Does it matter if you are messy or clean?

Albert Einstein's quote on is desk

Albert Einstein's quote on is desk

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Does having a messy backpack mean you are messy person?

Some people are super organized and like to keep everything clean. Others could be called lazy and just don’t care how their stuff looks. Some people can organize throughout a mess while others need it to be completely clean.

I am messy person when it comes to organization. My backpack is mess, with papers overflowing in no real order. I don’t necessarily love my backpack like this, but it hasn’t affected me in my high school career. I don’t lose any papers and I don’t let it spill into other areas of my life.

After being called out for my backpack looking like crap I wanted to do some research. Is it better to be messy or clean, or is it a personal preference?

All our lives, we’ve been told to “be organized.” Organization has always been pegged as a direct key to success. Whether at home, school or in your bunk at camp, organization is something that has been instilled in everyone pretty much from birth. On the other hand, being messy has been equally condemned and made out to be a quick path to failure. I remember back in grade school getting in trouble for being disorganized.

What good can come from being disorganized, right? Perhaps more than you might think. More recent studies, conducted by the University of Minnesota last year, provide us with a new side of the debate. The pro-messy one.

Using a paradigm consisting of one messy room and one tidy room, and a series of trials, they concluded that messy rooms provoke more creative thinking. Most people saw this scientific conclusion on the PSAT.

But there are always holes in scientific tests on people. So I wanted to see how the people at Elder kept their stuff.

The first person I asked was Elder junior Tyler Schutte. Schutte keeps an organized backpack. Schutte said, “I don’t really mean to keep organized. It is more of a habit. I was disorganized in grade school and I wanted to change so once I got to high school I got organized, and now it is a habit. It helps me know where things are when studying and I get good grades so I plan staying organized throughout my school career.”

For a different perspective I asked another Elder junior Zach Beiersdorfer for his preference of clean or messy backpack. Zach is an honors student so I really wanted to hear his opinion. He said, “I wouldn’t really call my backpack messy, but it is definitely not clean. My mom says it is a mess, but I know where everything goes. A couple of the honors guys are the same way with their stuff.”

I agree with Zach on organized confusion. Where to an outsider it looks like endless wasteland of papers, but to him, he knows where everything goes.

I looked for teachers that had disorganized desk, but they were hard to find. I assume there are some, but most keep their desk organized to look presentable and professional to their students.

After interviewing many guys around the school, my conclusion was that go with whatever floats your boat. It is personal preference, some may like clean, and some may go with a messy backpack. So just to stick whatever works for you.

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  • looks messy but has notebooks in sections

  • not exactly organized, but pretty clean

  • papers everywhere so messy

  • messy with crumbled papers

  • very clean with notebooks and folders

  • papers everywhere with no folders

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Which type of backpack do you prefer?

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