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The personalities that emerge during an office makeover

By Sahar Moussa

After many years, Kuwait Times is getting a makeover. They started with the editorial department, which is my department. Everyone in the office was excited and nervous at the same time. Excited, because we felt that changes are coming our way, and nervous because we had so much stuff gathered through the years that we had to throw away, declutter, organize, put in cartons and take temporarily to another department.

In the beginning, the staff were looking at their cluttered desks anxiously – some had a lot of stuff while others had little. But when you are organizing or decluttering, it takes time and energy to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

We are all different in nature, and these differences in our personalities are what make our world an interesting place. They help in our growth and development. Life would be very boring if we were all the same. The remodeling revealed some of the interesting personalities of my colleagues, which I have categorized as follows:

1) The hoarder
Hoarders are people who cannot bear to throw away even the most useless scrap of paper. That describes one of our staff members, who had many books, old magazines, expired coupons, an old CD about Kuwait’s currency, a seven-year-old vest for a walkathon, souvenirs, two big dictionaries and files of all her stories published in Kuwait Times. This in addition to toothpaste, toothbrush, extra shoes, makeup kit, perfume, a fourteen-year-old broken mirror, plastic cutlery, phonebook and calendars from 2017 till 2021. She had so much stuff that she needed three boxes to clear her space.

2) The hoarder and collector
Another colleague, who also considers himself a hoarder, kept in his drawers and cabinet old newspapers that have significant front-page stories, personal documents, chargers, headphones, old calendars, mementos, booklets, old receipts, decorative items and knickknacks. When asked if he was the same at home, he answered that his home is overflowing with things. He also considers himself as a collector who collects refrigerator magnets, coins, stamps, toys, miniature figures, tools and matchboxes.

3) The in-between, private and up-to-date
Those people are very private in their work environment. This is the case of one of our colleagues, who actually does not keep any private items at all that are not related to work. In his cabinet and drawers, he kept important stuff such as documents that are strictly work-related, newspapers of his published stories, books and references, which he threw away and exchanged with digital copies updated on his computer.

4) The declutteringperson
Marie Kondo’s one basic guideline is: “If it brings you joy, keep it. If not, get rid of it.” I personally follow her path in my private life and office. I try as much as possible to simplify or get rid of mess and disorder. This brings me peace of mind. Every now and then, I try my best to declutter and organize my stuff in the office; therefore, the packing process was somehow easy and smooth. In my cabinet, there were mainly a few official papers, a few magazines, visa applications, souvenirs that I have collected from my business trips or from colleagues who have left, plastic cutlery and a photo of my son. I felt good because it didn’t take too much energy to pack.

5) The minimalist
A minimalist is a person that intentionally lives with only the things that they absolutely need. They have and are surrounded by few material items. To my surprise, that was the case of several of my colleagues. They barely had anything in their drawers and cabinets. They did not even need a box to put their possessions in. When I asked them what did you use your drawers for, they all said almost the same thing -a few papers that are work-related, stationery, cables, chargers and photocopies of their official documents. That’s it!!

So whether you are a hoarder, collector, a person who loves to declutteror a minimalist, as long as you are happy, productive and creative, just stay the person you are.

sahar@kuwaitimes.com

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