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Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a series of experiments to look at how people function in different types of workspaces.

Two groups of subjects, one group was in a clean room, the other in a messy one, were asked to generate ideas for new uses for ping pong balls. While both groups came up with about an equal number of ideas, impartial judges rated the ideas from the messy-office group as more creative and interesting.

“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” said Kathleen Vohs, the lead researcher, who concluded that messy rooms inspired more creativity.

-Journal of Psychology
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My kindergartners would love hearing this; I'd never get them to do clean up


On a slightly related topic, anyone have an idea what to do with second hour teachers that refuse to clean up/take stuff back to the resource room, etc.?  I have started taking things back after first hour, because they just shove it all aside and leave it there, and that's not good management to me. I've been surprised that Awana's and other groups that use the room haven't complained. I have, to the Children's Minister, and nothing's been done.  It wastes time for me to go in and clean up the mess after class or the next Sunday morning to make the room presentable - and the resource room's a mess as well.  I don't have the transportation or time anymore to take care of these things. 


Thanks for reading, 


Ugh... people who don't clean up their own messes! Drives me crazy!


I have a pretty high tolerance for mess, clutter, "creative" spaces... but when I reach my limit, I can't even function until I see some clear space. 


This is a tough one. People have different perceptions about what is "messy" and then there are those who just figure "someone else will clean up my mess." Ideally, the Children's Director would talk to everyone about standards of clean up... we write those into our lessons (although some people ignore it!) Gentle reminders about being good stewards of our space is important. Also, we try to focus on hospitality... how does this look to visitors? 


Another thing you might suggest to the Children's Director -- having a clean-up day. We try to schedule these once a year, but ideally it would be twice. We ask parents and teachers/volunteers to come and help. It's more effective if you have a list prepared and posted in each room about what needs to be done. This is a great time to do the BIG jobs... like organizing your resource room!


Good luck. I feel your frustration!!! 




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