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The Peaceful Cube

It’s not impossible to give your tiny workspace a semblance of sanity.

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Illustration by Kagan McLeod  

1. Think Outside the Thumbtack
Wall-mounted straps take up little room but hold all manner of bright and practical things ($25 at Moss, 150 Greene St., nr. W. Houston St.; 212-204-7100).


2. Boost Color
Enliven a depressingly gray cubicle with color accents like patterned file folders ($7 for six at the Container Store, 629 Sixth Ave., nr. 18th St.; 212-366-4200).


3. Block Out the Din
Rather than nagging co-workers to lower their phone voices, shut them out entirely. Get a good pair of noise-isolating earphones, like the KEB79 earbuds from Koss, which have a mute clicker on the cable for when you do want to hear your neighbors ($70 at J&R Electronics, 31 Park Row, nr. Beekman St.; 212-238-9000).


4. Be the All-Seeing Eye
A rear-view mirror on your monitor not only warns you when your boss is approaching, but it’s also supposedly good feng shui ($14 from Spoonsisters.com).


5. See the Light
“Overhead lights often don’t reach cubicles,” says John Calvano, vice-president of the Levine Calvano Furniture Group. If your company won’t lower cubicle panels, import something sleek like Adesso’s Antenna lamp ($55 at Gracious Home, 1992 Broadway, nr. 67th St.; 212-231-7800).


6. Add an Oddity
“Things around you should bring a smile to your face,” says Ann Bingley Gallops, New York president of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Mika Kim’s porcupine paper-clip holder might just do the trick. ($20 at MoMA Design Store, 11 W. 53rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-708-9700).


7. Grow Something
A bright and leafy, six-inch peace lily doesn’t need much light and requires water only once a week ($12 at Chelsea Wholesale Flower Market, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 15th St., 212-620-7500).


8. Sit Right
For aching backs, Dr. Josh Handt, a chiropractor at the New York Chiropractic Life Center, recommends the Back Vitalizer, which looks like your average chair cushion but keeps your back far more mobile. “A body that’s not in motion is more vulnerable to injury,” says Handt ($60 at Backvitalizer.com).


9. Feel the Breeze
A small fan under your desk creates a little bit of white noise and helps circulate air flow—always good for general health (Vornado Zippi fan, $20, at gracioushome.com).


10. Don’t Get Tripped
Tangled cords signify a tangled mind. Zip all your wires together in a nifty neoprene coverlet ($7 at Tiny Living, 125 E. 7th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-228-2748).


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