WOMEN
01/25/2012 11:14 am ET Updated Mar 26, 2012

Office Organization: In Defense Of Messy Desks

If you've ever been told your desk is too messy, this may be your moment to shine: A report just published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that a cluttered workspace can actually enhance problem-solving skills.

Researchers at the University of Groningen, led by Assistant Professor of Marketing Jia (Elke) Liu, conducted a series of six experiments examining everything from a subject's ability to categorize objects to their preference for complicated vs. simple objects. The variable in each case was the environment subjects were placed in, which ranged from disordered desks and messy stores to the tidiest ranges of the spectrum. The study found that disorganized surroundings led subject to think more clearly on a variety of counts, TODAY reports,
and "demonstrated that experiencing messiness (vs. not) induced participants to form simpler categorizations, pay more for a t-shirt with a simple picture, and seek less variety in their choices, because messiness activates a need for simplicity."

In a press release, researchers stated that disorder can even promote creativity: "Messy desks may not be as detrimental as they appear to be, as the problem-solving approaches they seem to cause can boost work efficiency or enhance employees' creativity in problem solving."

This summer, we asked successful women what's in their desk. Now we want to know about what's in -- and on -- yours! Are you a proud organizer of pencils or a hoarder of post-its? Send us photos of your desk and let us know why your system of organization -- or lack thereof -- works for you. Tweet pics @HuffPostwomen with hashtag #MyDesk or email a picture to us at Women@Huffingtonpost.com. We'll put our favorites into a slideshow on the site!

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