Dealing With a Messy Deskmate (and Girlfriend)

Dealing With a Messy Deskmate (and Girlfriend)

Gregory Han
Aug 29, 2011

Q: My girlfriend and I share a home office. Actually we share side by side desks and there lies the root of my problem. I'm a bit of a neat freak who likes a clean, uncluttered desk. On the other side of the desk is what could only be described as clutter-mageddon: everything she uses left dispersed and never put away. Do you have any recommendations of how to help my otherwise lovely lady a way to ease into the world of "putting things away"?

Sent by "Neatfreak Boyfriend"

Editor - You can share this post about 4 Steps to a Cleaner Desk, but sometimes the easiest solution is to use a little bit of sugar to sweeten a deal, especially when dealing with habits like keeping desks cleans and organized. These Tapehook organizers by Torafu Architects are a super cute way to tempt even the most ardent clutter bug to hang up their supplies. If papers all over are an issue, give her somewhere to keep them neatly stored away.

Another solution is to change the position of your desks from side-by-side to facing one another as illustrated above. This won't necessarily fix the clutter issue, but it will be a little bit out of sight than when sitting next to one another.

And additionally, if you outfit your desk space with stylish matching stationery like those offered by Poppin, even if she leaves everything out, the mess will look purposely coordinated rather than a visual mess. It's small consolation for OCD neat freaks like ourselves, but it's a small victory when you share a work area (we feel your pain).

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