Lots of people assume that in order to freshen up their workspace one needs to drop a ton of cash and devote a huge chunk of time to change things up. This is not the case at all — in fact, here are 5 ways that I freshen my space whenever I'm feeling sick of how it looks and feels (cluttered, draining etc.) without spending a dime.
1. CLEAN it! I like to remove everything from my desk except for the monitor and give it a good cleaning. In the above photo, I thorough cleaned everything you see — the desk legs, top, lamp and shade, mouse and keyboard, speakers, cord concealer (I highly suggest one of these to store all those ugly cords!), chair legs, etc. removing all scuffs and fingerprints. As I placed things back on my desk I considered how often I regularly use each item. Anything not used daily, like a staple remover or stapler, was moved to a nearby cabinet to remove unnecessary visual clutter. What is on my desk now are things that I use daily. I also decided to remove my pencil cup because I have two drawers in my desk when I keep a few spare pens. I don't use pens and pencils daily since most of my work is on the computer anyway so why keep a pencil cup on the desk with a millions pens anyway, right?!
2. SWAP items out. I have an office space at home and I frequently rotate the lamps between rooms. Changing the lamp from time to time gives my office a completely new look since all rooms in my home coordinate which makes this easier. Sometimes I'll use my retro orange lamp, other weeks my turquoise ceramic lamp, still others my giraffe lamp from Jonathan Adler, or a number of my West Elm lamps. I love to play around with what I have so that things feel new without having to spend money. You can swap anything from room to room from art to lighting, cushions, chairs, decorative objects — it's easy to refresh your office space using what you already own!
3. INSPIRE yourself. I suggest using a fabric covered pinboard or corkboard in your office space and switch out the "mood" on it monthly (I switch mine out religiously around the 1st of each month to inspire the mood for that particular month). The above image shows an example of what I mean, it's one I pulled together around a Summer theme. I find that maintaining a board with a particular theme monthly gives me something fun to look forward to — but also a way to redecorate my space with new colors and visual inspiration that is entirely different from the month before. How do I pull together a mood board easily? I have a file where I add all of my clippings that I collect for the month and then I simply pull them out and tack them to the board. For instance if I want to go with green/white/navy blue for August I'll start saving things with those colors all during the month of July and then on August 1 I'll put together my new board.
4. ADD FLOWERS! Flowers are an instant pick-me-up. I like to keep them on my desk regularly, rotating the variety of bud vases that I have on hand in my vase drawer in the kitchen. Sometimes just a simple stem will do, other times I treat myself to a gorgeous bouquet. We're focusing on not spending money to spruce up your space — so may I suggest your local park or field for a few daisies or dandelions? I'm absolutely serious, there's no shame in the humble blooms that grow wildly in your backyard. If you have a rosebush or flower garden then you can find a variety of beautiful flowers to brighten your space.
5. MOVE IT! Your furniture, that is. I was the "space queen" growing up, my mother said she never knew where the sofa would be when she came home from work. That's because her young daughter (me!) loved to move things around and play decorator starting at a very early age. It stuck with me and now I religiously move things around in order to keep a room from feeling stagnant. Place your desk on a different wall or try floating it in the center of the room. Move your bookcase to a different wall. Just play around and see what you come up with.
I hope that you enjoyed your long holiday weekend and these fun 5 tips for freshening your workspace. See you again on Wednesday!
(images: holly becker, decor8)