skip the numerous expensive devices and add some plants to your home office space.
For indoor plants, go for affordable ones such as pothos, philodendrons, and anthurium, among others. Besides improving the air quality, these plants can help reduce stress, increase creativity, and even boost your mood at work. They may also serve decorative purposes, eliminating the need for too much.
6. Reuse Mason Jars
Looking for ways to organize your stationery, such as pens, pencils, and markers? Mason jars are good storage options for such items. Instead of purchasing new pen organizers, consider reusing old mason jars you may already have in your house.
This will go a long way in ensuring your office looks neat and well-organized without splashing any money on more items.
7. Use Virtual Backgrounds
Thinking of ways of enhancing your professionalism in your video calls? Forget about spending so much on physical backdrops.
Instead, consider using virtual backgrounds, as they can work wonders. Luckily, virtual backgrounds are very affordable, while some are free. With these, you can still add the much-needed touch of professionalism to your videos without spending so much
8. Go For Minimalist Decor
Looking to decorate your office and add some personal touch to it? Minimalism is the way to go. Spending money on every other decor piece or art will cost you an arm and a leg. Remember, the more you buy, the more you spend.
If you want to save more bucks, consider going slow on these decorations. Embrace your ideal aesthetic, but keep it on the minimal side. Besides, minimalism goes hand in hand with clutter-free spaces. Having a clutter-free space is a great way to create a work-friendly environment.
9. Homemade Shelving
Need additional storage to keep your work items orderly and neat? Go for homemade shelving. Do not buy expensive ready-made items when you can make the items in the comfort of your home.
While creating your homemade shelves, ensure to go for affordable materials. Some of the inexpensive materials that you can utilize include plywood, wood glue, and some screws. You could also transform old furniture, such as an unused table or bed, into the shelf of your dreams.
10. DIY Cable Organizer
If you’re working from home, you want the space easy on the eye. Cluttered cables on the walls and floor are not just it. While you can purchase a cable organizer to keep the office cables tidy, using something simple such as a toilet paper roll or even cardboard can still work magic.
With such an organized space, you keep the workspace neat but also help to boost your overall productivity while operating on a budget.
11. Go For Paperless Organization
Gone and never to come are those days when we stored loads and loads of papers in files and folders. With the advent of modern technology, you can go paperless and store these materials in soft form. Some digital organization tools you can use to make your home office look more orderly and neat include Google Drive, Google Workspace, Asana, and Evernote, among others.
With a paperless organization, you will save a lot of money on paper and organizing items.
12. Use Free Printables
Whether you’re looking for dairies, checklists, or to-do lists, you can always get free printables online. Do not spend so much on paper material when there are a lot of bloggers and sites that offer them free of charge.
Besides helping you keep your space organized, free printables will help you achieve different goals without spending a penny.
For artwork, consider using free stock photo websites for high-quality images instead of purchasing expensive artwork. Print out the pictures and decorate your space without breaking the bank.
13. Use Reusable Notebooks
Looking for ways to embrace sustainability while saving money? Consider investing money in reusable notebooks.
These are innovative notebooks that come with erasable and washable pages. They reduce paper waste and offer a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution.
You can use them to take notes, brainstorm ideas, and sketch freely, then clean the pages for a fresh start.
It does not stop there. Brands like Rocketbook now provide reusable notebooks that can automatically integrate your notes with cloud storage. This allows you to preserve your work digitally while minimizing environmental impact.
14. Take Advantage of Free Courses
Upgrading your office is incomplete unless you keep honing your skills, too. Keep taking courses to keep you on top of your game. However, while at it, remember there are a lot of free courses that can help you improve your skills. You do not have to pay for the most expensive courses out there.
If you want to upgrade your skills for free, look at Coursera, Khan Academy, and edX. These sites provide diverse courses spanning from arts and sciences to technology and business. In addition, some of these platforms host lectures by distinguished professors and professionals, making knowledge more accessible to you.
Think twice about purchasing expensive courses and software when there are free options that could help you achieve your objectives.