Those branching out on their own with regards to income generation are often in need of cost-saving small home office ideas. It doesn’t do any good to pay attention line items such as startup inventory and communication costs, only to blow your budget by dishing out for a full office remodel in the guest room. If you need a place to park your command center and don’t have a ton of money, it’s possible to implement the following small home office ideas on a budget. (See also: Inexpensive Overhead Solutions for Starting a Small Business)
Keep It in a Closet
When it comes to small home office ideas, a closet’s about as tiny as you can get. It’s also unobtrusive to daily activity flow in the home, and easily closed off when the kids come home from school. Here’s some office inspiration from Shoestring Magazine.
Portable is Preferable
Today’s home-based careers frequently require you to manage a mobile office, whether that means operating out of wheeled briefcase or using a rolling office cart you can put away before the family comes home as this article from Apartment Therapy suggests. As long as your core resources can remain organized as you move, you should be able to juggle mobility efficiently. You can do this with file boxes, cloud storage, fishing tackle boxes or basically anything that keeps critical items contained and organized.
Use What You Have
If you’ve actually managed to set aside an entire extra room for your small home office, you can still stay on budget by using what you have on hand to furnish the room. For example, when building a standing desk on my own, I used rolling metro shelves from my garage. Other repurposed items in our home office include a folding banquet table and bookshelves made from boards and concrete blocks. It may not be the sexiest looking small home office, but it gets the job done. We prefer to channel biz funds towards items that can help us increase revenue, such as upgraded digital cameras and more functional laptops. Keeping our home office basic allows us to do that.
Repurpose and Recycle
One of my favorite small home office ideas is to create a working office from an old armoire or hutch. These make a great deal of sense for home-based businesses where extra rooms and even closets really aren’t available. Creating your office out of a hutch or armoire allows you close the doors at the end of the day just like you would in a regular office, and keeps your work materials out of the hands of visiting children and prying pets.
Leverage Your Location
Many parents looking for work-at-home jobs still need to tend to home needs themselves, at least until the revenue flow is strong enough to consider cooking and cleaning support. It’s one of the challenges that come with a home-based business, and isn’t likely to change anytime soon. One way many people choose to get as much multitasking done as possible is to leverage their working space by parking near an area where other things can be accomplished.
In many homes, this area is the kitchen. Those who locate their washer and dryer in that room as well can really make their downtime function more efficiently. How many times a day do you have a phone conference with a colleague you know well? If all you’re doing is brainstorming a strategy solution, why not fold a little laundry or toss something in the slow cooker at the same time? This idea for a kitchen office from This Old House shows you how to shoehorn a space into the end of a kitchen cupboard.
Select Supplies with Care
We all need certain things to do our job properly, but one of the most powerful small home office ideas I can suggest is to choose those necessary items carefully. Having too much clutter can cause people to think they need a bigger work space than they actually do. Are there certain free software programs that will enable you to purchase less equipment, for example? Also, spending your workday at home can often lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. This can be addressed by making sure funds saved from unnecessary office supplies are channeled towards a back-friendly ball chair or a roll-up yoga mat. Both can be helpful to maintaining fitness while on scheduled breaks. (See also: Fitness Tips for Desk Jockeys)
In short, it’s completely possible to implement small home office ideas on a budget. It just takes a little determination and some thoughtful purchasing decisions.