Press Releases

The Psychology of Stacking

Melville, NY, November 15, 2005
When you’re done reading this release, will you file it away for future reference, toss it in the “circular file” … Or, will it just be added to that overflowing pile of papers sitting on your desk? According to a new Pendaflex study, if you’re like most Americans, you’ll just add it to the pile.

To celebrate the launch of PileSmart (a new line of organizational supplies, designed specifically for “Pilers”), Pendaflex commissioned a study on America’s organizational habits. Office workers from coast to coast – and everywhere in between – spilled some messy details about the nation’s cluttered desktops, unsorted filing drawers and overflowing inboxes.

These busy cubicle and office dwellers also clued us in on their personalities, which – surprise! – gave the survey results an unexpected twist: for the first time in the company’s history, Pendaflex was able to document the relationship between personality and organizational style.

“We’ve found that a person’s actions are often dictated by their personality type,” said Sharon Mann, organizational expert, author and president of the 100,000 member ‘I Hate Filing Club’. “For example, anxious individuals are likely to be Filers. The act of maintaining order in their world – and their workspace – is soothing. It helps them feel like they’re in control of their environment, and their feelings.”

“Pilers, on the other hand, don’t mind clutter because they actually have a dependable system of organization – they can probably tell you which pile any given memo is in at any time,” added Mann. “Pilers are ‘big picture’ people, who don’t let themselves get lost in the details. In the business world, they adapt by either developing their own systems to handle the details, like piling, or surrounding themselves with people who can effectively implement details.”
“Surprisingly, Tossers are the individuals with a clear lack of organization,” concluded Mann. “Like their Piler cousins, Tossers aren’t detail-oriented. The difference is that Tossers deal with details by not dealing with them. They don’t have the skills to maintain organization, so these natural risk takers get rid of almost everything. To be successful, Tossers need to learn how to identify what they’ll need in the future, and find a way to hang on to it.”

Want to know more about your boss (or even yourself)? Take a look at their desk, then read on … Pendaflex has uncovered the secrets of “Pilers,” “Filers” and “Tossers” – and we’re sharing them with you:

POPULAR PILERS (48 percent) You can probably find a Piler – or lots of Pilers – in your office … Nearly half of American employees claim they regularly organize paper by piling it on their desktop. This love of chaos isn’t limited to the office – 59 percent of Pilers say their house is ‘somewhat messy.’ These self-described ‘sophisticated workaholics’ loosen up by watching their favorite sport, baseball. The dream vacation for Pilers? Packing up a tent with Fido, then heading out for a camping trip. They are intellectuals, holding the most master’s and doctorate degrees.

FAITHFUL FILERS (38 percent) Neatnik Filers are as fussy about their home as their workspace – nearly two-thirds boast that they maintain a ‘neat’ abode. At work, they boast management titles, and claim to be ‘conservative,’ yet ‘easy going’ individuals. These filing aficionados are most likely to have a bachelor’s degree hanging from their office wall, and daydream of sunbathing on a tropical island. After they leave work, Filers unwind by listening to the smooth sounds of R&B and jazz, or head off for a swim.
TART TOSSERS (14 percent) It's official - clutter-averse Tossers aren't happy unless a surface is bare. Not only is their desk pile- and file-free, they won't settle for anything less than a perfectly tidy home. In their spare time, Tossers play hoops and hit the town with friends. It's no surprise that these self-described 'young at heart' social butterflies are drawn to big cities for vacations. These social tendencies serve them well in the workplace - despite being the most likely to have only high school diploma, Tossers are most likely to be team leaders.

'DE-MYTHSTIFYING' STUFFY JOB TITLES Apparently, an organized mind isn't a prerequisite for a prestigious job! Professionals (including lawyers, doctors and accountants) are more than three times more likely to be Pilers (or even Tossers) than Filers - a mere 1 in 5 are filing devotees. And teachers? They wouldn't get a gold star for organization, either &hellip Absent-minded professors and their teacher colleagues are most likely to be Pilers. On the other hand, meticulous science and technology workers are 17 times more likely to file paperwork than those in creative jobs.

DONKEYS PILE WHILE ELEPHANTS FILE The survey results indicate there is a strong link between organizational type and political affiliation. Conservatives are most likely to be Filers. Jumping to the opposite side of the political spectrum, Democrats account for more than one-third of Pilers. Free-spirited Independent and unregistered voters tend to throw away documents rather than use the traditional parties' strategy of filing and piling.
IT'S RAINING CATS, DOGS &hellip AND BIRDS? Out of all surveyed office workers, cats and dogs were overwhelmingly favorite pets - exotic animals, such as snakes, were unpopular across the board. More than 4 in 10 Tossers prefer feline companionship, while nearly half of Pilers opt for man's best friend. Filers are most likely to choose fine feathered friends.

About Pendaflex: Pendaflex is one of the world's premier manufacturers of organizational solutions, bringing innovation, efficiency and style to workplace and home settings. Committed to simplifying consumers' lives, Pendaflex produces a broad range of filing and organizational products, as well as provides solutions and resources through and Located in Melville, NY, Pendaflex is the principal U.S. brand of Esselte Corporation, a $1.2 billion office products company with subsidiaries in 27 countries and distribution in more than 120 countries. More information about Pendaflex can be found at

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