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Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option for many people who are looking for a better work/life balance, but how do you go about setting up a home office without spending a fortune? The tips below will have you up and running in no time.

To begin with think about the kind of look you want to achieve in your home office. Does it have to blend in with an existing room or are you starting from scratch? There are endless ideas on Google or inspiration on sites such as Pinterest to give you a starting point. Think about colours, styles, themes etc.

Once you know the look you are going for identify the essential items you will need. Consider the space you have available before you make any purchases so you don't waste money on items that won't fit. Consider also where your power points are located so you don't have unnecessary cords running everywhere. You can set up a home office with next to nothing if you are smart about it so once you have the basics covered you can add items from there.

The essential items you should consider are:

  1. A desk – Think about the space you have available and what will fit. Corner desk or rectangle? Round or angled? Is built in storage required etc?.
  2. A good chair – There are some stunning office chairs out there but this is one area you should make comfort the priority. You are likely to be spending a lot of time on your backside so you want to look for an ergonomic style that offers support for your back and backside!
  3. A computer – Do you need a PC or will a laptop better suit your needs?
  4. A filing system – Will you need a filing cabinet or will a deep draw suffice? Think about your needs long term and choose a system that allows for growth.
  5. A printer – Do you really need one? Do you have printing needs daily or just some ad hoc jobs that can be done at Officeworks? With many offices choosing to go paperless you may be able to do without.

Now you have identified your essential office items you can begin to source them. Online is a great place to start and sites such as Quicksales are ideal for finding affordable second hand office furniture/supplies. Also ask friends and family if they have anything they don't need (try a Facebook shout out) as you may be surprised what people have collecting dust in their sheds). Scour the paper and keep an eye out on your travels for businesses closing down and selling stock cheap or even wholesale to the public or factory seconds. Your local charity store is also a great place to find a bargain. If you are feeling creative why not swap your skills/services or product for items you need (i.e. if you're a bookkeeper or copywriter, offer them your service in return).

Once you have your essentials sorted it is time to make your office visually appealing, after all you will be spending a lot of time there and it pays to have a nice work space. You can do this by adding some simple accessories such as a plant, lamp, photo frames, wall stickers, inspiration boards, bunting, flowers or books. The list is endless. Again use sites such as Pinterest for inspiration and Quicksales for sourcing.

Setting up a home office does not have to be an arduous or expensive task. With a clear list of essentials and a plan of attack for the space you have available, you can have everything sourced and in your office space in a weekend. Use your creativity to add a few stylish touches and you will be at your desk in no time enjoying the myriad of benefits of working from home.

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