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As a solopreneur and/or freelancer, the first place you usually start your business from is out of your home as getting a traditional office will swallow the bulk of your budget. However, having a home office can be tricky. It can be easy to get distracted working out of your home (television, kids, chores, etc).
Initially, you need to assign a suitable location within your home to transform into a workspace that’s serene and comfortable without breaking the bank.
I’m going to share the tips I used to set up my home office at a budget-friendly price when I started out. There’s also a free home office set up checklist at the end of this article. It shouldn’t cost the earth to set up a home office and you don’t need to hire anyone to help you with it either.
7 Essential Tips for Setting Up a Home Office on a Budget
1. Make a List
Make a list before you start. What do you need? How much are you willing to spend on your home office project? What’s absolutely essential for the home office? What’s a luxury? What’s irrelevant? Create a scale of preference. In case you missed it in Econ, a scale of preference is a list of wants and/or needs that are arranged in order of importance.
2. Save Money with What You Already Have
Look around the house first. Maybe you already have some of the things you need for your home office at home. Or maybe there’s something you can repurpose for your home office. Get creative. Ask friends or family if there’s any old furniture they’re looking to get rid of. If you get lucky here, mark it off your list.
3. Keep it Simple
I’m a minimalist and favor an uncluttered workspace so I have only the basics. If you’re not a minimalist type person, you should still keep it simple. There’s no need to replicate some over the top workspace you saw on TV or buy exotic furniture made with the bones of the last cobra from the Rainforest. Simple, in-house brands provide high quality and last just as long, if not longer.
4. Discounts, Deals, and Bargains
Look out for deals and bargains before buying anything new. Check discount websites, visit garage sales or look up companies have a closeout sale. If you don’t like buying used furniture, you can get discount furniture at Bulk Office Supply.
5. Combine Essential Items
Instead of buying everything separately, think of how you can combine items. For instance, buy an all in one printer (printer, scanner, copier) like this one instead of each one separately or buy a desk that comes with drawer space and attached or detached shelving unit. This saves a lot of space and money.
6. Buy Recurring Supplies in Bulk
When I set up my home office 3 years ago, I bought several items like pens, pencils, paper, files, staple pins, folders, markers, storage boxes, etc in bulk because I knew I would require a lot of these items frequently over the years. I got a huge discount on a bulk order and I still haven’t ordered new recurring items until this day. Bulk Office Supply offers super low prices for bulk orders of items like this. Wholesale prices and customer friendly.
7. Don’t Borrow Money
Don’t borrow money aka utilizing a credit card just to set up a home office. That’s a bad way to start your solopreneur/freelancer career. Make do with what you have until you have enough money to spruce things up a bit. If you have a desk, chair, and printer, you’re good to go for the time being.
Home Office Set Up Pictures and Ideas
You want your home office to inspire you, motivate you and make you want to sit at it every day. If you need some inspiration on how to set up your home office and what it should look like, Pinterest is a great place to find these ideas.
I have collated a board with cute, colorful and adorable home office set up pictures for inspiration. Have a look at it HERE. This is only for inspiration and ideas. Don’t try to recreate a home office that will cost thousands of dollars.
If you have some other home office set up pictures and ideas you want to pin to the board, send me an email on thewriterentrepreneur(@)gmail.com so I can add you as a contributor to the board.
This checklist includes everything a home office should have to commence operations. Anything else outside this is up to you and your budget but this basics list is a good place to start. Download the free home office set up checklist HERE.
Working from home can be a fun and enjoyable experience with the right tools and the right mindset. Upcoming post on how to focus and run your business from home effectively without letting distractions get in the way.
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Photo by Kari Shea