Create an organized, classy workspace on the cheap

If you have a drab, cramped, or cluttered home office, your productivity suffers, and you find reasons not to get things done. Fortunately, there are a few easy jobs that can transform your workspace into an organized, comfortable, refreshing place to be.

Cut distracting noise

Especially if you have trouble staying focused, reducing noise in your home office can make a big difference in your productivity. Fortunately, you don’t have to knock down walls to seriously reduce the noise in your office.

While walls transmit some sound, the majority of distracting noise that comes into your office is transmitted through hollow spaces in doors, ducts, and electrical outlets. To substantially reduce the noise coming into your office without tearing up the walls, you can install a solid-core door with vinyl weather stripping along the top, as well as a bottom sweep with a wood threshold on the bottom.

If soundproofing your door isn’t enough, you can caulk around electrical boxes and ductwork that penetrate the drywall; or, if your office is in an upstairs room, you can pull up your carpet and lay down acoustic board under your carpet and pad.

These easy fixes should control most of the outside noise in your office—if they aren’t enough, you should probably call a professional.

Pick a color scheme and repaint

Decide on the general feel you want your office to have, and select a color scheme to match. Here are some ideas for picking your colors:

  • Cooler, subdued colors are good if work is high-stress, while warm, bold colors can help you feel creative and dynamic.
  • Test your color mix on poster board and hold it up in the normal light of your home office.
  • If your office is sunny, go with less intense colors. For rooms in a basement or interior of the house, more vibrant colors will be bold but not overpowering.
  • Use a color wheel to select complimentary colors for your walls and furniture

New, inexpensive furniture that matches your color scheme is a good option, but if you have a wooden desk and organizers, it might make sense just to repaint what you have.

Open up closet space

If your home office has closet space, you can create a more open environment by removing the closet doors and hinges and incorporating the space into your home office. Depending on the size and depth of your closet, you can fill it with filing cabinets, closet organizers, or bookcases; or even transform it into a little “ideas room” with whiteboards and markers for brainstorming. It’s a simple way to make your home office more open and relaxed.

Katie White is a writer and handywoman who is passionate about self-reliance and conservation. She loves bonding with her husband and sons with DIY projects, whether it’s repainting a room or fixing up the gas water heater.  She lives in Dallas.

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