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10 Home Office Essentials to Help You Kick Off a Productive Year

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Working or studying from home has many advantages, including personalizing your workspace with the best home office supplies. You don’t have to stick with the cheap pens or wide-ruled notebooks in the office supply closet, or the bargain planners from Staples that you rebuy every semester. Instead, you can use these 10 essential home office supplies to kick off a productive year with a workspace that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

If you invest in yourself this year, your productivity will soar. See if anything on this list could help you keep your focus, get a bit more comfortable, or organize your tasks more efficiently during the workday. You’ll never look at your home office or study space the same way again!

An ergonomic office chair

Your posture creates or prevents daily aches and pains, and the right chair makes good posture effortless — even during the longest workdays. If you struggle with lower back or neck pain, get updated physical measurements so you can buy a chair that adjusts to fit your exact size and height. You’ll know you’ve found the right chair when it utilizes neck and back support in the size you need — it’s a big relief not to feel slumped over or too rigid while you work.

For a classic desk chair without any frills, try this mesh office chair (Wayfair, $176) with padded arms and great lumbar support. Or try this ergonomic task chair (Wayfair, $119) from the Brand Inbox Zero (a fitting name, right?) in a minimalistic black and white color scheme.

A keyboard wrist pad

It’s challenging to type all day when your wrists are pressed against your desk. Avoid this annoyance by finding a keyboard wrist pad that cushions your bones and promotes blood flow to your fingers. It’s one of the best supplies for your home office because it offers immediate relief that lasts for years. Plus, it helps save your hand power for other tasks — if you do hands-on hobbies like art, music and writing in addition to work or school (like I do), taking care of your wrist and hand health is essential.

For the most simple and functional option, try this Belkin gel wrist pad (Amazon, $11)—which, with Prime shipping, is also the fastest answer to more comfortable typing. If you want a wrist pad that’s a bit more colorful, this purple gel one (Target, $12) or this floral one (Etsy, $18) will add a bit more flair to your desk setup.

A 2021 daily planner

It’s challenging to stay ahead of deadlines without a planner. Explore your options and see which ones interest you, like daily, weekly or monthly variations. Daily/weekly planners are my personal favorite because they give me the paper space I need to plan multiple tasks per day — but your best pick is based on your own work/study style. With the right planner, you’ll always know what you should tackle next just by reaching across your desk.

If you enjoy elegant, sophisticated designs to spruce up your desk aesthetic and inspire you, try this breathtaking daily wildflower planner (Papier, $29), or keep it straightforward and classy with this blue weekly planner (Target, $20). If you’re searching more for function and sustainability, this simple academic planner (The Classroom Store, $9) helps you stick to a weekly schedule — and it’s made from 100% recycled materials, so you can feel environmentally and academically responsible.

A set of fresh ballpoint pens

Everyone should have fresh ballpoint pens ready and waiting for them. You never know when you’ll need one to take notes during a video call or scribble down an idea. The best pens won’t leak ink or bleed through the page, saving you time and space to record what’s important for your job.

Keep it simple with this Paper Mate pack (Amazon, $6), opt for more personality with these Desert Retractable Gel Pens (Poppin, $15), or grab a statement pen to suit your aesthetic style (Yoobi, $5).

A set of long-lasting mechanical pencils

Mechanical pencils are essential supplies for your home office. You can always refill them and replace the erasers when they wear down with time. This simple but essential item saves room in your budget and keeps your office stocked for moments when you need to adjust something in your planner or write a quick sticky note reminder. Go with colorful and comfortable (OfficeDepot, $16) or uniform and convenient (Staples, $13).

A bright desk lamp

It’s challenging to work when the lighting makes you sleepy. Find a bright desk lamp that fits on small desks and doesn’t take up much room — like this stylish brass Valencia Lamp (Target, $40). You could even find a model with smart features like this wireless LED option (Amazon, $40). LED lights are also a great sunlight replacement, and they’re a healthy choice for any indoor plants you choose to keep on your desk.

A wireless mouse

People who work from home can take their projects outside if they want to answer emails while listening to the birds sing. Don’t let an old-fashioned mouse trap you at your desk. If you use a wireless mouse, you can work from the comfort of a rocking chair or even your couch. 

Grab this no-nonsense Logitech wireless mouse (Amazon, $25), shake things up with this more colorful version (Staples, $18) or go with this earthy bamboo option (Etsy, $24) for a more boho vibe. You can also accessorize with a cute mouse pad like this custom photo pad (Vistaprint, $10) or this minimalist artsy print pad (Etsy, $16).

An updated coffee machine

When you WFH, you no longer have to share a coffee machine with any co-workers, so splurge on something nice that makes the coffee you prefer. If you set up your own DIY home coffee bar, you can even brew a traditional cup in the morning and make a flavored espresso during busy afternoons. Investing in a coffee machine gives you one of the best home office supplies because you’ll use it on and off the clock.

For a convenient two-in-one when you can’t choose between a coffee pot or single-serve machine, try this classic Keurig K-Duo (Walmart, $99). Have more sophisticated brewing tastes? This combination espresso/coffee machine (Target, $200) is sure to keep you satisfied. If you’re looking for a high-quality option without the high price, save and score with this single-serve Keurig (Bed Bath & Beyond, $27).

Looking the comfort of your favorite flavors to give your home space that coffee shop vibe? Grab a long-lasting 72-pack of Starbucks Verismo Espresso (Amazon, $69), or pick up a better value 72-pack of my personal favorite, Donut Shop blend (Amazon, $30).

Comfortable, soundproof headphones

When your neighbor starts mowing their lawn or the kids next door get out of school, you might need help focusing. Comfortable soundproof headphones or earbuds will do just the trick. Use them to listen to virtual meetings or take phone calls, all without the distractions of outside noises. Try this sleek earbuds option with built-in microphones (Amazon, $30) or this simple but effective soundproof headset (Best Buy, $55).

A multi-outlet surge protector

If lightning strikes near your home and fries your electrical outlets, anything plugged in could get fried along with them. If you invest in a surge protector, your computer and other devices will always have a safe place to charge. Upgrade your office by using a multi-outlet model so you don’t have to strategize which electronics get to use your limited outlets for.

While these are just a few at-home office supplies that will kick off a productive year, take some time to figure out exactly what you need for your own personal workflow. Get ahead of deadlines and streamline your work with the right help from new gadgets and tools — whether it’s a variety of colored pens to take notes in or the best headphones around. These items might change how you approach your workday or school day and what you can get done every week.