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Life in the Office: The Complete Guide to Making Cubicle Life Nice

By — One of many DIY blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

I remember when I first started working here. I was fresh out of college and geeked to have a real adult job.

“I’m in a cubicle, and everything!” I boasted to my friends.

Unfortunately, as the novelty of being in an office wears off, the tone tends to change:

In a cubicle, and everything. Vs. In a cubicle, an everything.

Kyle McCarthy recently wrote a great article on this very subject, ("Combating the Cubicle" check it out !) and it’s true what he says in it - “Not only do cubicles close off the potential for close teamwork, but they also have a tendency to leave employees feeling slightly lethargic due to the drab nature of their construction.”

Cubicles can isolate you and leave you feeling, quite literally, boxed in. That’s the bad part. The good part however, is that cubicles allow for some privacy and comfort at work. After all, whether we like it or not, for those of us that do the full 40 hour, 9 to 5 gig, our cube is probably the place we spend most of our waking time.  We might as well make it homey!

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to combat the cubicle blues and make office life nicer. Here are just few of many great ideas out there. Take some of these tips and treat yourself OR pick them up for the cube dweller in your life this holiday season!

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In Erin's Cube:

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Before and After Cubicle Makeover Picture

Cubical Decorating Tip: Get Rid of the Gray - Cover Wall in Fabric! I got the fabric in my cube froma

Get Rid of the Gray - Cover Wall in Fabric! I got the fabric in my cube from a "Really, Really Free Market" exchange. It used to be curtains which means for me, Fabric= FREE. If you're not lucky enough to have such a thing near you however, you can still snag lots of great fabric without spending a ton at a fabric store. Check out garage sales and thrift stores and open your mind. Sheets and curtains can usually be purchased for $3 or less!! I used T-pins to put it up. (You should too.)

Cubicle Decorating Tip: Display Art That Makes Your Happy: Cheapie Trick! Check out your local book store in March for deeply discounted calanders. You'll get poster-quality prints at a great price. The Mucha print here came from a callender I bought for $3. Another great way to get art- check out garage sales and thrift stores for art books! OR, you know, you can alsways just the ol' printer.

Cubical Decorating

Display Art That Makes Your Happy: Cheapie Trick! Check out your local book store in March for deeply discounted calenders. You'll get poster-quality prints at a great price. The Mucha prints here came from a calender I bought for $3. Another great way to get art - check out garage sales and thrift stores for art books! OR, you know, you can always just  use the ol' printer.

Cubical Decorating

Cubical Decorating

Cubical Decorating

Cubical Decorating

My Epic Cube Garden. It's been scientifically proven that people are happier and healthier when they can view green plants in their home, workplace and school! I used plastic storage containers for my flower beds (In the back row, the top containers are being stacked on top of upside down containers, but obviously that's not necessary..) Cube gardener tip: Choose shade-loving plants or you'll have a lot of dead foliage before long. Bright office light is not the same as sun - and it's also not the same any sort of pleasant light, so get yourself a lamp.

I like having my lava lamp both because it moves around and looks cool and because of the ritual of it. I turn it off when I leave and back on when I get back in in the morning. I feel like my day has officially started once the wax blobies start doing their thing.

Cubical Decorating

Get a Cute Container for Extra Storage. Confession: I may LOOK like a neat freak, but I'm actually just an expert mess-hider. My cubicle drawers are junk drawers chock-full of stuff, but I don't like the ugly piles out on display. Solution - a neat storage container I can push out of view. Guys - you don't need to get the cutesy flower box. There are plenty in simple neutral colors.

Cubical Decorating

Go Vertical to Make the Most of a Limited Space. I have more beautiful green going on top of my computer. It's directly behind my screen so it's prime cubical retail! (Just take them off to water so your IT guy won't kill you.)

Cubical Decorating

Cubical Decorating

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But enough about me: What do you other cube-dwellers say? What's your must-have accessory? What's in your cubicle pantry?

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Steven Howland

Steven Howland - graphic designer

Laura HoggLaura Hogg - blogger for NatuREport and The Joyful Fox

Katie MitchellKatie Mitchell - blogger for Human Textuality

I would add fruit snacks, hot cocoa and instant apple cider to that list - and mention the importance of a "cubicle medicine cabinet." You're probably not going to need anything listed  here on an every day basis, but one day you will need them, and you'll be glad you have them when you do!

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The Complete Cubicle Medicine Cabinet

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A Minimalist, Huh? You'll At Least Need These Bare Cubicle Necessities

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star trek mug   precsion v5 pen  red leather notebookheadphones

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What did I forget? What's in your cube pantry? How do you decorate your cube? What's your must-have cube item? Inquiring cube-dwellers must know!


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