Soundproof Your Home Office on the Cheap

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If you crave quiet to concentrate, working from home all the time may not be the balm you were craving. Even if you're used to the din of an open office on the job, the noises and needs of pets, kids, partners, roommates, and neighbors can get overwhelming. Luckily there are ways to create some peace in the loudest of living situations, if you're willing to get a little adventuresome.

The New York Times has some advice for frustrated remote workers, much of it highlighting serious investments in soundproofed booths for the home and other expensive measures. There is a much simpler cheat, though, and you should already have the supplies. Noise loves hard surfaces, which is why a concrete room with high ceilings and no barriers gets so loud so fast. The more soft surfaces you can create, the more ambient noise gets absorbed. That makes pillows, blankets, rugs, stuffed animals, and any other plush objects your best ally in the quest for quiet.

While lining a home office with shag carpet and thick towels may sound inviting, it's likely not feasible. Podcasters have a trick that can save your sanity here: Find a small space, ideally a closet with clothes hanging in it, to do your work in. A walk-in closet is best (for obvious comfort reasons), but in a pinch, you can hide under a comforter or blanket in the best tradition of childhood. It's not a dignified or a permanent solution, but if you're about to blow your top because of ambient noise you can't control, give it a try.