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That Messy Office Contest 2016

Do you find it tough to keep your office tidy?

What if we challenged you to clean it up by Labor Day for the chance to win some cool prizes?

If you can top my messy office shown above, you’re a real contender.

This is an actual photo of my office at its worst just over a year ago. You can read the whole sordid story here.

Yes, I was still writing white papers that turned out fine.

But no, it wasn’t much fun.

I finally decided to do something about it. During the course of this challenge, I’ll show you how my reorganized office turned out.

What about you? Do you have a messy office? Or have you already cleaned up your act?

You don’t have to be a copywriter to enter the contest. It’s open to anyone who has ever had a messy office. And that’s got to be just about everyone!

The rules

  1. We’ve got two prize categories:
    Messiest Office and Most Improved Office. 
  2. To enter Messiest Office, send us a photo of your office as it stands now, along with ~100 words to tell us how it got that way or why it stays so messy. E-mail your photo and description to [email protected]
    The best 5 entries will be awarded the book described below.
  3. To enter Most Improved Office, send us two photos of your office, one Before and one After you re-organized it, along with ~150 words on what you learned from dealing with your clutter and your best tip on re-organizing your office.
    E-mail your photos and description to [email protected]
    The best 3 entries will be awarded the prizes listed below.

The deadline

Your e-mail must be sent by midnight Eastern (New York) time on the day after Labor Day: September 6, 2016.

Hey, that gives you more than 6 weeks to do your cleanup.

The judging

Judging will take place in early September, with the winners announced and prizes awarded in mid-September 2016.

Messiest Office photos will be judged on clutter, lack of organization, impaired function, and poor aesthetic appeal. Your description will help us evaluate your entry.

Most Improved Office photos will be judged on the biggest reductions in clutter and improvements in organization, function, and aesthetic appeal. Your description will help us evaluate what you learned from your cleanup.

Messiest Office prizes (Before photos)

life-changing-art-of-tidying-up-book-coverOwners of the 5 messiest offices will each receive a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the book that helped me get my home and office better organized.

We hope this book will inspire you to re-do your office to bring you joy!

Most Improved Office Prizes
(Before-and-After photos)

1st prize: $100 gift certificate from Staples

1st runner-up: $50 gift certificate from Amazon

2nd runner-up: $25 gift certificate from Starbucks

So get snapping those pictures and get to work on your clutter. We wish you joy in your re-organized office!

P.S. Remember, you can send in your entries until midnight the day after Labor Day, September 6, 2016. And for inspiration (?!) you can read the story of my own messy office here.


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About Gordon Graham

Worked on 320+ white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients from tiny startups to 3M, Google, and Verizon. Wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 60+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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  1. Brenda Spandrio on July 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Hi, Gordon: I won’t be entering the contest — I used to be an organizing consultant known as The Declutter Lady. However, I do have photos of a client’s office that I GUARANTEE that will top any contenders! Just let me know if you want to see them…

    • Pauline Clark on July 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      We’d love to see them. Nothing makes one feel better than to see an office worse than their own!

  2. Derek Little on July 20, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    That’s not messy, you’ve just got lots of stuff

  3. Virginia (Ginny) McGowan PhD on July 20, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Does dog hair count?

    • Gordon Graham on July 21, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Absolutely! A mess by any other name is still… a mess!

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