I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This, But Your Workspace Needs To Be Cleaned Up.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan
5 min readOct 15, 2021
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

It’s October, which for me means fall, Halloween, multiple birthdays, and just general… chaos. And it’s starting to show in my work life, at least physically.

A little backstory: This past winter and summer after moving to Croatia, my three kids were at home with me while I worked. There was a lot of noise and mess and fun around the house. Despite the lack of volume control, it made sense to work in the living room/kitchen space, so I could keep an eye on my kids and engage with them throughout the day, while also meeting my deadlines.

The plan was for our kids to start going to school and daycare this September, and then I would move my flexible workstation to our office/storage room. But shortly before school started, my husband started to work from home, too. Since I was already used to working at the kitchen table, it made sense to move him into the office. But his business has already grown, and it made sense to rent a formal office space for customers to visit, so now our little home office is free again.

I’m a firm believer in my physical space communicating with my mental space, whether positively or negatively, focused or chaotically.

I grew up in an incredibly disordered home, and now that I have a family of my own, I don’t have a perfectly clean or minimalist home — but I see a clear correlation between my family’s mood and the home’s cleanliness.

When the kids’ rooms are clean, they can easily find everything, and they come up with all kinds of interesting games to play. When it’s a mess, they start arguing right away, don’t share, and generally don’t stick around to play for that long. When there’s laundry piled up in the living room or the room is disorderly, the kids bicker more on the couch or argue about what to watch on TV. When it’s clean… they tend to share the TV more, cuddle more, and just relax more.

(And this isn’t just in my mind — I took notes a while back about messes, moods, and behaviors, and there was a solid relationship for every member of my family, including me.)

That said, our main living space has gotten a little haphazard with books and office materials — a stapler here, a stack of books there, a few…

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McKenzie Lynn Tozan

A Dino Poet, Novelist, Book Reviewer, Double EIC, & Midwestern Girl in Croatia. THE DUPLEX out now! https://beacons.ai/mckenzielynntozanwrites