Time to clean the room inside your head

February marks six months since I started my blog, Cowgirl in Paradise. During that entire time, I’ve had the great fortune to be sponsored by National Business Furniture (NBF) and they’ve never asked me for a thing, except to be my authentic self. I know it’s a sweet deal and I’m grateful.

Through February, NBF is running a campaign called Clear the Office Clutter. Most people aren’t 100 percent sorted out so it’s always a good thing to talk about. The company has designed a quiz to figure out your “clutter personality” and a downloadable e-book with ideas for each type.

What if this doesn’t apply to me?

Note to my readers: Yeah, I know how that sounds.

I decided to take the quiz for myself. Why not? It was indeed helpful, but not in the way I expected. You see, I’m not disorganized at work. It’s true! I practically invented “paperwork reduction,” I always take the time to save images and documents where they belong, I actually use my timekeeping app, and I keep my emails grouped by category and priority. My phone contacts are up to date. Even my to-do list is in my calendar.

Don’t hate me because I’m tidy. I wasn’t born with it, I learned the hard way like everyone else. Which is great for work, but hasn’t entirely translated over to organizing the myriad competing priorities that are part of adult life.

If things seem great on paper, turn the page.

Last Friday, for example, was a little extra crazy. A pipe in my boiler furnace froze and burst, shutting down all heat to the upstairs in the throes of a polar vortex. Soon after, I got word that my stepdaughter hadn’t received some money I’d sent. My elderly dog slipped on the porch steps and it freaked us both out. I still had paperwork to finish for the the sale of my hometown home in Milwaukee, and I had an evening dance class that couldn’t be missed. When my dance partner/handsome date picked me up, though, I was dolled up and all smiles. As far as anyone could tell, I’d had a great day.

Now I saw the quiz in a whole new light. If I replace the word “office” with “mind,” it totally applies. It turns out that I am The Hider. If no one can see it, there isn’t a problem.

I decided to test the idea per the e-book’s recommendations.

From “Clear the Office (Mind) Clutter and Boost Your Productivity (Mental Clarity)”:

Driven by the need to store things away, Hider personalities like the idea of order but struggle with ‘editing’ (sorting out) their collections of stuff (thoughts, feelings, emotional priorities). Any drawer or bin will do nicely, but they are generally filled to the brim. (I have nothing to add to this statement. It’s perfect.)

Clutter Solutions for Hiders

  • Look for opaque and enclosed storage solutions, like file wallets and pockets (Or meditation and long walks in the woods)
  • Subdivide your files and drawers into smaller sections (Don’t try to deal with all your concerns at once)
  • Use guides or classification folders to keep your hiding places better organized (Remember that everything is not equally important, and some things are out of your control)

It’s good advice for a messy workplace or a crowded mindspace. When you feel overwhelmed by your space at work or by everything that’s on your plate, what’s your coping style? Let’s start a conversation.



Who wants $5,000 worth of new office furniture? Enter National Business Furniture’s #ClearTheOfficeClutter” contest for your chance.



Reader Interactions

No trolls, please.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.