Sunday, December 11, 2011

A cleaner desk

A change in my thinking happened a couple of years ago.  Ever since I graduated from college more than 50 years ago, I tended to resist spending time putting things away.  All that time, I had a desk.  I did believe in file cabinets and putting papers in some order.  I could see I would not be able to find them unless I filed them some way.  Teachers need records and in those day especially, paper held all the important ones.  It still tends to.

But three-dimensional objects can't be filed easily in stand-up folders.  Even museums have drawers of bones, insects, and mineral samples and such in drawers.  They tend to be sturdy, large and opaque.  So, a good list is needed if you aren't going to open each drawer and search.  Putting an object such as a stapler or a magnifying glass away, only to get it back out when needed seemed less interesting that paying bills or writing a lesson plan.  I thought a desk properly laid out, with handy objects just where they would likely be needed was best. I kept telling myself that all through the years.

A couple of years ago, I decided to try to keep my desk and our kitchen table totally clear.  I thought it might be helpful.  I had no idea that seeing nothing, no papers, no objects, no handy tools would be so inspiring.  I think I am not very sensitive to inspiration from sights but I do seem to benefit from a clear, clean work surface.  

I put "clean desk is a sign of" in Google and got "clean desk is a sign of a sick mind" in many references.  There are actually 52 million according to the information at the top of the results.  I never really believed more neatness on my part meant I was sick but I did suspect too much obsession with keeping the surface clear was probably a waste of time and energy.  Now, I feel differently because I find all that space is a strong invitation to write, organize, think, record, and generally create.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby