Dave Caolo defends the messy workspace:

How tightly organized should I be? Enough to pass a white glove test? No. That’s not going to happen, and imposing that ideal on myself is actually counter-productive. So, I stay organized enough to achieve my goals. Today, I achieve what I’m after, stacks and all. I’m OK with it. I have things I love around me, like photos, drawings and Disney Vinylmations. It’s working and, more importantly, I am.

When I was young my grandmother’s house was kept like a museum. It was gorgeous and sterile. My office is a working space. Stuff gets done, and dust is raised. Detritus is strewn about. Like a potter who goes home with clay on his jeans, I get messy when I work.

But the result is beautiful.

At what point does a focus on simplicity, minimalism, and structure stop being productive and turn into a distraction?

And speaking of workspaces, From the Desk of… is an interesting project that showcases the desks and work habits of real creators, as they are, messy or otherwise. Some recent entries here and here.