Cluttered vs Organized Desk: Which Is Better and Why Does It Matter?

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organized vs unorganized clutter

A cluttered desk vs. an organized desk. Which one is better?

This is an age-old question that still doesn’t have a clear answer.

Most people, you see, have the habit of ‘collecting’ things (and we are using this word in a very broad sense). Disposing of these objects, however, can often be difficult because of some invisible attachment to them. This applies to new and old possessions alike. These objects, accumulated over a period of time, can lead to clutter.

On the other hand, there are those who prefer a minimalist approach by doing their best to not be surrounded by objects of all sorts, personally and professionally.

Our focus today looks at the impacts of a cluttered vs. non-cluttered workspace.

Organized Workspace

Remember all the rage about going paperless many years back? It seems that paper is still an integral part of our work life so try going the less paper route instead.

Do you deliberately make yourself look good so that you can feel good? Of course you do! Having an organized workspace is similar in the sense that a tidy environment can also bring about that feel-good effect.

Here are some other advantages of being organized at work.

1. It Makes a Good First Impression

Appearance never fails to matter.

Having a clean, organized workspace will give anyone who visits you a positive first impression. It presents your business as coordinated, professional, and reliable while also giving others a good impression of you as a person.

Don’t believe us?

Try to imagine yourself walking into a space where everything is neat and tidy. Wouldn’t you just feel a sense of serenity that is likely absent in a cluttered space?

2. Better Work Environment

The tidiness of a workspace is often a reflection of the people doing the work. It can also be a good indicator of the company’s work culture.

A good work environment can also help with keeping keep staff turnover to a minimum and attracting new ones.

There are also instances where being organized is a requirement. Factories, for instance, need to follow a strict layout for their equipment and raw materials to ensure that things are not scattered about. This not only allows for easier access and monitoring but also keeps the work environment safer for everyone involved.

3. Reduced Stress

You probably never considered clutter to be a form of invisible stress but clutter can silently take a toll on your mental health. This goes beyond objects like paper and stationery to what’s stored on your computer, including or even especially your inbox.

That’s right.

The inbox and folders in your computer can be just as cluttered up as your physical workspace unless you have good filing management in place. So try clearing up your workspace – even just a little bit – whenever you feel stressed out during work. This, along with a nap, could be just the thing you need to de-stress.

Note: here are some email management tips.

Cluttered Workspace

Let’s hope that your workspace looks nothing like this photo.

Disorganized people are not necessarily lazy, less productive, or even absent-minded. Rather, it could mean that they have their own method of accessing what they need. 

Disorganized people generally keep the more important work within reach, usually stacking them on top of the less important stuff. Having a disorganized workspace means less time spent organizing and filing your papers and more free time for you.

The bad news is that this is only temporary because your stuff will eventually pile up. This applies even to the files on your computer, making it more difficult to find what you need down the road.

Here are some other issues that a messy workspace can cause.

1. It Can Be Distracting

A messy workspace can interrupt your workflow, especially when you have to find something quickly. Those wasted minutes can add up, not to mention the possibility of more clutter being created as a result of the search. This can be especially counterproductive when you are “in the zone” and churning out quick, quality work.

2. Affects Your Self-Confidence

An unorganized workspace can lead to unnecessary frustrations and even wrong perceptions. This is because many people have a negative view of those who are disorganized, perceiving these people are uncaring and lazy. This can, in turn, erode your self-confidence, which can be very demoralizing.

3. Slows Down Creativity

There are people who swear that their messiness helps them in their creativity. This can be true for some people.

For the rest, a disorganized workspace is simply inviting in creative claustrophobia.

Tips for Keeping Your Workspace Organized

organized ideas
Simple, yet effective.

Editor’s note: feel free to ignore the below if you have little to no trouble with the way your workspace is set up right now.

Here are some useful tips for making your working life a little easier.

Keep Your Stuff Inside Boxes: Using appropriately labeled boxes and/or binders to store your stuff is a great way to organize your workspace. Keep in mind that you will need sufficient space to store these boxes and binders, so feel free to discard whatever is not important.

Use Folders: Folders are great when you have things like reports to be handed out or submitted.

Have A Habit Of Clearing Your Space: Try setting aside some time to clear out your desk before leaving the office so that you can feel good the next time you arrive at work.

Get Your Own Junk Tray: Having a junk tray for stuff that are not important or urgent can help you prioritize what needs doing and those that can be left for later.