Here is a picture of my office:
After considering the State of My Desk for some time and doing a little research on the subject, I’ve learned that there are many books and websites dedicated to helping those afflicted with clutter control issues. Don’t think for a minute that I mean to sound flippant or make light of such issues by joking about mine. I take the State of My Desk seriously. But serious issues require a sense of humor or they will drive us down. And by taking our issues public, not only do we get help for ourselves, but we help others in the process. Women have been sharing their secrets with each other for centuries, and in so doing we’ve learned that we are not alone, having more in common with each other than not.
Clutter control problems mostly affect women. And they seem to include symptoms ranging from feeling overwhelmed to an unhealthy manifestation of the desire for control. Hmmmm. Is that me? Must. Fight. Denial. Okay, maybe that’s me. Maybe? Okay, that’s me. That’s me, and what’s worse, I’m like my mother!!! She saved everything. So how did this desk happen to a nice girl like me? Well, the psychobabble-free version is that I keep myself busier than I ought to, and because I like to keep the rest of our living areas fairly tidy, I “hide” all of our junk in my office until I get the time to sort through the stuff that collects, discard what isn’t needed, and find proper places for what must be kept. The problem is, I keep putting that sorting part off, and off, and off, and so the piles just get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Here’s how my thinking goes: “Hmmmm. I only have an hour before I have to pick up Laura. That isn’t enough time to sort through this mess.” Or I might think this: “Hmmmm. Laura’s teacher said she doesn’t need me to come into the classroom this afternoon. Now I have all afternoon to tidy my office, but now I also have time to make that Costco run I’ve been putting off . . . .”
So as I was standing in my office last week after I dropped Laura off at school, I took a hard look at the State of My Desk, and the game of internal verbal volleyball began. “Oh, just look at these piles of papers. Don’t look. Just go downstairs. No, I’m going to start dealing with this mess. This mess can’t stay here for even one more day. Then again, what’s another day? It took months to get it like this. No, I’m going to pick a pile and start organizing. But I don’t know where to start. Gosh, this is overwhelming. But I’ll just keep being overwhelmed if I don’t start someplace.” Then, just as I was starting to review in my head this list of things that I’d need to pick up at Costco, I glanced out of my office window, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Well, see for yourself, because of course I took pictures for my blog.
There was nothing to do but consider this a divine sign. And with that in mind, I marched myself right downstairs to grab a plastic garbage bag, picked a pile of papers, and started sorting. That was two days ago and I’ve been sorting during every free moment since. Now I’m posting this story for several reasons:
1. The public shame of the BEFORE picture will cause me to keep working hard on my office, so that I can post the AFTER picture with all due haste. Kind of like what Kirstie Alley did when she became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig®.
2. I got to take a break from cleaning my office while I wrote this post.
3. The longer I take cleaning out my office, the longer I can put off cleaning out the garage.
4. I don’t want to become this woman.
Stay tuned for the AFTER picture . . .