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Guest Blogger- Suzie Wilson: Budget-Friendly Ways to Build a Home Office When You’re Short on Space


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Can you really set up a home office without sacrificing savings? Well, you will be happy to know that a functional, modest office can work in any size space. All you need are some budget-friendly pointers on tech, planning, furniture and decor to build the office of your dreams. So keep reading for creative ways to save while setting up your small home office.

 

Save Money on All of Your Home Office Tech Needs

 

A small home office can be effective, but only if you have the right tech to power it. Outfitting a home office with even basic equipment used to be expensive, but nowadays, you can go online and research the best deals on tech and equipment to get your office up and running. For instance, when researching the best laptops for business and personal use, you can compare prices to find the best deal. Laptops are a much better choice for a smaller home office since they take up very little space, and you can find lightweight, affordable options to fit both your workload and your budget.

 

If you don’t have a pressing need for printed materials, you can save yourself some more cash (and keep clutter out of your small space) by forgoing the purchase of a printer. But if you do need a printer at home, there are several multifunction models that will offer the best performance for your money.

 

Cut Costs With a Creative Location for Your Home Office

 

When it comes to carving out office space at home, it can be a challenge to your mind and budget to remodel an unused area. Just the average basement remodel can cost anywhere from $6,500 to around $20,000 depending on what work the space needs. In some cases, however, it’s worth moving ahead with the expenditure, especially if it can benefit the sale of your home later.

 

When renovating a space, keep in mind how the change affects the overall structure of your home. If you’re extending out from your house, you’ll need a reputable electrician and plumber to check the wiring and plumbing respectively; you’ll also want a highly-rated, experienced roofing company to have your roof inspected and surveyed for extension; and you’ll need a qualified technician to make sure any ductwork can be properly routed to your HVAC. It’s a lot to consider.

 

Alternatively, you can save a ton by opting to take your home office outside. A garage office renovation may be a more practical approach, and you are likely to use fewer funds to get the job done. Or, if you really want a separate space and you need it fast, a pre-engineered steel building can be built quickly and efficiently without putting too much pressure on your wallet. Not to mention that by building with steel, you can count on durability and energy efficiency.

 

Moving your office into a dedicated space outside is a great way to keep yourself productive since you won’t be distracted by the responsibilities of everyday home life. Plus, claiming the home office credit come tax season may be easier if your work area is completely separate from the rest of your home. Just be sure that your exterior home office is only used for business and you could see a big gain on your taxes.

 

Support Your Budget By Buying Multi-Use Office Furniture

 

When you are working or living in a smaller space, it’s wise to look for furnishings that can provide multiple functions inside your home. The same is definitely true for home office furniture. Luckily, some of the most diverse home and office furnishings are also ones that should fit perfectly into even the most limited budgets. You can use screens to provide separation between your work and living spaces, or find desks that fold up to offer more space when you need it. You can also get creative with secondhand and vintage finds to maximize your budget and space even more. Check out online selling sites to score leftover filing cabinets from closing businesses, or look for deals at your local thrift stores. Try to visit stores a few times to find the best deals on furniture you can repurpose, but don’t waste your money on items that are beyond your ability to repair.


You don’t have to skimp on style or efficiency to fit your home office into a small budget. Really, all it takes is some creativity and cost-cutting savings to get everything you need to design a home office that is ready to work for you.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2019 in Organizing

 

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Hold Please…While I Find THAT File.

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Is there anything worse than NOT being able to find that piece of paper you need? What about that file that you KNOW you saw on your desk yesterday? Where is it NOW???!!! It doesn’t matter if it’s a home office or an actual office (or cubical), things can get hectic and placed ANYWHERE. I know what its like to have days where I’m super busy and I put something down on my desk and in THOSE moments, I know where it is. Then at some point I put something else down on the table and something else and something..well you get the point. Then there’s filing or lack thereof. So before you can organize, you need to look at your office space and ask the following questions:

  • Is the furniture and equipment set up in the most efficient way?
  • Do you have organizing materials? Do you have the right ones? Enough of them? (i.e. file baskets, file holders, file cabinets)
  • Are there storage issues? If so, what are they?
  • How are your files and filing systems? Can you find your files easily?

Start with those questions. Clarify whats going on in your office space. Identify the problems/issues. Also find the things that are working in your office! Maybe you have great shelving and they are the one area that is being used properly. All your books fit perfectly on the shelves and its in a spot that’s convenient. You want to narrow down what is wrong in the space. Then you build from there. The answers will be borne out of whats not working in your space.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Organizing

 

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TV Trays Are Not Your Friends

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When I first moved back to LA five years ago, I didn’t have a desk. I had a table to put my laptop on and I had enough room to write on. I needed a place to put other papers on and files and such. I had some TV trays and decided to use them. My thought in the beginning is that they would be a temporary solution. A YEAR later, my trays were overflowing with “stuff”! This is something I also see in my practice.

TV Trays, small tables, dining room tables, and counters are open to clutter and collection of stuff! They seem like good ideas for space to place things but they are dangerous areas.I found it easy to just put papers and whatnot on these trays and take my time in finding proper homes for them. Also there is the illusion that since they are small spaces that the clutter can’t really happen. Obviously that’s not true. You can clutter ANY space.

Another feature of TV Trays are that they are movable.I found myself moving the full trays out-of-the-way and forgetting about them. No bueno (not good). Out of sight, out of mind. I think I even bought more TV trays and brought them in . Why didn’t I just buy a desk and drawers for files? (I finally did.) The lessons I learned were: Clutter happens easier on smaller spaces; Buy what you need to store stuff as soon as you can;  and you should only use TV trays to eat on and put them away after you’re done.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Organizing

 

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