We’ve all had to go shopping for office supplies. Whether we’re teachers, students, homeowners preparing a home office, or employees looking to add a little extra to the big office building in which we work, there are always reasons to shop for cheap bubble mailers, printable sticker labels, sticky notes, writing utensils, paperclips, 3 ring binders, and the list goes on. Because if all of those things don’t actually get us organized, at least we’ll tell ourselves we have the materials to make it possible, right? Baby steps.
Order in the chaos
Ever say over and over that you’re going to clean up your desk or work area, and then a colleague, or roommate or family member comes along and does it for you because they don’t understand your timing? The aftermath is devastating. Perhaps this sounds a bit familiar:
You: “I know I just bought some good cheap bubble mailers. Where are they?!”
Person thinking that they’re helping: “Oh, I put them in that drawer with the other bubble mailers and envelopes.”
You: (over the rumble of thunder, eyes blazing, steam pouring from your ears): “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND THEM THERE?! They’re supposed to be under the pile of file folders on top of the stack of printer paper wedged between the stapler, the tape dispenser, and the Darth Vader bobblehead!”
It’s just not a pretty day for anyone when someone cleans your organized mess and you can’t find your cheap bubble mailers. Never mind the horror when the laser labels go missing (meaning they have ended up where they belong).
Finding a happy medium for everyone involved
Maybe you truly do work better when things aren’t perfectly neat and tidy. That’s fine, to each their own. But when working with others, it’s probably a good idea to compromise at least a little bit. About eight out of 10 people believe that clutter and a messy work environment can severely cut down productivity. And just over half of Americans polled, 57%, say that they will judge a colleague based on how tidy or messy their workspace is kept. Chances are you don’t really care what others think of you, and that’s great, you keep doing you. But one statistic that just might catch your attention has to do with money. Across the country collectively, our cluttered chaos, that often lends itself easily and often to time spent searching for something important, costs corporate America about $177 billion every year. That might be worth tidying up a bit for.
Next time you find yourself shopping for office supplies, think about how you will actually put all those things to use, and then actually do it! Even if you’re desk isn’t perfectly clean (who wants that??), it’s at least a little step in a more productive direction.