Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of people across the globe are working remotely. Beginning in April of this year, 46.6% of the UK population was doing at least some of their work from home.
It’s crucial to set up a dedicated home office space to maintain your sanity and stay productive. As essential as a home office is, many people don’t have extra funds to dedicate the space. Luckily, creating a budget home office is easier than you think.
Read on for ten tips on setting up the ultimate budget home office.
1. Make Your Office Light and Airy with Plants
Plants make everything seem happy, and they’re reasonably inexpensive.
If you’re a plant person, you may even have house plants that you can divide. Spider plants are a common house plant that often outgrows its pot and it can help the plant thrive if you split them up. Read more about dividing spider plants here.
These are some other relatively low-cost plants that thrive indoors:
- Snake plants are straightforward to care for and are available for a reasonable price.
- Mini parlor palm plants thrive in small, cheap pots, and if you get the mini size, you can find them for minimal cost.
- Peace lilies are slightly more expensive, but they’re worth it. This beautiful, flowering plant can clean indoor air, according to NASA. This magical plant can break down numerous toxic gases found in the home, including benzene and carbon monoxide.
- Succulents are another excellent and affordable choice, especially when purchased in bulk. Mixed succulent packs of five or ten sold online at numerous retailers.
2. Opt for Used Home Office Equipment
There’s no need to purchase new furniture for your home office. The primary pieces of furniture you know you need are a desk and a comfortable chair.
First, look around the house and see what you have lying around. If you have two filing cabinets, you can add a tabletop and use that as a desk. Ikea has table tops for relatively inexpensive that you can place on the top of filing cabinets.
Another great option for used furniture is checking on the Facebook marketplace, which is accessible in the UK. There are tons of used chair and desk options on the marketplace regularly. Many sellers on the marketplace are now hip to the contact-free pickups to manage safety during COVID-19.
3. DIY Home Office Artwork
Art for your office will make you happy, and luckily, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Do you have some favorite photographs from your travels? Or family photos that you’ve meant to frame? Get your photos printed, and make your own photo wall.
If you have children, you could also display some of your children’s artwork.
4. Add a Caffeine Source
A cozy office is all about the simple pleasures. And, let’s be real, how will you get any work done without caffeine? Most everyone has their house stocked with coffee and tea; however, you don’t want to trudge down to the kitchen every time you need a pick-me-up.
A budget-friendly way to spruce up any home office is the relatively inexpensive purchase of a filter kettle. After all, life in the UK is not complete without one. If you don’t know where to start to purchase a filter kettle, check out this Ultimate Buyers Guide for all the info you need.
After you have your filter kettle, all you have to do is set up a little tray with your caffeine supplies and some cute mugs, and you’re all set.
One of the ultimate benefits of working remotely is getting to pick the music you want to listen to all the time. The great thing about music is it’s free unless you pay for a subscription, of course.
Consider creating some special new working from home playlists to play in your new office. There are also plenty of playlists on Spotify that cater to concentration or productive mornings.
6. Invest in Budget Home Office Lighting
Having proper lighting in your home office will make a significant impact on your mood and productivity. No one feels happy or productive when they sit in a dark cave all day. Hiring an electrician to install new light fixtures is expensive.
What are some other things you can do to improve the lighting in your home office space if you’re on a budget?
- Place your desk near or facing the window, if you have one in your office space.
- Purchase an inexpensive clip-on desk lamp. There are tons of extremely budget-friendly options. They also help avoid eye strain and headaches.
- Do you work in a comfortable chair or a couch most of the time, instead of at a desk? Perhaps a wall sconce is a better choice for you, and plug-in wall sconces are now on-trend. No need to pay an electrician, purchase a low-cost new or used wall sconce for a bit of extra lighting instead of installing a permanent fixture.
7. Customize Your Space with Paint
If you pay a professional painter, it will most likely cost you. However, most people are capable of painting themselves. If your home office space is small, you won’t need much paint to cover the area.
Believe it or not, specific paint colors are better than others for boosting productivity.
A fresh coat of paint, and a color that goes along with your vision, will go a long way in making an office space feel like your own.
8. Seek Out Free Items From Neighbors
Being sustainable and thrifty is on-trend. Neighbors are frequently posting items they don’t need anymore on various neighborhood groups, like Facebook group pages or apps. One popular neighborhood app that’s used by many households in the UK is the Nextdoor App.
Consider posting some things you don’t need anymore and see if anyone’s willing to make a trade for some home office items.
Another excellent resource for finding used items for free is to see if a Buy Nothing Project is near you. The Buy Nothing Project started as an experiment for a hyper-local gift economy. It has now spread to over 30 nations, including the United Kingdom.
The Buy Nothing Project involves its members in the local group posting items that they no longer need or are cluttering up their lives. Members in need of something can request it and pick it up. There is no financial transaction involved, so if something is “gifted” to you, there is no cost.
9. Ask Your Company to Contribute to Your Home Office Expenses
If you work for a company that has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider asking if they have a budget for home office equipment. Some companies have agreed to provide their employees with a home office budget or a monthly stipend to cover home office expenses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many small companies probably don’t have an established budget, but they may contribute home office equipment necessities like copy paper, staplers, and pens. It may not seem like a lot, but every savings count when you don’t have much to spend.
You may be pleasantly surprised by what you can get if you ask for it.
10. DIY Office Organization Ideas
Get organized right from the start when you set up your budget home office. Luckily there are plenty of DIY options for creating storage that will make sure your space stays de-cluttered.
Here are some DIY options for organizing your home office.
- Keep your desk drawers neat and tidy by creating your own dividers. Use cereal boxes or granola bar boxes and cover them in pretty wrapping paper or shelf liner.
- Do you need hanging storage for your documents or folders? If you want something budget-friendly, consider hanging cheap wire kitchen racks on the walls. They look great, especially with an industrial or rustic look.
- Repurpose items such as old shutters, windows, or ladders to hang pictures, notes, papers, and more. If you have an old window lying around, you can even write notes on it using a dry erase marker. It’ll wipe right off using a rag.
- Use colored tape to label all your cords. This lifehack is entirely free, as long as you own tape, and will save your sanity. If you don’t have different colored tape, you can also use old plastic bread tags.
Get to Work
Now that you have all these awesome tips on making the ultimate budget home office, it’s time to get to work. The sooner you create an organized and designated space where you can work, the more productive you will become.
Did you like this article? Visit our frugal living page for more budget-friendly tips.