There’s something about the springtime that makes you want to dust the Dorito crumbs off of your shirt, wake from your cold weather-induced slumber, and actually get yourself together. We all know that we should clean out our closets, donate old clothes that never fit right, and finally get around to hanging up that artwork you bought last summer, but the real place you should focus on organizing is the place you’re supposed to be the most productive. That’s right, your office.
Whether you’re blessed with an actual office with an actual door that you can close to keep the idiots out, or you’re toiling away in Cubeland, smelling everyone’s lunch, hearing everyone’s inane conversations, and getting constantly interrupted by the typical lunacy that goes on at your company every day—there’s always room for improvement.
Here’s 9 products to help you get started. And after surveying your depressing workspace, you need them. Desperately.
1. Create Positive Vibes Mug ($15, The Printed Surface): Okay, sure, your physical workspace needs some cleaning up, but what might be more important is to adjust your mental workspace, other known as your terrible attitude. Does your job feel like you’re constantly bashing your head against a wall and getting nowhere? Get some perspective. Maybe your office provides you with free snacks. Maybe your company provides you with an insane amount of paid vacation days. Maybe your co-workers are a gaggle of smart-mouthed jerks that you absolutely love. Whatever it is, there’s got to be something positive about your job that’s making you stay. If there isn’t, quit and open up that cheese shop you’re always talking about. If there is, focus on that. It ain’t all that bad, right? This mug is emblazoned with your new motto: Create Positive Vibes. No more smack-talking on GChat. No more rolling your eyes in meetings. Get it together.
2. Miracles Don’t Happen Print ($17, Society6): This print, beautifully designed and featuring a quote from everyone’s hero Isaac Asimov (look him up!), is in line with your new positive attitude. It’ll spruce up your office or cubicle, and it broadcasts the kind of philosophy that higher-ups love. Promotion, here you come.
3. Onward & Upward Water Bottle ($44, Izola): The key to keeping a positive attitude is keeping hydrated. Everyone is always carting around water bottles to meetings—you’ll have the best (and most positive!) water bottle in the office.
4. Green Tube Top Lamp ($125, Poppin): One of the worst things about office life is the awful overhead lighting. The only thing worse than that is being in the office so late that the awful overhead lights go off their timer and you’re sitting in the dark, with only the depressing glow of your computer lighting your area. You’re in the office almost as much as you’re at home, so it makes sense to invest in a nice lamp, like this Green Tube Top Lamp. It’ll liven things up at your desk, and improve the lighting ten-fold.
5. Carrot App ($2): There’s literally an app for everything, but rather than spending time molding your Sims FreePlay family into productive members of a fake society, how about you use technology to make yourself more efficient and organized? For $2, the Carrot App will do just that, by turning your to-do list into a game. Complete tasks, get points and level up. Get a certain number of points, you get rewards. That presentation you were supposed to put together for your irritating co-worker Beth? Already done.
6. Days of the Week File Folders ($9, Knock Knock): Even though you read tons of articles about tech geniuses like Apple’s Jonathan Ive and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey who take the term “minimalist” to the extreme, their desks completely absent of any papers, you just can’t bring yourself to do it. You need to take notes. On paper. You need to map things out. On paper. But rather than finding yourself buried in a mountain of paper, come up with a simple filing system, using these colorful, snarky, Days of the Week File Folders.
7. Neon Cork Doorstop ($24 Areaware): If you are lucky enough to have your own office, this means you either a) are some kind of a big shot, congratulations or b) your office hasn’t been taken over by “open office floorplan” crusaders who want to pry the hard-earned offices away from people and plop them down at a desk next to someone they can’t stand in an effort to encourage “collaboration.” Hold onto your office as long as you can, but just because you have a door doesn’t mean that it should be slammed shut all the time. Your office door should only be closed when you’re having a loud meeting or talking crap about someone. Case closed. Keep that door open with this fun Neon Cork Doorstop, and actually make good on your declarations of having an “open door policy.”
8. Wall Pocket ($9, CB2): When you’re toiling in a cubicle, space is at a premium. Your tiny desk doesn’t have room for 42 cups holding pens and pencils and three pairs of scissors. (What’s up with all of the scissors?) Free up space on your desk with this wall-mountable Wall Pocket, which will add a much-needed pop of color while storing your writing utensils. Problem solved.
9. Table Island ($67, Royal VKB): When you walk into the office and set everything down, your sunglasses, keys, wallet, iPad, headphones, phone, and company ID become all strewn about like your bag exploded. Get all the way home without your keys because you left them on your desk a few times and you’ll realize that this is no way to live. Get it together with this Table Island made to hold all of your incidentals.
Amanda Waas is the creator of You’re Welcome, a gift guide site for all of life’s awkward occasions. Her writing has appeared in Every Day With Rachael Ray, Glamour, Time Out New York, AOL’s Shelterpop and DIY Life, and various others. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook and sign up for her succinct, not-annoying weekly e-newsletter for gift suggestions sent right to your inbox.