3 Tips For Creating A Functional Home Office For Less

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According to a report published by the United States Census Bureau, approximately 13 million Americans work from home. If you're amongst this group, one of the biggest challenges you might face is creating a home office that is organized, functional and provides you with the peace and quiet needed to actually get some work done! Here are a few inexpensive ways you can transform your cluttered work area into an organized, productive home office:

Choose Multifunctional Pieces

If you're short on space and money, furniture that serves several purposes is the best option. Be aware that many times these pieces can be pricey, which is why you will need to do some serious bargain shopping to find a great deal.

Office supplies stores are a great place to start. There are many affordable pieces available that are manufactured with small business and home offices in mind. Look for the clearance aisle or don't be afraid to ask an associate if there are any dinged or returned pieces available at a discount.

However, if you're willing to think outside the box, you can transform inexpensive pieces into a multifunctional unit. For example, a finished word board and two smaller file cabinets can be combined to create an inexpensive and unique desk. Stacked and painted wood crates can be used as storage, and in a pinch, seating.

Organize Your Office Supplies

One aspect of having an home office that many telecommuters overlook is the sheer amount of business supplies they will need. Your first thought might be to grab a few plastic containers. However, this can get expensive very quickly – but there are several other inexpensive options available.

For example, grab all those unused shoe boxes out of your hall closet and use them to organize your all the smaller items – such as your writing supplies and other office basics.

When it comes to the bigger items, the solution can be found in that old dresser collecting dust in your basement. Pull out all the drawers and paint the outside of each. Next, place casters on all four corners. These old drawers are now inexpensive, custom file organizers.

From painted tin can pencil holders to using wire kitchen racks to keep your ingoing and outgoing mail organized, there are many inexpensive ways you can keep your home office neat and tidy.

Swap, Trade and Bargain

If you are completely out of cash and in desperate need for office furniture and supplies, consider hosting a trade party at your home. Contact your friends and neighbors and ask them if they're looking for any types of furniture or supplies, as well.

For example, you may have a neighbor who is in desperate need of baby furniture and who is willing to trade you their desk, computer chair and fax machine for your crib, bassinet and changing table. Another friend who needs paint for their child's bedroom might love the colors you have stored in your garage, and will trade you for their extra office supplies.

If your friends are willing to trade, ask them for a reduction in price, or offer some additional services along with the cash. If you are an accountant, offer to file your neighbor's taxes and in return, inquire if they are willing to sell you their file cabinets at a reduced price.

Creating a functional and eye catching home office doesn't require a large investment. Instead, look for clever ways to repurpose old items, look at inexpensive furniture in a new way and if you're really strapped for cash, don't be afraid to ask a friends, family member or neighbor for help.


26 August 2015

The Power of Your Sense of Smell

Even as a child, I recognized that scent has the power to influence mood. The aroma of warm bread fresh from the oven still makes me feel safe and nurtured, even if I am the one who did the baking. The smell of sawdust reminds me of my grandfather who owned a lumber mill, and, strangely enough, the scent of paint thinner triggers memories of visiting my father at his machine shop on hot, summer days. Now that I have my own home, I use scent to help build my family's excitement for the holidays. Certain aromas reassure me that my house is clean or help me relax after a long day. The right smell can alleviate anxiety, promote a sense of calm, and signal that I am truly home.