How To: Personalize Your Desk at Work

I am currently a Designer for an Interior Design firm in DC and have been working here for about a year. Lately, I have been feeling like my desk has become an unorganized mess; quotes and drawings, fabric samples, paint chips, post-it notes, and our client folders everywhere. This morning, I ran to Home Depot to return a switch plate that our client didn’t need and as I was walking to the customer service desk, I saw a stand of succulents. My favorite kind of plants! Before checking out, I convinced myself to buy a mini succulent pot for my desk at work! I have been thinking that I need to personalize my desk for a while now, but I haven’t really motivated myself to do so. There are many days where I am out running errands to running to appointments with clients to my boss, but there are those days where I spend most of my time doing office work and spend all day sitting at my uninviting, unattractive desk. Spending your day at a desk all day, is not the best thing for your psyche…Here are some tips that I will be implementing and I hope you do to!

Organize. This is the most practical step to personalizing your desk. Purchasing containers to hold your pens, folders, office supplies, etc., will not only organize your desk but decorate your desk to your style! Here are some cute ideas for containers for your desk at work…

Add color. Color is going to be the most obvious change to your workspace and will brighten up any day at work. You can add color to the containers or office supplies that you’ve purchased. If you work in a cubicle, then add some colored wallpaper to the walls of the cubicle like in the picture below!

Buy a plant. If you purchase a plant, like a succulent, make sure you get one that doesn’t need a lot of attention. Don’t forget that plants need a light source to stay alive and grow. If your desk is by a window or close to another light source, purchasing a plant is ideal. However, if your not near a sufficient light source, then buying flowers that you leave in water and replace weekly is another option.

Frames and Art. I don’t know about you, but a picture of my puppy, kitty, family, friends, or fiancé on my desk would brighten up any day of mine at work! Maybe you have a child and they drew something for you. Since your refrigerator door is already full of family portraits or something that seems inspired by a little Picasso, save one of those pieces of art for your office!

Check out the photos below for some inspiration!

Jessica Calkins

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I Love You & I Want You…


Lately, Matt and I have been very busy and have had a hard time making time for each other. We both have been promoted at our jobs, we have recently moved into a house of our own, (with a house comes larger bills and responsibilities), we are planning a wedding, we have our growing nine and a half month old puppy and ten and a half month old kitty, and friends and family that deserve our attention and our time! Our relationship has gone through many ups and downs, just like any relationship…However, we are consciously making vast efforts to make time for what is most important, each other. Here are some of our tips that we’ve been trying to implement throughout our weekly schedules.

#1 Remind each other that you are their number one priority. When Matt and I decided that we liked each other and we wanted to spend more and more time together, life was easy. We didn’t have a house, bills, a wedding to plan, animals to care for…It was literally Matt and I. All we did was focus on each other and make each other a priority in our lives. Then we added an apartment to the equation. This came along with bills and stress. Then we brought home Rosie and Moe…and the list goes on. When our relationship grew, so did our responsibilities and stress levels. We recognized that we were putting all the things in front of our relationship and that we had lost sight of why we were even here in the first place, each other. When you are going throughout your week, make sure to remind each other that you are their number one priority and everything else isn’t as important.

#2 Leave work at work. This is a big one! What a lot of people don’t understand is work is not what defines you. It took Matt and me a while to figure this one out. Both Matt and I work in stressful situations. For Matt – he is a teacher for the county and works with special needs students. This job requires an incredible amount of patience and compassion and can leave you feeling stressed by the end of the day. For me – I work in an environment where there are very high standards expected out of me, which I love. Every day is a challenge and learning to balance certain aspects can be stressful. However, when Matt and I come home from work, we leave our issues and stress at the door. Maybe if one of us had a bad day, we will talk about it with each other and help each other de-stress. For example, if Matt knows that I had a bad day at work, he will clean the house for me because he knows I hate coming home to a dirty house. He loves me…

#3 Organize your bills and responsibilities around the house and write them down. Money and bills are a huge factor in a marriage or any relationship that will eventually cause you stress. People will tell you that money doesn’t matter and love is the only thing that matters. That’s not true. In our world, money is what provides you with food, shelter, and peace of mind. It is important to keep in mind that money is only an object and it can’t make you happy, but it will stress you out. What Matt and I are currently doing to organize our bills and responsibilities is importing them into this App on our iPhones and iPad. Once everything is organized, then the fun begins. In order for us to accomplish our goals financially, we have been finding fun and entertaining ways of saving and spending our money.

#4 Learning how to fight. This is another important one. For me, when I get angry, I need space. If Matt keeps arguing with me, I won’t back down. He is the same way. We are VERY stubborn. What we have done to eliminate that aspect of arguing is give each other time and space away. Sometimes, it will only take Matt and I five minutes to smile at each other and then it’s over. Fighting in a relationship is normal, in fact, if you’re not fighting, there is something wrong. What the tricky part about relationships is learning how each other fight and learning what you need to not continue to fight. Learning how to fight has been one of Matt and I’s goals since the beginning of our relationship and we are perfecting it every single day.

#5 Giving each other time and space for yourself and friends. Anyone who lives with their significant other understands what I mean. Spending 100% of your time with your significant other while you are not at work can get on your nerves. It is really important that you make time not only for your friends, but for yourself. In my first point, I said that making each other your number one priority is really important. But there is one exception: yourself. You are always your number one priority, you have been in a relationship with yourself for a very long time. Maybe you just want to relax and get your nails done. Maybe he just wants to go throw a couple baskets in the court for a while. Spending time away from each other only makes you miss that person even more. When Matt and I spend time away from each other, I feel accomplished because I did what I wanted for myself and I can’t wait to get home to see Matt. It makes our time together more special.

#5 Show that you love and want each other constantly. When you are alone with each other, make sure to not only tell each other that you love them, but that you want them. Feeling wanted and needed is something that every human being craves. Reminding each other, whether it is through words or a kiss, do it passionately. Even holding that kiss for an extra couple of seconds can do a lot.

There are a lot of ways of making time or creatively using your time with your significant other. You can even make doing dishes together fun. Or maybe instead of eating dinner in front of the TV on the sofa, you set the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company. Everything that you do with each other doesn’t have to be romantic, however, making that extra effort and emphasizing that time with each other is important to you, is key!


Jessica Calkins