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Upgrade Your Desk Space for Under $100

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January 23, 2019

Whether you’re Mr. Disorganized, the person with a shrine to office gag gifts, or the mysterious type whose desk is completely empty (chills), you might benefit from putting fresh eyes on your workspace this January. We’re not saying you need to Mary Poppins the place or anything, but there are several advantages to sprucing up your grind environment.

 

One: it makes staring into the void of your computer for 8-plus hours slightly more tolerable. Two: Your boss will see you as someone who has their life together, someone deserving of even more office real estate (see where we’re going with this?). Three: It will help your productivity. When you’re not looking for lost receipts or dealing with dead devices, you’re working on what really matters. Or, you know, sharing premium GIFs with coworkers on the office chat.

 

Here, we dispense several easy ways to spruce up your space with an hour or Marie Kondo–like organizing and a $100 budget for new swag.

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Poppin’s hanging file box, $19.99 / The Container Store

Create a System for Papers

Whether you’re addicted to printouts or recycle 90 percent of what gets handed to you, you need a system for filing away physical documents, reports, receipts and the like. Poppin’s hanging file box is the right size for most digital-minded workers. And yes, it’s incredibly stylish, but we’re still going to encourage you to tuck it into a drawer. When it comes to desk décor, less is more.

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Three by Three metal drawer organizers, $14.99 / The Container Store

Organize Your Supplies

Do not underestimate the power of a well-stocked yet thoughtfully edited desk drawer. We’re not just talking about staples here, but chargers, pens, deodorant, mints, a lint roller, you name it. The trick is to stock only what you need (or what will save you in a personal hygiene emergency), not squirreling away 600 paperclips when you use, at best, three a year.

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Society6 Yeah! art print (8 x 10), $25.99 / Society6

Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Your desk is clear, your drawers are organized, now comes the fun part: Swag. A politically correct yet motivating print can do a lot to make your precious vertical real estate feel less “correctional facility,” more “creative hub.” Art startups like Society6 make the process cheap and easy—or just print something in the highest res from the internet.

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The Sill Pilea peperomioides plant in planter, $23 / The Sill

Perk Up with a Plant

Speaking of positive vibes, you need a plant by your side. Plants fill empty desk space and make your whole environment feel like home. If you’re someone who struggles with the office blues, they can also be a good reminder of life outside the fluorescent lights. Just be sure to buy one that’s meant for indoor life and needs little in the way of water. A dead desk plant is a metaphor you don’t want to put out there.

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IKEA Sammanhang tray, $2.99 / IKEA

Corral Miscellaneous Desk Debris

A cool tray or catchall is a good way to round out your workspace’s home-sweet-home vibes while also corralling anything you absolutely need on your desk at all times into one tidy collection. Think: A pen, your glasses, your cell. Resist the urge to display every last desk accessory at your disposal. Unless you use a three-hole punch daily, it doesn’t belong on your desk. Stick with the stuff that you reach for frequently while you work.

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West Elm bedside carafe, $16 / West Elm

BYOG (Bring Your Own Glass)

Bringing your own drinking vessel to work is borderline pretentious, we will admit, but if it helps you hit your H2O goals, keeps your space looking sharp, and makes you feel a little more at home, who TF cares. This carafe and glass combo is deeply stylish, but pick the drinking receptacle that speaks to you.

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