After all, how many different words do we need to describe something which is not organized? If you have ever lived or worked with someone who does not put a high value on cleanliness, you know that there are many different types of messes. Consequently, English has many different words to describe messiness. Many writers aren’t sure of the difference between the words disorganized and unorganized. They are related in meaning, but have subtle differences that are important to remember.
Unorganized as adjective:
He had all the unorganized data.
Disorganized as adjective:
She's very muddled and disorganized.
Disorganized or unorganized:
Disorganized and unorganized are both adjectives that refer to states of messiness. If something is disorganized, it used to be organized, but it isn’t anymore. Think of the office of someone who lets work pile up over the course of the week. In contrast, if something is unorganized, it was never organized in the first place, like the garbage in a dumpster. Now, let’s go over a helpful memory trick to remember disorganized vs. unorganized. These adjectives are confusing since only their prefixes are different. Fortunately, those prefixes also provide us a clue about their meanings. Disorganized shares its prefix dis- with other words that mean no longer orderly, like the adjective disheveled and the noun disarray. By remembering the similarities between these words with related meanings, you should always be able to remember that disorganized means no longer orderly.