Or how about a Betta fish? When I worked in an office, boss lady gave each of us one for our cubicle. It was nice to have a little buddy. You can get a fairly cheap but nice little set up at Petsmart or even Walmart.
Bright, colorful photos of something you enjoy?
Ugh, I feel your pain. I just switched jobs within my agency and am the delegate of sorts to the center I handle. It's sort of like being the ambassador to a country that was the victim of a coup. Needless to say, the coup-ees did not see fit to put the embassy in prime real estate! I do have a real office, sanwiched between the kitchen, bathroom, elevator and main corridor, but it's about eight corners to daylight.
I'm still looking for ideas. I got a nice bouquet of silk flowers for my desk and threw down a brightly colored rug. What I'd really like is one of those light boxes for seasonal affective disorder.
After seeing the Mo-Neighs and the Metro Meteor paintings, I am seriously considering getting my horse to "paint" something nice and brightly abstract for the walls.
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.
For less flamboyant people, a cute personal desk lamp is a cute touch. comfy wrap or lightweight blanket is a nice thing to throw over a desk chair to jazz the place up and provide warmth when the office gets cold. I did the Betta fish once, the only drawback was cleaning the water in a the office's public restroom. Flowers are good but don't last long, so potted plants may be another way to go, and of course picture-frames. If you pick one or two colors and get all your personal elements (lamp, folders, throw, frames) in those colors, it can pull everything together and look cute.
The little guys are awesome. They're easy to take care of, have cute fishy personalities, and you can decorate the tank however you want. They do require a small heater, a tank that is at least 1 gallon (2.5 or larger is ideal), and regular water changes. But all that is easy and so worth it to have your own little desk pet.
I have phenomenal "bin buddies" people I share cubes with. We take turns with practical jokes....we once replaced all of a coworker's framed photos with pictures of Derek Jeter (she loffs him). I keep personal photos, cards that I cherish, a cheery calendar - even my stupid Kleenex box is a fun pattern. Just make sure to use non-reflective decorations to avoid eye strain.
Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
I still like beanie babies. Just stupid things to have around. I also like a calendar that shows different beaches all year long. And I've been known to have toys--like a slinky or yo-yo. It gives people something to play with. I once had juggling balls in my cubical.
I'm also a fan of things from movies I like. Especially those that mock working in an office. I like "Office Space" movie items. Such as a red Swingline stapler and a small sign that asks, "Is this good for the company?"
Those in the know love it and it makes me happy because it puts the job in perspective. I also love pics of my pets in my cube. They make me feel happy. Especially my horse. I have him on a mug right now.
It sounds funny, but my primary cube decor is having my sweater on the back of my desk chair. It's a big, soft, warm cardigan in a warm, subtle color. It's utterly shapeless and big and comfy. It gets worn maybe twice a year, but having it draped largely over the chair takes away the curse of that big, ugly chair and puts a big chunk of nice color in the middle of those grey/green/beige? cube surfaces.
An idea for cube wallpaper is sheets of decorative paper. It's cheaper at art supply stores, but pretty widely available as scrapbook background at craft stores. I had a coworker who used a circular lamp (some Ikea thing, just a big globe) as light therapy.
I have (of course) pics of my horses and when my gardens are blooming, a small bouquet whatever is in season - right now daffodils.
I don't do live plants, but have found some very realistic-looking fakes for little money. Right now I have a very small terra-cotta pot of blue squill.
Also, if your company allows, and/or you can stealth it, email yourself a pic and use it as a screensaver. I had a small rotating selection and as I am retiring this month will leave behind a pic of one of my chickens on my workstation as wallpaper.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Plants. Pothos do very well under fluorescent light, can make it through your vacation without having to rely on a coworker to remember to water them and they will climb and you can run them around the walls to make a little jungle if you are stuck in the same cube long enough. Be careful not to train them up painted drywall...the suckers can damage the paint. An added plus is that they are good air cleaners and, theoretically anyway, having a lot of them may make a tiny dent in the awful climate controlled office air.
I also have pictures of animals, mine and others that I like to look at. And, pictures of my kids.
I have posters of the different events that we have put on and great quotes... Not a cubicle as I have a window but still like giving it a personal "touch"... also have a note on my door that says: "This is a happy place. If you intend to enter with negative energy, please refrain Thank you for your cooperation!"
Makes my day when new people show up and see it!
Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!