DIY Home Decor

Inexpensive Home Office Solutions

So, it seems that many of us have had to convert some corner of our home into a home office. It was one thing to have a temporary space set up for remote work in March… when we all thought there was an end in sight. But now, you may need to start thinking about how to create a space for yourself or your child to get work done. Hopefully, this space will be temporary… and it doesn’t make sense to go out and spend a ton of money on it. Here are a few of mine and Thrifty Ellen’s favorite inexpensive, but stylish home office solutions.

Ten Budget Solutions for your Home Office

  1.  Rethink surfaces.  Can you create a new workspace out of things you already have?  I repurposed some metal garage storage shelves and wood planks to make a DIY standing desk. I did it because it was FREE and I can always turn it back into a garage shelf, but I’ve kind of grown attached to it. Look around your own home.  Could you turn a craft table, an old door, or a coffee table into a desk?
A metal storage shelf with some nice wood on top makes an excellent adjustable height desk. The holes were in the wood already and are convenient for cords!
  1. Repurpose tin cans as desk accessories.  I used some empty bean cans, contact paper and copper tape to make pretty pen and pencil holders.
Tin cans covered in contact paper are great for pens and pencils. The shorter one is from a condensed milk can.
  1. Turn an old cookie sheet into a magnetic memo board like Thrifty Ellen did. Some spraypaint and contact paper and you have a cute place to hang things that you need close by or to put pictures that inspire you.
Cookie sheet magnet board
A cookie sheet spray painted with some contact paper makes an awesome magnetic memo board.
  1. Make your own chalkboard.  I used an old cabinet door and painted the inside with chalkboard paint.  You could easily use an old picture frame or paint that cookie sheet to make a magnetic chalkboard. 
Cabinet door turned into chalkboard
This was an unused cabinet door. I painted the inside with chalkboard paint and it became a chore chart. TIP: I wrote the chores with a chalk pen and I check them off with regular chalk that easily erases.
  1. Reuse items you have! This should really be number one.  Maybe you have a pretty vase or bowl just collecting dust.  You can put that item to use to hold pens/pencils/post-its etc.  There is something so satisfying about finding a better use for something you already own.  It is like putting the last piece into a puzzle. 
Milk glass pen holder and nicknack tray.
Thrifty Ellen collects milkglass and repurposed some to hold her desk necessities (yes, a seashell is a desk necessity . . . She needs to remember what she is working for).
  1. Put up a dry-erase board anywhere. You can use dry-erase cling film to create a dry erase board wherever you need it. The cling film is slightly more expensive than the contact paper type, but you know that it won’t leave any residue on your walls.
  2. DIY magazine covers—you can make magazine covers out of old cereal boxes, or if you have some but don’t like the color, you can cover it in contact paper.
  3. Organization boxes—IKEA sells inexpensive boxes for a few dollars.  They are perfect for organizing materials for your office and anywhere else in your home. They neatly stow things that I’d rather not look at. 
  1. USB extension cord—I needed to plug in multiple devices at my desk and so bought a little USB extension cord that allows me to charge several things at once.  I like that it is less bulky than other types of extension cords but allows me to charge my phone, iPad, and to use my tiny USB powered fan. 
Handy USB extension cord
This handy cord makes charging a snap and you can see my “splurge” purchase in the background. I can use it to time my Facebook breaks?
  1. Splurge—Buy at least one thing that makes you happy and excited to sit at your desk.  It doesn’t need to be really expensive or even practical, but it is nice to have something that makes you want to sit down at your desk and get work done.  For me, it was a random sand timer, filled with gold baubles and my biggest splurge, a comfy chair for those times when I can’t sit at my desk any longer.  For Thrifty Ellen it was her fun chair cover and her cute mouse pad (seen above).