Make the most of your cubicle

The interview is over and the call finally came — It’s about time you landed that first job! After all of the hand-shaking and hellos on your first day, you’re left alone at your workstation. Then reality sets in. You immediately realize these tiny walls are going to stare back at you from now on. Every. Single. Day.

Don’t panic. Being new to the adult world, I had to quickly spice up my workspace or else, fear that my mind would go to mush staring at the same beige wall day after day after day. The problem? My new-to-the-adult-world bank account. I needed ideas (cheap ideas) fast.

Here are a few pointers to help make your cubicle a home away from home.

Wall Art

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have some actual wall space to call their own, so cherish this coveted area. Wall art can be expensive and not everyone has the time to cruise store sale sections.

An inexpensive way to express yourself is to create your own wall art using a few craft supplies and a little of your time. For my cube, I bought six canvas squares (on sale!) and painted a design on them that was inspired by a book cover. Twelve dollars was a cheap way to hide my ugly wall.

Another way to achieve a similar look if you’re less artistically-inclined is to take the same canvas squares but staple a cool cloth napkin around it as a cover. Napkins don’t run too much at the store and there are some really fun prints out there.

Shelf Space

A shelf can be more than a storage space for all of that extra busy work you’d would rather ignore. While that is often necessary, there is nothing wrong with devoting a small section of a shelf to yourself.

Bring some of your favorite books to stack. What you read provides insight about who you are and how you spend your free time. If you’re not much into reading, fill the space with a framed picture or something else that represents your personality.

Kerry Fletcher of Interior Design Info’s advice is to err on the side of caution. “Your cubicle should have a professional look,” so leave the entire family photo gallery at home.

Another fun project: go to a do-it-yourself pottery place and paint your own bowl for loose office knick knacks. It’s a simple way to add some color while also being functional.

Desk Lighting

Before those fluorescent lights burn out your retinas, add your own desk lamp to your station. The bases run pretty cheap at Target or Hobby Lobby so now you just need to find a shade.

Blank shades are easy to come by but what about the design? There are some great stick-on patterns available, or if you’re more hands on, you can use sponges and paint to create a one-of-a-kind shade to spice up your space.

Fabric napkins can also be used to cover a blank shade so you get a great design without the designer price.

Plants

Any Feng Shui master will tell you that plants can help harmonize your life, and you don’t need a green thumb to enjoy the benefits of a cube-plant. Go to your local Lowes or search online to find the right one for you.

Megan Cohen of planetgreen.com offers cheap, un-killable office plants such as spider or jade that require little upkeep. “Leave it be on the weekend, or forget to water your plant during a busy hump-day, and a hearty survivor like one of the flora listed won’t even notice.” Plus, some say jade plants bring luck with money, and who doesn’t want more of that?

With these tips in mind, hopefully your cubicle space can become an oasis.

How did you make your office space more interesting?

Photos by yuan2003 and archie4oz.

Casey Schoelen I am a recent college graduate trying to figure out my next step in life. Until then, I'm living life day by day. I'm enjoying spending time with my friends and family, doing some traveling and relaxing, and finally reading a book for fun for the first time in years. I am extremely outgoing and love meeting new people. Everyone has their own exciting story to share. I love traveling, sports, history, reading, Europe, cooking, and reality television. Some of my goals are to visit all seven continents, learn another language, and see the north pole. Every day is the chance for a new adventure.

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