Are you tired of working at your kitchen table or cluttering the dining room with piles of paperwork? You need a home office so you can reclaim your eating space and stay organized and productive at work. Even if your home doesn’t have much space to spare, you can design a home office that’s stylish, functional, and fits your budget.

Getting Organized

Before shopping for home office fixings, take stock of your workspace: What is essential for work and what’s just clutter? Limited space requires you to be strategic about what goes into your home office. If you’re holding onto years of old documents “just in case,” now is the time to sort through them, digitizing what you need to keep and shredding what you don’t.

You also need to set a budget for your home office. Desks, chairs, and other office must-haves come at a variety of price levels. Set a budget before you shop to balance your spending in each category and get the highest quality gear for your budget.

Finding the Right Space

Deciding where to put your home office is the real challenge. When you live in a small home, every space is fully utilized, and finding even 100 spare square feet seems impossible. However, there may be extra space hiding under your stuff.

Optimize your home’s square footage by getting rid of things you don’t need and installing space-saving storage for the things you do. If the idea of tackling your home’s clutter problem is overwhelming, make room in the budget for a home organizer. A professional organizer will spearhead the organizing and cleaning so you can focus on designing your office.

If your home truly lacks extra space, turn your eyes elsewhere. While you could add an addition to your home, building one out comes at a hefty price. Do you have a garage you rarely park in? On a small budget, you can add lighting, insulation, and flooring to convert your garage into a simple office. With more to spend, you can add a bathroom, windows, and other comforts. For less extensive work, you can call on a local handyman, which costs $234 – $853 in closeby East Falmouth. Even if you’re not short on square footage indoors, a freestanding office is a good idea: When your workspace is separate from your living space, it’s easier to stay focused and maximize productivity.

Furnishing Your Home Office

Once the space is prepped, you’re ready to bring your home office vision to life. These are the must-have furnishings for any workspace.

Desk – $125-$1,000

Home office desks range from basic tabletops to electric standing desks (non-electric models can be bought for $127). If you’re on a tight budget, start with a simple desk and a standing desk converter and upgrade later.

Chair – $500-$1,250

A quality office chair is worth spending money on, especially if you work from home most of the day. You can find ergonomic chairs under $500, though you’ll pay more for stylish options.

Lighting – $200-$500

Good home office lighting prevents eye strain and boosts your focus. Natural light is best, so choose a location near windows (but away from glare). If you’re lacking natural light or need lighting for after-hours work, pair overhead and task lighting for layers of light.

Storage – $200+

A home office needs two types of storage: easy-access storage for pens, chargers, and other daily items, and long-term storage for documents. Built-ins solve both problems but are costly. For a budget-friendly alternative, hang pegboard and floating shelves for everyday office accessories and buy a wooden lateral file cabinet for a stylish file storage solution.

Whether you’re running a full-time business from home or just need somewhere to pay bills and answer emails, you deserve a space dedicated to work. That could be a freestanding building or a corner of your living room, but what matters is that it’s comfortable, ergonomic, and distraction-free. With a workspace that maximizes productivity, you can spend less time working and more time on what matters.

Gloria Martinez
Small Space, Big Ideas: Designing a Home Office for a Small House
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