An office makeover on a budget

My office makeover is finally finished, yay! I will be honest with you, when I first started on it I was really lacking in motivation. I knew that there needed to be a lot of decluttering before I could start and it seemed like a really big chore. As well as that, I wasn't very optimistic about how nice I could make the office look with the tiny budget I had to work with. I am so glad I persevered with the makeover and tackled my mountain of papers and negativity though as I have really surprised myself with what I could do with a small amount of money and a bit of creativity. In this blog post I am going to share with you how I went about giving my office a makeover.

Before I started on the makeover I looked for office design inspiration in some home and craft magazines and on Pinterest. I then created a mood board (above) to reflect the colours and themes I wanted to use. I settled on yellow, lime green, turquoise and white as the main office colours. I found it helped to have a rough idea of how I wanted the makeover to look beforehand as it gave me something to work towards. 

My main goal in doing the makeover was to have a desk space that I could fully utilize. My desk before was stacked with papers, magazine files and my printer etc, so there wasn't much space to spread out when working on my projects. I really wanted my desk to be a clear surface with only my favourite things out on display. My other goal was to get organised and have a proper place for everything. I hoped to make my office a nice place to work, which it wasn't before.

Once I had decluttered all the stuff I had no need for (which actually felt great!) I decided on how and where my things would be stored and displayed. This process was actually quite satisfying, as I could put all the boring stuff away into boxes and files and have only the nice things out. 

My main purchases for this makeover were a white chair to go with my desk and a ladder storage unit. I bought the ladder storage unit to put my boxes and craft supplies on and had also planned for my printer to go on the bottom shelf. I forgot the always measure before buying anything rule though and the shelves turned out to not be wide enough to put the printer on, whoops! So I used a small table I already had to put it on instead. 

I also bought a couple of storage boxes and some wicker storage baskets to hold all the papers and other items I needed to keep. The lime green office accessories were supplied by the Post Office and are part of their CEP Pro Gloss range. The items actually came in very handy with organizing my office. I used their bin to store my gift wrapping papers and their paper tray now makes my printer paper more accessible (compared to the box file I used before). I also found their magazine file to be much more sturdy than the cardboard types I had been using previously. It is definitely worth investing in some quality desk accessories if you can and I think the Post Office's CEP Pro Gloss range of products is not only great quality but very affordable to.

My finishing touches to the office were the putting up of my notice board that I recently painted and displaying some of my favorite stationery/craft items. I also brought in some plants to bring a bit of nature inside. Now the challenge to keep my office clutter free begins! 

Here are some of my tips for doing an office makeover on a small budget.

Tips for an office makeover on a budget

Keep your office clear of clutter. 

For me, clutter is a big distraction. It is a reminder of all the things I need to do (namely get rid of my clutter!) but also means I associate my office with things I don't want to do. Get rid of those negative vibes by throwing out anything you don't need or want. Keep in mind that famous William Morris quote "Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". By keeping your surfaces clear and putting everything in its place you will be able to concentrate on the things you want to do and not be distracted by the clutter. It also means that your area looks tidy and you favorite stationery items or keepsakes can take pride of place. By being clutter free your office space will already look so much better, and its free. Although it can take a bit of time, it really does make a big difference.

Get organised. 

Put everything in its place. I made folders for all my paper documents; bank statements, car documents, tax stuff, you name it! It will hopefully make it much easier and quicker to find documents when I need them. For other bigger items you can use labelled boxes. 

If your boxes are looking a bit plain you can cover them in decorative paper or paint them to fit in with your colour scheme if you have one. I also like to use clear plastic boxes like the one below, as you don't need to open them up to see whats inside.

Get creative with storage solutions. 

Finding storage solutions can be fun! I used a cutlery tray (below) to display my washi tape and stamp collections. You can find cutlery trays in charity shops, carboot sales or your local discount stores. Another one of my favourite ways to store small stationery items is to use jars (like pasta sauce jars). Just wash them thoroughly and paint the lids or cover them with fabric like I did for my tutorial on Adventures and Tea Parties blog a while back. You can also decorate the outside of jars by covering them with decorative paper or applying washi tape/ribbon around them.

Keep nice things on display. 

Get out all the things you need to have in your office as well as the things you would like to have on display. These could include; your favourite stapler, decorative items or keepsakes that have a special meaning to you. Then assess what needs to be there and what looks good, taking into consideration the style/colour scheme you are going for. Remember that less is more, so don't worry about leaving out some of your nice possessions if they don't look right. I have a few items that I really like but didn't include them because they didn't go with the look of the office. It doesn't mean you have to get rid of the items though, they might just look better somewhere else. 

One of my favourite things to have up in my office is inspirational quotes, you may have figured this out already by my looking at my notice board. I find they help to keep me motivated to get things done. I'm often tearing them out of magazines and buying new quote postcards from places like Paperchase. You can also print them off the internet or write them out yourself and put them up.

Makeover your notice board.

Notice boards are a great place to put up notes, reminders and inspirations. Your notice board doesn't have to be boring though. Check out my recent post on 3 ways to makeover a notice board for easy ways to make yours more stylish.

Bring the outside in. 

An office can feel very stuffy when you just have the walls to look at. Incorporate nature into your office by bringing in some plants and flowers. If you are thinking flowers and plants are expensive you are shopping in the wrong places! I was so pleased with how cheap I found some nice plants for. For this makeover I used 3 plants, which only cost me £3.50 in total and a small bunch of discounted Freesias for 50p. I usually buy my plants from Wilko, Morrisons and from plant sellers at carboot sales. Great low maintenance plants include; cacti and succulents. If (like me) you find keeping plants alive difficult you could always try faking it with the artificial kind.

Another way you can bring the outside in is by displaying postcards, pictures or art depicting nature scenes.

    I hope you have found my tips for doing an office makeover on a budget helpful. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments section below, I would love to hear them.


    1. Love it! It looks so bright and cheery! The color scheme is wonderful, too. Nice job :) I clicked over from Instagram, I saw your embroidery hoop with the little pocket...genius :)

      1. Thanks for visiting my blog Channon. I really appreciate your lovely feedback on my office and embroidery hoop. Hope you will visit my blog again x

    2. Love this! Definitely going to use some of this inspiration in my place! I keep looking at that ladder unit and so I think it might finally be purchased!
      H (

      1. So pleased you like my office makeover H. I love my ladder unit, it's great for storing and displaying small items so I would recommend getting one. I am looking to get a substantial storage unit (perhaps a warehouse would be better, ha, ha!) as well to hold my craft supplies, to put in the corner of the office as I have a lot more craft/letter writing things (not shown in the photos) scattered about in my home. The problem with loving crafts, I have found, is that you accumulate an abundance of craft supplies!


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