FILED and folded

A desk in an office.

Image via Wikipedia

My desk is clean. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I’ve had comments (“Wow, I can see the top of your desk!) from colleagues.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a bit of a slob. I used to invite people over just so I’d be forced to clean my house. I’d have papers strewn across my kitchen, on the dining room table, by the couch in the living room. My desk at work looked like it had been swept up in a tornado. But at some point I realized that the amount of clutter in my house seemed to correspond to the amount of chaos in my head. I started minding the mess.

And so, gradually, I have been cleaning up my act. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but I think it was after I began hanging out occasionally with someone who had a touch of OCD; everything had to be not only put away but it had to be in exactly the right place. I noticed when things in my own environment were askew: clothes piled on a chair, cosmetics strewn across the bathroom counter.

Now, the bed is made, the clothes are hung up, the dishes are put away. Home was easier than work – corralling the chaos there is a challenge: I deal with a lot of paper for a lot of different things. My filing skills are minimal, and I have multiple projects going at the same time. But I got tired of having to sort through the stacks when my phone rang and I suddenly needed a specific piece of paper. Yes, I still have a tower of files on the floor – my filing cabinet is full – but I can see my whole desk again.

Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t become a neat freak, and I won’t ever love to clean. My dust bunnies have their own pets. I still have a few (mostly) tidy piles and my moments of messiness, and I spend too much time hunting down misplaced documents. But give me a little time, and order will be restored in the spaces I inhabit. If only I could say the same for the space in my head.


About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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5 Responses to FILED and folded

  1. Michele says:

    i should be so lucky to be able to see the top of my desk, mindy. good for you. today, i was searching for a piece of paper and found three plates from earlier in the week under piles.

  2. Mindy says:

    Just don’t look in my laundry room. 🙂

  3. Michele says:

    a smiley face! god forbid!!!

  4. suzanne1225 says:

    Okay, I have finally gotten my act together–got a new user name, new password, cleaning my mental desk. It’s too early for me to have many coherent thoughts, and I’m hesitant to have my writing critiqued by two amazing writers, but here’s the overarching one about this blog. I love reading what the two of you have to say, and I promise I will comment more. I just don’t want to say “Love it!” a million times 🙂

    Thanks to both of you.

  5. Mindy says:

    Suzanne: You rock! 🙂 Of course now you’re going to get two emails a day, you know. While we adore it when people tell us they love what we write, we’d rather you share your own experience. There are a lot of amazing writers who read this blog, you’re just one of them!

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