Rachel Paige
October 02, 2014 2:04 pm

Your cubicle doesn’t have to be a prison sentence. If you’re going to spend the majority of your week in a tiny space, you should at least make it feel a little bit like home. By no means go out and buy a futon, because it probably won’t fit in there (and if it does, where do you work and are they hiring?). But, there are so many simple and easy (and cheap!) things you can do to spruce up your work station. All you need is a little direction to turn your micro-space into a super-cool work haven.

1. First thing’s first: fix your lighting

Overhead lights are soul-sucking. It’s amazing what a little lamp or a bundle battery-operated LED lights (Save-on-Crafts has some cool ones) can do for your mood.  to drape around your desk. But I bet you can rustle up two spare double AA batteries for your 10-light string of battery-operated LED lights. Yes, these are things you can pick up during your next IKEA trip (they usually start appearing en mass around Christmas time, FYI). They’re not overly prominent, but just enough little twinkle to make any gloomy workspace a little bit brighter.

2. Try some fake plants

Let’s be honest. Don’t even try to maintain a real live plant. Go the all-plastic all-fake route, no one will probably be able to tell the difference. Better yet, invest in some really nice fabric flowers for a charming handmade look. Or, if you’re crafty enough, make your own fabric flowers (this DIY trick is super user-friendly) that you can brag to all your friends about, and you might even have others ask for some, too. There’s nothing like something homemade to really brighten up a small spot.

4. Bobble-heads are important

Unless you work in a super-chill animation studio, I’d suggest steering clear of toys cluttering up your desk. Instead, opt for a very simple bobble head (this site has a HUGE selection–and you could even make one that looks like you!) that proudly displays what you love, whether it be a cat, your favorite sports team, or Mindy Kaling.

5. Skip the boring photos

Staring at the same vacation pictures day-in and day-out probably won’t make you any more productive. So, save those picture of your last cruise for your desk at home. Instead, opt for funny hilarious pictures of you and your friends that might start a great conversation between coworkers. Or take it a step further and test out your photo-editing skills (on this free site) and hang those altered images on the wall. And yes, I’m talking Photoshop, like, suddenly your entire ski trip takes place under the sea.

6. Invest in some fabric

No, don’t even think about trying to sew anything–that’s too complicated. Head to your nearest craft store and pick out some festive cheap fabric (this site has adorable retro and mod styles) and buy a yard or two of it. All you need to do is measure how large your wall space is and staple it to the sides. Voila. You are a decorating genius.

7. Get super-organized

Two words that are both awesome, and frightening: Container Store. Who knew there were so many ways to get organized? Invest in some large, and small, ways to get your tiny little space organized for the best, and organized colorfully. Pick a color scheme, or just go with some mix and match. Even if the only thing you do is figure out how to organize all of your cords and cables, you’ll still be taking a step in the right direction.

8. Invest in cool desk supplies that remind you of toys

Maybe you need a fake face to hold your glasses when you’re not using them. And maybe that face comes with a mustache you can hang your office keys on. Well, then here you go. In case you didn’t know, Etsy is wondrous island of quirky, inexpensive office supplies. Are these items necessary? Not really. But will they make you smile on the regular? Most definitely.

(Images via here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)

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