Working From Home Must-Haves That You Can Get on Amazon

Working from home can be the biggest blessing, but it can also be a challenge. It’s important to be comfortable and productive in your space so you can be an efficient worker. When I first started working from home, I had a really difficult time staying focused on my tasks. This was because I was in my home, with my comfy bed and sweet dog, and I kept getting distracted. Additionally, I wasn’t comfortable with my workspace. I knew I needed to make some changes. Here are my working from home must-haves that truly helped me be more productive.

Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored by Amazon or any of the sellers of these products. These opinions are my own and I have purchased these items with my own money. Even if I was sponsored (which I wish I was!), I would still be very honest with my recommendation of products.

Working From Home Must-Haves

If you don’t know already, investing in home office supplies is very important. In our culture, we work very hard for most of the day. If we are going to be spending eight to ten hours working, we should invest in our environment. Some websites recommend spending $400 to $3,000 on transforming your home office space… Wow! If you read my blog posts frequently, you will know I am very frugal and am always trying to save money. So, these products I mention in this blog post are very affordable for most budgets.working from home must-haves from Amazon

Comfortable Desk

Your desk is where you will be doing most of your work at home, so it needs to be comfortable. Personally, I prefer to use a standing desk, because of the negative effects of sitting down for long periods of time. Additionally, when I was saving up to purchase my standings desk, I got so antsy when I was sitting all day. My body started to ache and I noticed how I would be hunched over trying to see my laptop better. Ever since I purchase my standing desk, I am able to work for very long periods of time without getting uncomfortable.

The standing desk that I purchased from Amazon is the SDADI Mobile Standing Desk. It is height adjustable and is very easy to put together by yourself. At only $70, I have so incredibly happy with this desk and I even recommended it to my mom. I will definitely be holding onto this desk for when I move to my new house.

Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

Along with your standing desk, you will likely need a Bluetooth keyword and a Bluetooth mouse. For me, both of these are working from home must-haves. Not having to be inches away from my laptop’s screen at all times helped my posture and made me much more comfortable. If you go on Amazon, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of Bluetooth keyboards and mouses. I spent a lot of time researching the different products ad looked at prices and reviews. I decided to go with the Arteck Bluetooth Keyboard and the Tsmine Bluetooth Mouse. Both are rechargeable, which saves me money on batteries and are under $20.

With my standing desk, I have my keyboard and mouse on the bottom shelf, and my laptop on the top, set to be eye-level with me. This helps me to stand up straight without having to bend my neck. Both of these products are incredibly inexpensive, so I highly recommend purchasing them.

Laptop Tray Table

I have a couch in my home office for when I take a break from standing. If you have ever sat on your couch with your laptop in your lap, you know how much you have to bend your neck when looking at the screen. This is why I decided to purchase the GreenForest Portable Laptop Desk. It is height adjustable, so you don’t have to worry if it will work for your couch. I will also use this for when I’m sitting in one of my chairs instead of the couch. This is definitely a working from home must-have because it helps my posture so much.

working from home must-haves for home office

Inspiring Decor

There’s something about a dull and boring environment that makes it so difficult to work. When I started working from home, I made sure I had inspiring decor so keep me motivated and focused. While I either make my decor, or I order it from Etsy and Hobby Lobby, Amazon has some great products. I prefer to fill my space with inspirational Bible verses and other work-related quotes. Here are some that I found that I would definitely purchase:

Again, there are thousands of office decor products on Amazon. These were just a few that caught my eye and seemed to have great reviews. Please remember, I have not purchased those products, so do some additional research before buying them. I will likely purchase them because I love them all! Having inspirational quotes or even things that make you smile when overwhelmed with work is a big must-have for your home office.

Fitness Tracker

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. When we work from home, it is easy to only get 200 to 400 steps in before we buckle down for eight to ten hours. This lack of activity is very unhealthy, as movement is very important for our heart. If I didn’t have a fitness tracker, I know I would only get 2,000 steps a day maximum. Since I have a reminder set on my watch to move each hour, I am able to move much more than I would without it. I also make sure I take my dog for one or two long walks each day so I can meet my 10,000 step goal.

I personally have a Fitbit, because I love how fitness-oriented they are compared to the Apple Watch. Fitbit’s products are also much cheaper, and from what I have heard, last much longer. Amazon and Spotify have actually partnered with Fitbit to bring more “smartwatch” features to their products. Their newest watch, the Versa 2, has Amazon Alexa built into it as well as Spotify music. I still have the old Fitbit Blaze, which is no longer sold (that’s how long it has lastest me!). When I decide to upgrade, I will be purchasing the Versa for sure.

There are also very inexpensive Fitbit bands sold on Amazon that allow you to customize your watch. There are all different styles, colors, materials, and patterns you can get for your Fitbit band on Amazon. If you just type in “Fitbit band” on Amazon, over 8,000 results come up. Crazy!

What are your working from home must-haves?

Those are all of my working from home must-haves! I hope you find these helpful for you and your productivity. Each person will need something completely different depending on the space, budget, and job, so I’m interested in hearing what your must-haves are! Please let me know in the comments below because I am so interested, and I know others will be too!

While you’re here, have you read my blog post, “10 Working From Home Tips to Keep You Productive and Happy“? In that blog post, I go through my entire schedule with you and point out what helps me stay on top of my work. If you liked this blog post, I think you’ll like that one as well.

Vote With Your Dollar: Why and How

With the current state of fast fashion, unethical practices, and mass production, the idea of voting with your dollar has been reaching popularity. It’s for those of us who want to see a change and cringe at the thought of supporting a company we don’t agree with for various reasons. This blog post is going to discuss what it means to vote with your dollar, why you should, and how to do it.

What Does “Vote With Your Dollar” Mean?

When someone tells you to “vote with your dollar”, they usually mean support businesses you agree with. This could mean you agree with their working conditions, their devotion to sustainability, the organizations they donate to, etc. Just like with normal voting, the way you vote with your dollar will differ from the way other people do. And that’s completely alright, as long as we all can agree to not support companies who run off of child or slave labor and horrible working conditions (sorry, I had to get that out of the way now).

The way I vote with my dollar is going to look completely different than the way you vote with your dollar. This is why I’m not going to openly state what I avoid in brands and specific reasons I avoid them–outside of those who partake in universally unethical practices. At the end of the blog post, I will add some links to websites and articles that will help you make decisions on where you spend.

Why Does it Matter?

When you vote with your dollar, you are telling companies that you disagree with their ethics. You are telling them that you don’t appreciate them donating to an organization with your money. When you stop funding a business, you stop funding behavior that you disagree with. This is why it’s so important to do a quick Google search and see how a company gets its materials and ingredients before shopping. Here are just a few things companies get away with:

Child Labor and Forced Labor

Many large companies have their employees working under harsh or even dangerous conditions in countries like China or India (see below for a link to a list of all countries affected). When you spend money on these businesses, you are directly funding this behavior. This is one of the most common reasons people decide to kick their favorite fashion company or chocolate manufacturer to the curb.

Funding Organizations

Today, many businesses have taken political stances and donate to organizations with your money. To me, this is very important because I don’t want organizations I 100% disagree with to be funded with my money. Businesses aren’t always vocal about where they donate their money to, so you will have to do some searching. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a company who doesn’t donate to the same places as their competition (phone companies or grocery chains).

Working Around Laws to Save Money

It’s obviously illegal to partake in forced labor, slavery, and excessive child labor in the United States and most developed countries. You may be wondering how your favorite running shoe company, chocolate company, and inexpensive fashion company (cough) can get away with profiting off of slavery. When a company decides to not give Americans jobs because they want to keep 90% of the profit for their products, they usually outsource their jobs to countries in Asia or Africa. Most of these countries do not have strict laws against slavery or child labor, thus making it easy for a company to get around laws.

Most companies hide their practices from their consumers because they know they are partaking in horrible practices. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to reprimand a large business for doing shady dealings in other countries. Luckily, the United States Department of Labor has many different articles about what to avoid when voting with your dollar.

Vote With Your Dollar

 

How to Vote With Your Dollar

The short answer to this is: do your research. When I’m shopping, you’ll see me whip out my phone to look up a brand’s sustainability, employee working conditions, and sourcing. Often times, there are alternatives to businesses who aren’t engaging in, quite frankly, crappy practices and dealing. You will have to put in some effort, and maybe even some more money, but it is SO worth it.

Shop Local

You know how your neighbor’s cousin owns a local clothing store that’s downtown? Go and support them! Okay, maybe your neighbor’s cousin doesn’t own their own business, but my point is, support local families instead of huge corporations. When you shop at a local business, you are supporting your local economy and you are supporting a family. Often times, the items you find at local businesses haven’t been produced through slavery. You can look up the brand names of items while you are in the stores if you are not convinced.

Shop on Etsy

Etsy shops are usually family-owned businesses who have high-quality and ethically made products. If you are looking for handmade items like furniture, clothing, and jewelry, Etsy is perfect. The shop owners run off of and rely on good reviews, so they usually produce amazing items. When supporting a large corporation, your one bad review isn’t going to damage their image, so they don’t put much care into their products. The next time you need something, check out Etsy and see if you can find what you’re looking for.

Steer Clear of Fast Fashion

If you have never heard of the term “fast fashion”, it is essentially cheap clothing that you will throw away within a few weeks or months. Are several brands popping into your mind? Not only has clothing waste increased drastically from all of the clothing being produced, but these companies are usually involved with forced labor as well. It is much more sustainable, ethical, and cost-effective to purchase long-lasting clothing items instead of paper-thin shirts that will get ruined in two weeks. Please look at the links below for articles filled with facts about specific companies.

Support Local Farmers

Most large grocery chains donate their profits to organizations that you might not agree with, or get their food from different countries. Depending on your state, there is a good chance you can get your fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market. Just like with shopping local, you are supporting your local economy, and let’s be honest, 99% of farmers are super sweet people.

If you are a meat eater, you should really support your local farmers. We all know that animals are not treated very well by large companies who are just waiting to sell them. I’m sure many people would disagree with me, but local farmers truly care about their animals. They make their income off of their couple of cows and chickens, so they treat them with respect. The farms in my area are off of our highway, so everyone can see what the cows look like, what they are eating, and how they are treated. So, support your local farmers and support animals being treated fairly.

Check Company Policies

Many companies are open about where they donate to and their sustainability. For example, Sprouts donates their food that isn’t up to their selling standards (bruised or misshaped) to local food banks. When I volunteer at my local food bank, the shelves are always filled with Sprouts products. If it is not up to consumable standards, they donate the food to local farmers so they can feed their livestock. How awesome is that!? Always check the policies of businesses in your area before shopping.

Do Your Research

As promised many times above, here is my big section of links. The information listed in these articles could be inaccurate because fortunately, companies are improving their ethics every day.

U.S. Department of Labor:

Articles on Child Labor:

Articles on Forced or Slave Labor:

Fashion Industry and Sweatshops

Donation Tracking

  • 2ndVote: Lists where each company has made donations.

I will be sure to add new links whenever I find articles and websites. Please leave any that I missed in the comments below! I hope I helped you understand what it means to vote with your dollar and stick up for what you believe in.