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Setting up an office at home does not have to be expensive when you get started. In fact, for a mere ten dollars, you can set up the Dollar Tree office essentials that will make each day run more smoothly for you. Setting up these essentials could be an important component of your one-day office makeover discussed previously. This is not to say that you won’t eventually need more supplies, but in the beginning, a visit to the Dollar Tree can inexpensively facilitate working at home. Listed below are the supplies that I consider important in your daily work environment. As your business expands and you need more supplies, I highly encourage two dollar saving tactics:
Check out the specials for office supplies in August and September when all the back to school sales are occurring. I annually stock up on spiral notebooks, pencils, highlighters, paper, journals, notebooks, etc. when I can get them for pennies on the dollar during back to school sales. Walmart, Dollar General, Big Lots, Target and other chains offer supplies at a discount and offer even better bargains after school starts. Remember: Stock up in September.
For all other times of the year AND in September, check the Dollar Tree before you go to the office supply or chain stores to see if they carry the supplies you need. If you have never been to the Dollar Tree, everything is just a dollar. The office supplies are generally high quality and can be ordered online, if you don't have a store near you.
For your first home office Dollar Tree essentials stock up, I suggest the following ten supplies:
File folders are essential for keeping your materials organized and clutter under control. With a home office, you will have to track expenses and file folders are handy for organizing receipts, travel logs, utility bills, etc. So, for example, when you go get your first supplies from Dollar Tree, pop your receipt in a file folder labeled “Expenses.” Even if most of your utility bills are received electronically, you will still have day to day expenses that you need to track. You can also use file folders to track projects in process, to file future projects, to maintain contacts, etc. You will be surprised how much more efficient you become when you don’t have to shuffle through a pile of papers every time you need to find something to work on a project or find a contact.
Even in an almost entirely electronic office, you will need to take notes or jot down thoughts or ideas as you are working. I like to keep all my notes in a spiral notebook so that everything is together and basically accessible by date. I can also skip ahead in the notebook to start a separate section that I might need for a project I am working on. When I keep all notes in the spiral notebook, I always know where to find them – although I might have to flip through a few pages. A spiral notebook is also a great place to put your to do list. I know you can maintain your to do list on the computer – but nothing feels more satisfying than drawing a line through each item that you complete in a to do list!
Well, this seems obvious – you need pens to take notes, write your to do list, doodle, brainstorm, etc. Why pay more when you can get several great pens for a dollar at the Dollar Tree? Dollar Tree has a large selection of pens – different colors (black, blue, red and other colors) as well as different types (ball point, roller ball, retractable, thick and thin line, felt tip). No matter what type of pen you prefer, Dollar Tree will have a selection for you.
My personal favorite for taking notes and jotting down ideas is the almighty pencil. Dollar Tree has both old-fashioned pencils that you sharpen and mechanical pencils. I prefer mechanical pencils, but either one works great for taking notes, making lists, etc.
I must admit I take copious notes and just generally write down a lot of information when I conduct research. For me, writing it down solidifies it in my brain. I find a highlighter is critical for marking important ideas, dates, names, etc. so that they are more easily accessible in my spiral notebook. If an idea or thought will need to be referred to frequently or addressed later, then I highlight it. Overall, a highlighter allows me to be more organized and find what I need more easily.
Scissors are critical for a number of things and it is just handy to have a pair in your supplies. If you are packaging and mailing, scissors can be very handy. They are also good for letter openers, craft projects, cutting post it notes for dividers, etc.
Post it notes
How did we ever get along without these handy little pieces of paper that can be attached to your monitor to remind you of important tasks, dates, phone numbers, etc. They can even be used to motivate you by posting positive affirmations on your wall or be used as dividers to organize your spiral notebook into sections. Post it notes are just valuable to have in your home office.
A roll of tape is multi-purpose for many things. Not necessarily used that often, it is nevertheless essential to have when you need to tape something.
I find that I need staples frequently for attaching, basically, paper to paper to keep it together. Nothing does this better than a stapler and staples. Although you don’t need it that often, when you need a stapler, there isn’t much that is a good substitute. Dollar Tree offers a small hand stapler with a box of staples that will be effective for almost task you need to staple. You can certainly get more expensive staplers at the office supply store if you find that you are using staples extensively. But for most tasks, this little hand model will suffice.
Container to hold supplies
Now that you have your key office supply essentials, you will need a container in which to store them. Dollar Tree can provide that as well. You will have several options to store your supplies. One option is a portable, cardboard Hanging File Storage Box. The storage box is roughly 10x12x6 and will nicely hold all your supplies, notebooks and file folders. For just a dollar, this cardboard box works great. You can use it for storing paperwork year to year and for storing your current work. For some time you will be able to file your paperwork and your office supplies in one box. When it fills up, another one costs just a dollar. These boxes store very nicely on the shelf and have an attached flip top. If you are crafty, it will be easy to cover the box with paper or material to match your decor.
Another option for your Dollar Tree home office essentials would be the plastic storage boxes that Dollar Tree carries. These boxes allow you to store all your materials in an organized fashion. Spray paint or cover with material to inexpensively match your decor.
The well stocked home office for around $10.00
While the supplies mentioned above are probably not all that you will need as your business develops and grows. But, with these Dollar Tree home office essentials on hand you can concentrate on getting your work done. They will also provide you some organizational help. With these few essentials, you can access what you need when you need it. In addition, they will keep the clutter to a minimum once again allowing you to concentrate on your work. Even in a mostly “paper free” office, having these basic office supplies available will help you in your home office.
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