Striving For The “Perfect Mess”

Posted On 16 Dec 2015

Striving For The “Perfect Mess”

16 Dec 2015
Striving For The “Perfect Mess”

Candidate Resource

Striving For The “Perfect Mess”

When we originally set out to write this post, we imagined a neat and ordered, science-backed article proclaiming the benefits of a tidy desk. It seemed like a logical, intuitive suggestion, given society’s general penchant for cleanliness and the fact that you’re probably clearing out your desk before you head off for Christmas break.

Boy how things have changed since then!

A quick Google search has left us in a bit of an awkward position. Orderly environments promote social norms, routines and general well-being, while disorderly environments stimulate creativity. Based on this finding, it’s hard to argue in favour of either “messy” or “tidy”. Instead, you should strive for the “perfect mess”…

What is the “perfect mess”?

If you’ve ever argued with someone who can find anything amongst a mountain of paperwork, this is the person you’re trying to emulate! Well, perhaps their level of disorder isn’t the right level for you, but what you’re aiming for is organised chaos. Books may sit at odd angles on shelves, you may have piles of paper all over your desk, but so long as you can find what you need in a pinch, you’ve got the all clear. When it takes you forever to locate what you need, it’s time to start tidying!

What about the end-of-year clean up?

Starting the New Year with a clear desk is like starting with a clean slate; it’s a chance to re-set, shake off bad habits and creative an environment conducive to new ones. If you have the opportunity to do a thorough clean up, by all means go ahead, but don’t feel the need to ensure your desk is this tidy at the end of each day.

Don’t confuse tidiness and cleanliness!

It’s all well and good to embrace the “perfect mess” but don’t let this compromise the cleanliness of your environment. Failing to file your paperwork in perfect rows can be passed off as unconventional, but encouraging germs to breed is just plain lazy. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up for days, sweep away any crumbs and be sure to throw away food wrappers and scraps ASAP.