Whether you’re just getting started on a home office layout, or are in need of a little refreshing of your space, being a frugal dad on a budget doesn’t have to mean that you have an inefficient or uninspiring home office. A productive environment is essential for success. If you’ve ever spent half an hour looking for one single piece of paper, then you know what I mean! Paper trails can be important, so keep everything nicely organized and filed away.
You have to create a plan for your home office, and stick to the budget. There’s no need to compromise on either luxury or quality either. Be smart when you shop for goods and then you’ll have the comfortable feeling of spending enough, yet have left over funds that can provide a nice little cushion. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t find the right computer, equipment, office desk, chair, and other office furnishings all within budget.
1. Get out a tape measure and plot out your space.
You might have been congratulating yourself on having found a really cheap office desk, but if you are unable to get it down a set of stairs, up a set of stairs, or it’s sticking out from a niche which is just too small to take it, then it’s money down the drain.
2. Get back to the basics in your thinking.
Grab your essentials and go from there. Make a priority list for all purchases and defer, even for a little while, the non-essentials. Your basic home office is your desk, chair, shelves, computer, and printer.
3. Be your own handyman.
What you can do yourself, will save you a lot of money. If it involves electrical, it’s best to call in a professional. If you’re a licensed electrician, you’ll save a lot of money! Often, stores will assemble furniture for you, so just ask.
4. Pick it up yourself.
If you have a big enough vehicle you could take furniture home yourself. If not, then strike a bargain with the store and you’ll either be able to get it delivered free, or at a deep discount. You can make this a part of your purchasing process. If they don’t want to sell the item, then walk away.
5. Check the Internet for bargains.
You can buy second hand pieces at retail, but you can also save money buying new furniture from the WWW. Discount office desks can be found without too much trouble on-line and most Internet-based reputable companies will give you free delivery as well as hassle free returns. If they don’t, buy it somewhere else!
6. Do your décor yourself.
Put up a few paintings that you like and be sure and get at least one live plant. Check out your light situation first, because all plants need some kind of light to grow, unless they’re fungus. Of course, you may love mushrooms!
7. Put up do-it-yourself shelving.
A lot of shelves and shelving units come in do-it-yourself kits. This means that all the screws, latches, and other things are in one handy place. Just be sure you don’t throw it into the garbage can by mistake. Dedicate an afternoon to assembling, dusting off, and placing your home office furniture.
8. Browse flea markets and garage sales.
You might be very surprised at what you can find in the way of office furniture and shelving. A few licks of paint, and it’ll be as good as new!
9. Barter or trade.
You could do this with neighbours, by looking online, or checking out stuff for sale at the library or at the local shop.
10. Accessories need coordination.
There is a difference between an eclectic décor and a junkie one. Make your home office space as inviting and comfortable as you can. Keep colours to two or three, or even a neutral tone with punches of colour here and there.
11. Go to auctions.
These are fun events and a way to get a good bargain in an office desk or chair. You kind of have to go with an “as is” frame of mind. Check your local newspapers and notices for time and location.
12. Shop for discounts on computer equipment.
Check out electronics stores over a period of a couple of weeks, and especially around holiday time. Often, their online prices are cheaper than in the actual store itself. Many will price match so look online first at home, print out the ad, and take it with you to the store. It’s best to buy new electronic equipment, so that you’ll know it’ll work.
Don’t forget to make a list and plot out your new office before you start. It will then be a calm, cool, and collected process, and you’ll have a little money left over in your bank account.