Lockers, Clutter, and the Hierarchy of Needs

Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, said:

“Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away…”

Research backs up her claims that cluttered spaces have a negative impact on mental health. By reducing clutter, and holding onto only those things that bring us joy, Kondo suggests a mindset shift happens that moves us closer to being the kind of person we desire to be.

When organization fails to exist, it impacts our well-being, and, if working or living with others, it can impact them as well. In the worst-case scenario, lack of organization can lead to a health or safety hazard. Anyone who has experienced the life of a hoarder understands this.

Hierarchy of Needs

Psychologist Abraham Maslow created Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory that prioritizes the psychological health needs of humans. At the most basic level are the needs of food, water, warmth, and rest. The next level includes security and safety.

Recently, Durango, a city in Colorado, established several lockers specifically for people experiencing homelessness, as a place for them to securely store their belongings while running errands such as getting groceries. These lockers provide more than security needs, but also contribute to the emotional and mental wellbeing of a vulnerable population.  

This concept is very real in our workplaces as well. When we go to work, for our mental health, we need to be organized, and also have a sense of security in order to perform at our best.  Removing chaos and clutter allows for better focus and reduces anxiety, allowing us to be more productive.   

Security Lockers Address Both

Lockers can be utilized to both reduce clutter and provide the critical need for security in a workspace. Especially in hot-desk, open-concept, or co-working offices, lockers can be used to store things that would otherwise create clutter. These could be valuables or simply items that don’t bring joy but need a temporary “home” until they are filed, taken home, donated, or tossed.

Lean, another organizational methodology out of Japan, has been around for years and seeks to reduce waste in order to maximize floor space and efficiency. Used predominantly in manufacturing, other industries are now starting to modify the philosophy to reap the benefits of less clutter, better organizational processes, and improved productivity.

Overall, both businesses and individuals look to declutter in order to have better outcomes. Therefore, organizations that provide appropriate space for secure storage will reduce clutter, have a better aesthetic, and will actually contribute to good mental health.

DeBourgh All-American Lockers prides themselves on their all-steel, US-made lockers, known for long-lasting strength and aesthetic congruency. Founded in the Minneapolis, MN area in 1909, it is owned by the same Berg family, now in their fourth generation. Military, first responders, schools, healthcare & fitness centers, office, and commercial properties rely on DeBourgh’s secure, innovative, and intelligent access locker systems for a variety of needs. If you are looking for a quote or more information on our products, contact us at 1-800-328-8829 or visit us online at