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With working from home now becoming the norm in many places, so many households are faced with the challenge of creating a home office. This can be exciting to do, but it also adds one more cause of concern.
Not every household has extra money right now to spend on a home office renovation. In fact, given this abrupt change, you may even be pinching pennies.
For some families, it's not just about creating a work-from-home space, but also a homeschooling room for the children.
The good news here is that creating a home office doesn't always have to burn a hole in your pocket. You can still come up with an effective and workable home office, even when you're on a budget.
You just have to learn to be more strategic with how to go about it.
With that said, here are six budget-friendly tips on setting up your work-from-home space:
1. Create a work surface
Whether you're building one or purchasing one, if there's one item for you to focus the expense on right now, it's your work surface.
Don't focus only on the price. Otherwise, the danger with this is you may be leaning more towards the price, and then eventually forget about the quality.
You wouldn't want to have to keep buying a new table or work surface if the one you bought was cheap, but also flimsy.
Take the time to research through different shops, both physical and online. One of the many good sources is I Like Sales, you can also see other shops in your local area.
You may find some good quality and durable tables for a reasonable price.
2. Define your office space
Your work-from-home space doesn't have to be an entire room, especially if you don't have an extra room for it at home.
It can be any extra corner or space you have in your home where you know you can focus and work undisturbed.
Before buying all other things for your home office, start by defining your office space. Doing so will give you a clear-cut idea of what you need.
That way, you can focus only on the essentials, and not end up over-spending.
3. Shop for a good quality back pillow
Depending on the budget you're working on, a nice, ergonomic chair may not always be the most economical choice. So, you have to be a little bit more strategic.
If you have an extra chair at home, you can use that for now. All you need to do to make it more comfortable is a good quality back pillow. Buying the latter can often end up cheaper than a special chair.
4. Focus on the most important equipment your need
Because you're on a tight budget, you have to learn to prioritise what your most important expenses are. Shop for the decorative facets later.
What you can do instead is to focus first on the necessary computer equipment you may need for your work.
Apart from the computer or laptop that you may already have, perhaps you also need a printer, scanner, and headphones.
If you have kids at home, be sure to coordinate with their homeschooling needs as well, so you can share certain equipment. For instance, you can opt to buy a pricier but also better-quality printer with more features and print options if your kids also need it for school.
That way, everyone in the family can make good use out of it.
5. Determine what you can DIY
You don't always have to call in the help of professional contractors for the things you can do yourself. For example, with the right instruction manual and tools, you can save on the assembly fee by assembling some of the furniture all by yourself.
Also, this includes other work you may want to do in your home office like repainting the walls. Assume you're converting your kids' old playroom or nursery into your home office, as they no longer use that room now.
The bright colors may be distracting your focus. You may want to repaint it with more neutral tones, to keep it gentle on your eyes.
6. Purify the air
Lastly, you should feel comfortable enough to stay for long hours and continue working for long hours in your home office. The air quality needs to be good, especially if you're converting a room with poor ventilation like the under-the-stairs closet, for instance, an attic or your basement.
Air purifiers may be out of the budget right now if you can't find one that fits your budget. What you can opt for instead are natural air-purifying plants or scented candles that may help you focus better.
If you've now decided to work from home, then you deserve to have both a functional and stylish office space.
Your home office should fit seamlessly into your home's feel and style, to keep that flow of style and coherence in your home.
If you're on a budget, the tips above will truly come in handy. As you can see, creating a home office doesn't have to burn a hole in your household budget, especially if this expense is one that came as a surprise, or that you weren't able to save much for yet.