I don’t use these tabs at all, and never have. On the left hand side, I have the Content Library, Scene, Surfaces and Smart Content, and on the right I have Parameters, Lights and Cameras.
I only ever really use the Content Library tab to find my stuff, and I fond that the search function works really well. You could try experimenting with your setup by saving what you have now under Window > Workspace > Save Layout As.., and any time you make a mess of the layout, you can reload the saved one and instantly get back to normal. You can save various layouts in this way, and you can load any of them when necessary.