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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

5 Ways to Brighten Your Desk When It's Bleak Outside

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We’re all thinking the same thing: Winter kinda stinks. Sure, the snow’s pretty for a hot second, but the days are shorter and darker, the office is colder (or, if your building likes to crank up the heat, stuffier), and everyone seems to feel a bit sluggish.

It’s natural, but we’ve decided this year we’re going to make the most of the season—which is why we’ve compiled our favorite DIY tricks for brightening up your desk. Even if you’re no interior decorator, we guarantee you can tackle these projects—and add an extra boost of sunshine to your winter blues.

1. Add Some Greenery

Courtesy of Carolyn’s Homework.

If you’re thinking of palm trees all day, adding a plant in your workspace is the way to go. Not only do plants clean the air (which you could probably use in a stuffy office), they’ll be a nice daily reminder that spring is getting closer.

Don’t have a green thumb? Succulents are practically impossible to kill. And you can spruce them up even more with a stenciled gold planter.

2. Display Photos That Make You Smile

Courtesy of Restoration Redoux.

Do you have any photos that make you truly happy when you look at them? Of course you do. Print one or two out and use them to decorate your desk. Take it up a notch by choosing (or making!) a frame that also makes you happy.

3. Have a Colorful Mug on Hand

Courtesy of Burlap & Blue.

Who doesn’t look forward to their first (or second, or third) cup of coffee? Replace that paper cup with a colorful mug that cheers you up.

Don’t have one on hand? Decorate one yourself with Sharpies or personalize it with some old nail polish for a cool, marbled look.

4. Decorate Your Daily Calendar

Courtesy of Minty Green Dream.

There’s nothing gloomier than glancing at your calendar only to see you still have months until your next vacation. So, upgrade what you have now with this personalized one. Even if you schedule everything online, having a cool and fun desk version that counts down to your next vacation is a great way to stay positive all season long.

5. Surround Yourself With Color

Courtesy of Sondra Lyn at Home.

When you arrive at your desk in the morning, you want something happy to greet you. Now, you can’t keep a puppy in the office (though that would be awesome), but you can keep a few colorful accessories on your desk.

Try incorporating bright colors into your office supplies, like keeping your pens in a bright holder or making one yourself with decorative washi tape. While you’re at it, add some colorful pens to liven up your meeting notes (and admittedly, doodles). 

All it takes is brightening up your space with some new pieces, and winter just might become your favorite (OK, maybe second favorite—or, let’s just say third favorite) time of year.