Some folks (usually the messy ones) claim that a cluttered and discombobulated workspace is a sign of creativity and intelligence. That could be, but a tidy and sleek work area is a pleasure to sit down in when all files and supplies are in order and there's no chance of finding a week-old, half-eaten tuna sandwich under a stack of manila envelopes.

Whether you're a pack rat or a neat freak, it would benefit you to learn the perks of a decluttered workspace. Giving neatness a chance can confirm that you're just as creative and smart while still being able to maintain a neat office. Tidy up and reap the rewards!

No Mess, No Stress

A big mess can lead to major stress. Missing papers, an exploded pen, and the constant shuffling of junk is unnerving and raises stress levels. As per Online Career Tips, "Just looking at a messy, unkempt workspace first thing in the morning can raise your stress levels."

TriNet concurs, "In a disorganized office, it's easy to misplace documents. That can be very stressful, especially when your boss or client is waiting for you to produce said documents." When things are in place and tidy, you'll never worry where your important files and docs are hiding. No one wants a frustrated boss breathing down your neck as you rifle through stacks of disorganized paperwork.

While some declare they "have a system" to explain away their mounds of who knows what, these are the very folks who are often wasting time and resources, and causing unnecessary chaos. While this may seem like an employee's personal choice, it creates a snowball effect when others need to help them out in a bind or start to feel the collective blood pressure rising. Time is money for business. There's enough to stress over at work. Why make your sloppy workspace part of the problem?

A Wealth of Health

Crumbs, dirt, germs, you name it. A messy area is not only unpleasant to look at, but it can actually make you sick. Many of us eat at our desks to save time and money. If the desk is clean, we can see where food has fallen and drinks have dripped and swiftly wipe it clean. Not so for a messy desk. A wayward piece of fried chicken and a glop of Dijon mustard swiftly disappear in a pile of files and scribbled-on Post-Its.

As Online Career Tips puts it, "Your office may have a cleaning service that comes through once a week, but many are not allowed to move items on desks. That could leave many surfaces untouched for weeks." That's going to make for one funky chicken.

"Your desk could be harboring germs or mold from viruses or crumbs. Make a point of cleaning your desk and computer keyboard with the proper cleaners on a regular basis for the sake of your health," notes Online Career Tips. If your desk's a mess, it's simply too difficult to really get in there and clean properly. Papers may cover up the grime, but bacteria will grow and you can get sick.

Do you really want to miss days of work and potential money because your desk was too sloppy to wipe down and you contracted a cold or virus? It's lazy and some may say crazy!

Enhanced Efficiency

A clear workspace can help promote a clear mind. Unclutterer says it best, "When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you've got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life."

Professional organizer, Seana Turner told Monster, "Knowing where things are keeps you on top of your game. People who pile paperwork often obscure items underneath the stacks, resulting in wasted time trying to find what they are looking for. Filing things where they belong creates less surface clutter — and ensures you know where they're at when you need them."

Plus, it's hard to prioritize when everything's in a jumble. You may even forget to do something because it went missing amidst the clutter. And when you do finally remember, will you be able to find the needed paperwork to get to work?

Along with personal efficiency, a clear area is beneficial to the company at large. As per TriNet, "Your office is a reflection of you and your company. And first impressions count. What do your clients, vendors, colleagues, prospective employees and other visitors see? A dirty break room, cluttered desk or messy reception area does not inspire confidence in your professionalism or ability to manage the finer details." If that's not reason enough to tidy up, what is?

It's time to declutter and re-focus. Your time will be more productive and you'll have more room to make a difference personally and for your business. Why be a mess when you can be a success?

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It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.