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3 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Setting Up Your Study-from-Home Space

published Aug 21, 2020
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Credit: Walmart

With the back-to-school season looking a lot different this year, you’re not alone if you’re currently rethinking how you’re going to make it work. Whether you’ve headed back to campus or learning from your living room, creating a cozy and productive space to help you conquer the fall semester is a great first step. 

To help you create the perfect workspace, our stylists came up with three setups for maximizing efficiency in the coming months. We sourced all the finds from Walmart (our go-to for everything you need for a study space) to keep everything budget-friendly and chose items eligible for financing with Affirm, a more flexible and transparent alternative to credit cards. Set up these spaces right away and pay over 3, 6, or 12 months. Just select Affirm at checkout and pick the payment plan you like best. No hidden fees. No late fees. Even if you’ve already been saving up for a workspace refresh this fall, Affirm can help you make it happen sooner than you’d thought.

Feeling Creative? Consider a Cloffice

Cloffices (or closet-offices) have been a trend for a while now, but this type of “roll with it” hybrid space is a very 2020 solution. Start by establishing how much storage space for clothing and shoes you’ll need and then consider any leftover square footage fair game for setting up a workspace, creating office organization, or even extra seating. We started with a versatile cube organizer that could be used for storing clothes in fabric bins, or office accessories and decorative accents displayed out in the open. When paired with a standalone garment rack, this solution offers just as much space as a full closet.

After your clothing is moved in, you can try using painter’s tape to define space for a desk and office chair in order to get an idea of the layout of your final room before investing in new furniture. An accent wall or some art can help delineate your workspace from your closet space, and a standing mirror can do the same for your closet area. Walmart also has great deals on laptops, so we topped the space off with a Lenovo Ideapad in pretty Sand Pink. It’s affordable and Google Classroom compatible, which is great news if you’ll be studying from home most of the time this fall.

Budget (at time of publication): $1,891.44, or as low as $175.44/month

Tight on Space? Set Up a Nook

As much as we love a cloffice, we know that reconfiguring an entire room may not be an option if you’re living in a dorm or are just tight on space. But a dedicated nook in any room is do-able for most people working or studying in tight quarters.

All it really takes is a desk, a chair, and some simple decor. An accent rug under the desk will help it feel more like a dedicated workspace, and opting for a desk chair without wheels makes sense for tight spaces. If your day to day involves Zoom meetings or lectures, consider investing in a second monitor to watch them on while you take notes on your primary laptop. Finally, find some wall art you love to make you look forward to using your new nook every day and finish it all off with some hanging greenery to save on floor space. Plants, after all, are ideal study buddies.

Budget (at time of publication): $1,580.38, or as low as $146.58/month

Need a Versatile Solution? Do Double Duty

If your living or dining space needs to double as a classroom or workspace this fall, setting up a versatile learning space is the way to go. This is also a good approach if the workspace you’re setting up is going to be used by your partner or roommates — or needs to change functions throughout the day — since it allows for easy reconfiguration.

If this is your situation, you’re looking for a workspace that quickly goes away. This could mean outfitting your dining room table with ergonomic office chairs and tabletop organizational caddies for desk supplies that can be easily whisked away at mealtime. Or, it could mean using a clever fold-away desk that disappears when class is dismissed. And, if you just need a part-time seating solution, opt for double-duty seating that becomes an ottoman when not in use.

Walmart currently has a great deal on the Asus Flipbook, which we chose for this space since it can easily convert from a laptop to a tented touchscreen tablet for video calls, meetings, and lectures. You can establish individual work stations with clip lamps that won’t take up any surface area and can easily be removed or moved. Also consider some wireless earbuds or even compact desk fans to keep everyone in the space comfortable and productive.

Budget (at time of publication): $1,393.19, or as low as $129.24/month

Affirm is a financial technology company that provides transparent and consumer-friendly payment alternatives to cash and traditional credit cards. Affirm is a better way to pay for the things that make life easier, more fulfilled, and more fun. With Affirm, you can outfit your workspace and split your purchase into easy monthly payments with no late fees, hidden costs, or other surprises. Just select Affirm at checkout and split your payments over 3, 6, or 12 months. Affirm is available in Walmart stores and on on purchases $144–$2000. With Affirm you can plan, outfit, and enjoy your new home workspace in confidence.

Example: On a $150 purchase, you may pay $13.92/month for 12 months (20.00% APR). Loans made by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC. Subject to credit check and approval. Not available to West Virginia or Iowa residents.

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