Monday, May 8, 2023

My Very Inexpensive Home Office Set Up

Since I am working from home, I figured I should set up a home office of some sort.  For the most part, the only items I need for work are a laptop and a cell phone but it's great to have a quiet spot set up when it comes to online meetings or making phone calls.  So I commandeered one of the guest rooms...

After much perusing of home office set ups on YouTube (in which people spend a small fortune creating amazing work spaces), I figured I needed a workable space but I didn't want to spend much on it as I don't know how long I will be working--it could be a couple months or it could be several years!

So I used what I had and went cheap on stuff I had to buy and it came out like this...

The components include:

  • A 6' folding table which we had.  We paid about $30 for it years ago and I was surprised to see that they now sell for $70+!
  • A table cloth we had stored in the garage.
  • A $12 folding chair from Ross.  I rarely sit for long, maybe an hour at a time.  If I was sitting for hours on end I would definitely get a good office chair.  As it is, I work at home, in the casino, in the bowling center, in the rodeo arena...basically everywhere I can get a wifi signal.
  • A 14" Lenovo laptop I use when I am not at home or use as a second screen when needed.  I've had this laptop for a few years.
  • A 16" Lenovo laptop which I bought a couple months ago because I wanted a new, faster laptop with more storage. 
  • Some old headphones I had.  These are JBL 660NC headphones which I got for about $60 on sale and I like them much better than my expensive Sony headphones.
  • A $5 ring light from Ross.  Apparently you need light pointing at you, rather than coming from behind you, to look good on video  I'm learning the online meeting thing as I go...
  • A basket from Dollar Tree to lift my laptop up during meetings (I also learned you want to look straight or up to the video camera and not down on the video camera or the video will be pointing up your nose!).
  • A steno book from the Dollar Tree because I take a lot of notes.
  • A weekly blank calendar.  I use it more often than my online calendar because, again, I take a lot of notes.
  • My expensive cell phone which I've had for several months.  I rarely use it for work but if I need access to videos, fast internet browsing, or opening complicated documents, I use this phone.
  • A work phone.  The boss said 'buy any phone and phone service you want'.  So I bought a cheap Pixel 6a phone and got a $15 Mint Mobile monthly plan and I was in business.  Since I do most work by email on my computer, and am in a location that gets a good Mint signal, it didn't make sense to spend extravagantly on a phone or phone service.  This cheap phone also works great for making calls.
  • Other things I use: iDrive for cloud file storage, Zoom for meetings although it looks like most agencies are now using Microsoft Teams.

So far everything is going great!


  1. That looks great. What will be your background when people see you? Make sure the ring is above the laptop so you don't have a shadow on your face. You could have spent so much more and still not been able to do a better job.

    1. Thank you! I took your advice and moved the light up and it gives me really good accent lighting during meetings!

  2. Thanks for the tip! This is definitely a learning experience. The background is a window with curtains but most people on the meetings tend to use a blurred background or one of those video backgrounds.