Personalizing your workspace is crucial when it comes to maximizing productivity and creativity. One simple Pinterest search brings up a plethora of ideas and inspiration for designing your own space. And while it may at first seem trite, having the freedom to create your own office environment can make your work time much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

Whether you are designing an at-home workspace or looking to put some personal touches on your office cubicle, here are a few tips for building your own unique work haven.

Consider location.
For a home workspace, take into account the amount of quiet you will need while you work. Do you need a small nook that is out of the way of the regular household traffic? Or are you just looking to take care of some tasks while keeping an eye on the kids across the room? Do you need a lot of natural light or is a darker, more moody environment ideal? Find the perfect nook in your house or apartment and claim it.

Most company offices are filled with dreary fluorescent light. If you’re unable to move your desk closer to a window, consider bringing in a small lamp. The cozy lighting will instantly warm up any cubicle.

Recognize your organizational style.
Some of us are organized down to the last paper clip in our desk drawer. Others of us work best in a messier space, but we still know where everything is! It’s important to acknowledge which type you are and embrace it. Trying to be extremely organized when you actually work best in controlled chaos can lead to added stress and, as a result, an aversion to your workspace.

If your office is in an open area of your house or apartment and you’re worried about your mess being on display, keep an empty drawer nearby. If someone stops in or you have a dinner party, give yourself permission to take all the papers and knick-knacks that are currently on your desk and pile them into the empty drawer. When your company leaves, you can take it all back out.

If you’re the more naturally organized type, take time to list all the things you want to keep in your workspace. Once you know exactly what your workspace will contain, invest in some cabinets, bookshelves, or other furniture pieces that will allow you to organize everything exactly the way you want it. My mom always keeps a nail file at her desk so that she doesn’t have to go in search of one every time she chips a nail.

Your workspace should be designed to save you time and increase your efficiency.

Keep the important things close.
Take note of the tools you use most often in your work and give them a place within easy reach. Perhaps you’ve found the cutest pen pouch and just can’t live without it. So, you put all your pens in the pouch and place it in one of your desk drawers. This could work just fine if all your work is digital, but if you’re a pen and paper kind of gal, you’ll want your pens to be more easily accessible. Sub that pen pouch for a cute copper desktop pen cup and instantly have a writing utensil at your fingertips at all times. Not only will it make them easier to grab, but you’ll be more inclined to put your pens away when you’re finished.

My mom always keeps a nail file at her desk so that she doesn’t have to go in search of one every time she chips a nail. Your workspace should be designed to save you time and increase your efficiency. Find what works best for you.

Don’t keep things that don’t work well for you.
Have a stapler that is always jamming? Buy a new one or ask your supervisor if there are any extras in storage. Have a desk chair that hurts your back? Scour local garage sales or thrift stores for something more comfortable. Take every opportunity to decrease stress by making sure the things you need are fully functional and helpful.

Find your inspiration.
Whether you’re designing websites or building spreadsheets, everyone needs some visual inspiration. If your cubicle feels stuffy or barren, find some beautiful photography of nature and invest in some frames for your desk. Or, put up a bulletin board where you can pin up quotes, family pictures, or magazine cutouts. For an at-home office, keep a record player and some vintage vinyl next to your desk for auditory inspiration. Or, maybe try rolling some chalkboard paint on one of the walls so that you can change things up every day. Whatever it is that speaks to you, make sure it finds a place in your space.

Bring the peace.
No one wants to work in a stressful environment. If the company office around you is chaotic and fast, make your space a personal retreat. A great way to do this is by adding plants. Surround yourself with things that make you happy — a coffee mug that you got during your last vacation, a clay art project made by one of your kids, some dried flowers from a special date — all of these things will help to create a relaxing and welcoming environment.

What kinds of things have you incorporated into your workspace to make it your own?

Image via Urban Koi


  1. This is so helpful! I’ve been a temp and part time at an office that is stark and boring, but I’ll use these tips to personalize and cozy up my cubicle when I go full time next week. Will look into plants that can survive without much natural light.

    1. So glad you found this info helpful, Faith! Having an inviting work space is such a game changer! 🙂

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