Let's be real. You probably spend enough time at your office cubicle to now deem it your second home. And whether it's your dream job or not, decorating your office desk can be a way of getting through the day at a 9 to 5 day job. Bland colors, claustrophobia-inducing walls, cringe-worthy fluorescent lighting — it can definitely feel a little bit like prison. But it doesn't have to. I mean why should it? This is still your personal space, where you're spending about eight or so hours of your days, so why not spice it up a bit? Within reason, of course.
Feng shui, as Greatist so succinctly explained it, is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging physical objects to attract positive energy. Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan told Greatist that it goes beyond just decorating — your surroundings impact your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. So personalizing your space and surrounding yourself with things that make you happy and inspire you will surely help you amp up that productivity. Of course, you want to adhere to whatever professional regulations your workplace has set. So try out one, some, or maybe even all 15 of these fun desk decorating ideas to make that office job more fun and in turn, help you get things done.
1. Creative Calendars
While keeping track of time, staying on top of appointments, and following up with plans, it's nice to get a little creative with it. There are so many fun calendars out there — from Lego calendars, to different geometric shapes, to famous paintings, to Origami you can scatter all across your cubicle — there's really no creative limit. Some of my favorite calendars are the ones that give you something to look forward to each day with a positive message, a little fortune, or a goal and/or challenge to set for yourself for a specific day. You know, like when it comes to a day that tells you to "treat yo'self," you can then justify every nonsense purchase and extra roll of sushi you order that day because, well, the calendar said you could. You're welcome.
2. White Board/Bulletin Board
Especially if visualizing things helps you learn and remember things, these are great little additions to throw into your cubicle as a fun way to stay on top of things. You can write or post messages and reminders for yourself, stick things on that you come across, and maybe even dabble with some of those poetry magnets if you opt for a magnetic board. This is like your high school locker upgraded to a whole new level of professional awesome.
You may not have many leather-bound books and your cubicle may not smell like rich mahogany, but, fellow bookworms, I know you can appreciate the simple joy that is being surrounded by some beautiful books. Even if you can only ever really crack them open during one of your solitary lunch hours. Stack a few of your favorites or some of your current reads along your cube walls, throw in some super cute bookends, and you're one step closer to transforming that office cube into a majestic study of the utmost sophistication. Next step is the leather armchair.
Since you can't be outside soaking in that glorious sunshine and budding greenery, let the nature come to you. Plants are a perfect way to spruce up the industrial, corporate dreariness that can sometimes take strong hold. In fact, The Guardian pointed to a study that concluded that plants in offices increase happiness and productivity among employees. Try opting for some cubicle-friendly plants that are super low maintenance like a cactus, spider plant, or a peace lily. Let your garden of productivity flourish, friends.
If florescent lighting makes you want to die just a little bit inside, like most of the human race, it's time to invest in a nice little lamp to add more warmth and mood lighting to your space. In fact, it's about more than just being more pleasing to the eye. As explained on Lifehack, lighting designers recommend that desk workers rely on two light sources for their offices: a general indirect lighting source to generally brighten up a room and “task lighting,” a small direct light source, like a mini lamp. Halogen bulbs are better for detail work because halogen renders colors with a clarity that other types of lighting often lack. You can kiss those headaches and midday dozes goodbye.
6. Personal Mug
Make your office feel more like home by bringing in a personal mug, especially for that complimentary office coffee and tea. Not blessed with those goodies? That's OK. How about bringing in a French press? It's not as pretentious or obnoxious as it may sound, I promise. But you can totally set yourself up a nice little refreshment station for those extra rough hours that simply call for it.
A surefire hack to make a small space seem larger is to add a mirror to your cozy little cube. You’ll be surprised at how much it really opens it all up. Plus, it’s a convenient way to touch up and keep yourself looking fabulous throughout the day. Or maybe use it as a rear-view mirror to creep on your cute coworker who happens to be in your line of sight. What? Who said that?
No matter how comfortable your office chair may be, having your own personal little pillow totally changes the game. Your bum will thank you after the long work day, and you can have fun with the design to easily brighten up the space.
9. Wall Decor
Tackle those boring bland walls with whatever your heart desires — just keep it office-appropriate, obviously. Photos of your family and friends, your dog, your favorite places around the world, avocados — anything that can pick you right up from that afternoon slump. And have fun with it! You can look for cute frames or try one of those nifty photo clip string sets all the hip kids seem to love so much. Or maybe instead of photos, you can tack on a few postcards, a page from your favorite magazine, or even use your office supplies as decor. Cubicle Bliss offered some great tips for small office organization ideas that are both practical and pretty.
10. Area Rug
Floral Rug, $70, Pier1
Because that heinous office carpet that's not-quite-blue and not-quite gray is a total eyesore reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland. Yeah, it's that bad. Cover that atrocity up by personalizing your space with your own choice of a neat little area rug. According to Lifehacker, since this is one of the areas that constitutes the greatest area of your small space, customizing your floor is a great way to upgrade your workspace.
11. Knick Knacks
OK, now unless you work in a thrift shop or your good ole country store, careful not to overdo it. That being said, sprucing up some of your desk space with some figurines or nostalgic souvenirs is always fun.
12. Word Of The Day/Quotes/Mantras
I'm all about that daily inspiration and personal growth. Try to get your hands on one of those packages that come with a bundle of post-its, a stack of cards, or some other tangible form. It's so much more worthwhile when you can pull from them every day, like a nice surprise for yourself that you can then place somewhere you can see. Or maybe collect a few you already love and put them in a pretty jar or box that you can pull from whenever you want. It's always nice to have those daily reminders to keep your head up.
13. Colorful Office Supplies
Though a self-proclaimed monochromatic minimalist, I too have eventually succumbed to the irresistible temptation of color in my cubicle. Stocking up on some more vibrant office supplies is a super subtle and easy way to liven things up at your desk. Purple staplers, zebra-patterned paper clips, fun colored filing folders — it's wild, I know. But not only does it make organizing more enjoyable, it also makes it a lot easier.
14. Fun Storage/Organizers
Like the aforementioned office supplies, there are so many creative desktop accessories to help keep you organized that aren't completely dull and boring. Try something like these lab-inspired test tube organizers or this memo-saurus desk organizer from ModCloth. Stacking paper clips and storing memos is about to become your new favorite thing.
So since there's no place like home, there's no reason you can't bring it to your office and make the most of your cozy cube. You'll want to hang and do work all the time! Alright, maybe not. But at least you'll have a memo-saurus.
Images: Giphy; Courtesy Brand; abeautifulmess/Instagram