How To Create a Home Office on a Budget

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					How To Create a Home Office on a
Budget
10 tips for creating a comfortable and professional work space.
By Alyson Krueger | December 3, 2010



For many companies, offices are a thing of the past. Colleagues communicate via instant
messages and bosses use tools like Skype and Base Camp to delegate tasks. Physical
work spaces have become less important and, as a result, more people are working from
home.

Working from home can be wonderful; you have the option to wake up later, avoid
morning commutes, stay in pajamas, and get tax write-offs on rent.

It can also be challenging. There are more distractions, such as television, family
members, and household chores. Supervisors aren’t around to keep an eye on you, and
you may feel less inclined to work to at maximum capacity.

A home office is the best of both worlds. It is the room in your house reserved for all
things business. Shut the door to buckle down, but wander freely into the kitchen for
snacks at will.

Here are 10 tips for creating an efficient home office on a budget.

   1. Be creative with your space. Renovating an entire room can be costly. Instead of
      completely converting the space, consider using a screen to set off one corner for
      work. Otherwise, set up shop in an isolated, sparsely used spot, such as an attic or
      basement.
   2. Don’t run to big, chain office stores for supplies. Consider cheaper options like
      Walmart and The Dollar Store for basic items such as papers, pens, filing
      cabinets, and bulletin boards.
   3. Go green. Look into smaller computers, electrical outlets, and phone chargers
      that save energy. Don’t forget to turn off lights and unplug chargers when you are
      not using them, and recycle paper. You will help the environment while cutting
      costs.
   4. Use what you already have. Look around your house for much-needed office
      items. Desks and lamps can often be found in attics or spare rooms while smaller
      items, such as staplers and notebooks, may be buried in closets from school days
      past.
   5. Hit the thrift stores and flea markets. If you don’t already have furniture, visit
      flea markets and thrift shops to purchase items. Many antique pieces are
      affordable and can add a sophisticated feel to your home office.
6. Decorate the office yourself. The advantage of working at home is having the
    freedom to make your space your own. Be creative; hang pictures of family and
    friends, frame inspiring quotes, or hang your kids’ artwork.
7. Avoid landlines. Having a landline in addition to your cell phone can be costly
    and unnecessary. Use a cell phone for all correspondence. Instead of having a fax
    machine, buy a printer that has scanning capabilities.
8. Barter or trade with neighbors. Find items you need by posting ads on
    Craigslist or putting up bulletins in community organizations. If you don’t have
    extra items to trade, consider offering your professional services.
9. Shop the sales. Take your time setting up your office; you don’t need every item
    at once. Make a wish list of everything you need, prioritize the items, and only
    buy them when they are on sale.
10. Make yourself a D.I.Y. expert. Instead of hiring painters, electricians, and
    furniture assemblers, do everything yourself. It will be a fun way to learn new
    skills, and you will save a lot on these otherwise costly services.

				
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