Clean Desk, Clear Mind…

The day isn’t over yet, and it is entirely possible that I could have a clean desk, and a clear mind before the moon sets. I’m just not so sure about the kitchen table. At this point, it’s been buried and more like a case of RIP. Then again, there might just be enough air pockets to sustain life. Indeed, I can just detect a feeble heartbeat.


This is where I could have been today.

Just to clarify things a little. It’s Monday afternoon here and it’s a public holiday to celebrate what has become the mythical eight hour day. Being Spring with a bright blue sky and lashings of sunshine, we could be down the road at the beach right now. However, Geoff had the audacity to remind me that I still haven’t cleared my desk to set up the stereo we bought last December. It’s only October. A full year hasn’t expired yet. In terms of procrastination, this job is only half baked.

So, instead of going to the beach and carpe diem seizing the day for pleasure and relaxation, the day has grabbed me by the short and curlies and taken everything off my desk and dumped it onto the kitchen table for sorting. The desk is looking fantastic and leaping for joy in shocked amazement. I can now see a gloriously clean wood grain finish and I’m listening to Icehouse. The stereo is all systems go and my in-tray is an empty as a dry creek bed in a drought.


Shame about the kitchen table. Moreover, it just struck me that I have somehow been diverted into writing about this earth-shattering cleanup exercise and photographing the evidence while the kitchen table is beyond gasping on life support. However, don’t worry. This is just a perfectly natural phase of procrastinating. Nothing has collapsed…yet!

There are certain truths they leave out of declutter manuals. Of course, we’ve all heard about their do-gooder deeds: “Something in, something out”, “If you haven’t used it in six months, toss it”. Indeed, the zealots have turned decluttering into a religion, don’t you think? They even have confession.

However, all of this just leaves me a sinner. If our stuff actually manages to get off the ground at all, it’s more likely to be a case of only moving from A to B. Indeed, we’ve perfected the “Great Declutter Shuffle”. Yes, much of my stuff is very well travelled moving from one part of the house to another. Goodness knows how far some of the stuff I’ve picked up at the op shop travelled before it actually reached me? Much of it could well have a full passport and a truckload of postcards from a lifetime of travel.

I shouldn’t jest.

This is a serious business. I need to clean up my act. Having clear real estate on my desk feels so much better. I feel cleansed. All sorted. Ready to tackle all those outstanding writing projects. Indeed, this could well be the jolt I need to finally get some runs on the board and venture further afield with my writing than my blog. There are so many opportunities out there. As many possibilities as stars in the sky and yet I’m hiding behind my pile of books…all written by someone else.

Well, I guess that’s my cue to exit stage left and work out where the hell all that crap’s going to go and how and what we’re going to have for dinner. As much as I’m tempted to  throw the lot out, I’ve stumbled across some great memories and I really can’t understand these people who keep nothing? Do they even exist?

Are you a clean desk or messy desk person? Does it make a difference to your capacity to think and write? Get things done? I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes,


PS The sun has just set and the pile on the kitchen table is steadily shrinking. Hey, the table cloth is even starting to peer through without compromising the wood grain on the desk. The in-tray isn’t empty anymore. I’ve set up two folders. One with letters and bits and pieces and the other has short stories I’m working on. There’s also a stack of notebooks. Consolidation required. It does feel good!


8 thoughts on “Clean Desk, Clear Mind…

  1. Gary A Wilson

    I have to laugh often when someone comments on “how organized” they think I am. In reality, I may have things well sorted and filtered and ordered in my head, my reality bears no such evidence. I somehow only wish my physical world would magically catch up with my head on this point. I have genetics that finds value in too many things that shouldn’t be thrown away or recycled and arranging suitable storage for that which really merits being kept – is just somehow overwhelming…
    My wife and I joked about how, the recent risk of wild fires north of us, would have been to only solution to our “stuff” problem. sigh.

  2. codemanbc

    80% of the time, messy. The rest of the time, my desk is preparing to be messy. And as Colline says above, about once a quarter, I have to review everything, throw away or destroy the expired or completed items. Still, I complete my assignments, get after the bad guys, and keep my clients happy. Your shoreline image is of something hundreds of millions years old…fyi. And you got me to LAUGH – out loud – with the picture of your “desk.” Tom and MAGIC

  3. pensitivity101

    Your kitchen table looks like my Dad’s filing system. It was in my old bedroom, or should I say was my old bedroom, and he’d just open the door and throw the paperwork on the bed. Drove Mum nuts.

  4. scooj

    I have become a hostage to my mess, it owns me, but over time I think I have developed Stockholm syndrome towards it. Do I really want to break free? I don’t know.

  5. New Journey

    I love your writing….I just got a brand new big desk with 4 huge drawers, 2 of them for my files, with file folder hanging areas. WHOOO HOOO however the top of my desk is so full of memorabilia that I haven’t seen in ages that all I have is an area to write and set my lap top. LOL I did go out and purchase a metal file holder rack and its bursting at the seams. LOL I also bout a tall wooden book shelf for over flow, its full and a metal rack out of the kitchen area, its 5′ long and has 4 shelves, only half full… but my oh my I love myself a good desk….love your story…xxxx

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