Setting Up an Inexpensive Home Office

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If you’re starting your home business with a hefty investment, go ahead and trick out your office with a sleek desk, ergonomically correct chair, rolling file drawers, and stands for printers and copiers. However, if you’re still waiting for your first freelance payment and are more interested in function than form, you can easily cobble together an office that will work for you until the fees start rolling in.

Turned Tables

When you think about it, a desk is just a fancy table. That means you can work from your kitchen table and call it an office if that’s how you roll. If you’re hoping to create a dedicated office space for tax purposes, a kitchen table’s still a viable option; just buy a small used one at a garage sale or grab that old castoff that’s been languishing in your basement. If it’s flat and has room for your computer, it’ll do.

Storage Smarts

You’ll need something to stow your important papers, supplies, and random stacks of clutter. Try used office file cabinets for a more professional look, or stack some plastic crates to serve as makeshift folder holders. An unused chest of drawers or dresser can also do the trick if you have one handy.

Super Surfaces

Pile up two even stacks of books on your table, place your laptop atop them, and voila! You have a standing desk. Pull in some TV trays and spare side tables for spreading out your work or holding your home-sized office machines. If it fits under your desk table, a TV tray can serve as an improvised keyboard and mouse pullout. A plastic bin with a lid can provide storage inside and a place to pile papers on top.

Home offices, especially low-budget versions, are a “whatever works” proposition. Use what you can until you can afford what you need.