Having a clean and well-organized workspace is crucial, but I would argue that having a personalized space that is unique to you is of equal importance. Whether you work in a corporate office or have a room of your own at home, creating a space that let’s you work hard and enjoy that work is something we all desire.
Here are a few ways to help get you started on your journey toward a professional yet customized workspace:
1. Have a signature coffee mug
Most offices have a cabinet full of assorted mugs and drinking glasses to choose from in the kitchen area. Whether you decide to stick to the same one each day or bring in a mug of your own for your daily dose of coffee or tea, make your morning ritual personalized with a special mug that can be a cornerstone piece on your desk. Currently I am coveting this mug from Ashley Brooke Designs – try to tell me you wouldn’t feel like a boss drinking from this, I dare you.
2. Fresh flowers bring life to space
There is a flower shop at the base of my building downtown, and about every other week or so, I enjoy picking out a flower to put in a simple vase on my desk. Sometimes it’s a white daisy, other times it’s a purple carnation. Currently, it’s a pink peony (all-time fave). Whatever the flower, having an actual live plant at my desk brightens the space and brings life to an otherwise corporate-looking area.
3. Organizational materials don’t have to suck
While your office probably provides file organizers and office supplies, sometimes it’s fun to have one or two fun pieces among the mundane mix. Head to Target and pick up an all-gold stapler or a file sorter with a twist of color that can add excitement to project sorting.
4. Pick one or two really great personal photos
We all enjoy our vast photo collections that include memories with friends and family, but it’s easy to overdo the photo sharing at work – it can make your space look cluttered and distract from the purpose of the space. It is more impactful to have one or two great photos at your desk that remind you of loved ones or memories of travel.
5. Post work you’re proud of
Is there a project that you’re proud to say you had a hand in developing? Whatever your industry, we’ve all been a part of projects and deliverables that were bigger than ourselves. Post something in your space that reminds you of that project and the effort that was put in to achieve a successful outcome.
6. A little color never hurt anyone
Just like any other room in your house, pick a color scheme for your desk and go for it! I decided to go for warm hues that wake me up in the morning and keep me motivated for the day. Decorate your space with a few minor items that fit the theme and watch the space come to life. I chose a tassel garland, like this one below and our Editor in Chief Lauren has a few in her area as well from Studio Mucci.
7. Display your goals for all to see
Be proud of those guys! Let your goals, big and small, be daily reminders about what you want to get out of your job, and ultimately your career. It will be especially helpful on those rough days when you can’t remember why you ever decided to get out of bed that morning.
8. Add life to monthly calendars
We all have our work calendars on the computer, but it’s sometimes helpful to have a hard copy to quickly glance at every now and then. Plus, it’s one more excuse to add a pop of color and personality to the space! Last year I discovered sarahhearts.com, a fun graphic designer who posts free monthly calendars for anyone to download. It has become a fun habit looking forward to seeing what the next months design will be. Want some added artistic flair? Great news, the 2015 calendar from Inslee is on sale and includes stunners like the one below for June.
9. Rotation is key
Don’t let dust settle on that pretty new tassel garland of yours! Mix up your space every now and then to bring fresh ideas into your work. Switch out the photo in your frame, rearrange where your file organizer is located, even changing your screen saver will help shake things up, all while keeping your desk feeling like you!
However you decide to personalize your workspace, let it be a fun and professional expression of yourself – let it inspire you toward new ideas, happy thoughts, and positive vibes all day long!