LIFE magazine recently released photographs of the day Albert Einstein died. Kept hidden for decades per the request of his family, these photographs capture the last moments of one of the most brilliant humans that our society has ever known. While the entire article about the photographers journey taking these historic photos is a fantastic read, I am most taken back by the first few pictures that show the disorder of Einstein’s desk. Even the best of us struggle with basic organization.
(Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Unfortunately for Einstein, who died in April 1955, plastic storage containers were not yet an option until two years later in 1957 when polypropylene was commercially produced in large scale by the Italian firm Montecatini. The price of this versatile polymer became cheaper in the decades that followed allowing polypropylene plastic to become utilized in everyday products.
Going back to the modern day, it is still the case that most of our desks, office spaces, and work benches look something like this.
Messy, disorganized, and chaotic. Not unlike Einstein’s.
But there is no excuse when organizational tools have never been cheaper and more accessible in human history. Using a few small containers such as Flex-a-Tops, Statcons, and others, I was able to organize my desk in such a manner.
This is merely a sample of what is possible with over 180 sizes of small plastic storage containers. Those large boxes stacked on each other are FT-123s that are superior to premade storage bins as I am able to add or remove boxes whenever the need arises, each container is sturdy and can be reorganized depending on what the environment necessitates.
Perhaps if Einstein had lived into our time, aided by the utilization of cheap and strong polypropylene plastic containers, his final desk arrangement would have been as organized as he was intelligent.