You don’t have to stockpile cash or blow your whole tax refund  when it comes to furnishing your home office or restocking basics. While at first it might seem overwhelming, getting essential supplies and furniture for your work space doesn’t have to be hard or costly. Consider these tips before you shop.

1. Shop your home first.

Transform an area of your home into a work space without having to perform a pricey full-scale makeover. Repurpose items you own and potentially spend zero dollars to set things up. Woven baskets can house work essentials and can be stored under a desk.

A modular unit that was a side table in the living room can now become a resting place for your papers to better help you organize your business finances. and other work-related materials near your desk. You can even reuse containers or mason jars to keep frequently used items supplies on top of the desk within reach. Also, remember to take a peek at Ikea online prior to shopping. Whether you’re looking for a simple table to serve as a desk or a super sturdy shelf to do the trick, there are many affordable ways to create a modern, stylish work space there. This way you can graduate from monopolizing the dining room table and sort paper clutter while still having enough space to complete your work.

2. Get office furniture secondhand.

While spring cleaning is in full swing, many people start to offload their stuff which can include all types of furniture. Maybe you spy with your little eye, a desk on the curb during bulk trash pick up week sitting right in a nearby neighborhood. If it doesn’t need any major rehabbing (and you know it’s free), haul it home.

If you’re open to purchasing used items in good condition at a thrift store, this can benefit your wallet as well. Start researching the dos and dont’s of buying used furniture in general before heading out. Figure out what’s easy to fix and what isn’t. Also, keep in mind what you can realistically do yourself if need be.

Nicks, dings and scratches might be easier to repair, hide all together or camouflage. Reupholstering something might be a little more involved especially if you have to replace foam. See if it’s worth it. You could take a break from your desk and send invoices while kicking your feet up on an ottoman while sitting in a comfy chair. Watch videos or check out reputable sites like This Old House, Design Sponge or the Family Handy Man to learn from people who know what they are doing.

3. Shop little by little.

If you like to shop in spurts to get what you need as you go, think about checking the weekly flyers especially near back-to-school time throughout the summer and in the fall. You may have to keep up with the ads and venture out a great deal to get the lowest prices on each item but if you can squeeze it into your normal errands it won’t take any longer to shop than usual. Outside of the paper flyers that come in the mail, there are local circulars available digitally on Retale.com.

If doing this feels like too much work, sites like PennyPinchinMom.com, Coupons.com and FatWallet.com share the latest deals on their site each week. They do the footwork on finding the latest deals so shoppers can wrangle them up from one source. Whether you spread out your shopping throughout the year in small spurts to replenish much-needed basics like pens, highlighters, paper, etc. or pack it all in during one or two shopping trips that tend to ramp up at certain times of year, think about setting aside money to get some extra supplies once they go on clearance after the sales.

The Bottom Line

Creating a work space and stocking up on essential supplies doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use the tips mentioned above to set up a work area that won’t drain your bank account.

Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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