Why Can't I Keep (lots of pix)

shirleyinadirondacksAugust 29, 2006

my desk neat??? One of my ex-BILs told me he'd never live long enough to see my desk clean!!

The rest of the house looks good.


dining area

living area



DH's dresser

i get really frustrated with myself. and I go thru peroidly(sp)and clear everything off, but within minutes it's on it's way to chaos again. I doubt if I'll ever change. I've about reached the poiint where I don't even wanna try again.

Just a rant or whining session, so pay no attention


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Looks like a perfectly normal desk to me. ;)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 12:46PM
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Well, I was going to say it looked pretty average to me, too! I was wondering what you do at that desk. Dink on the computer? Pay bills? Menu plan?

I really only play on the computer, so I don't have a desk. I use a laptop which I use at the kitchen table. I do this on purpose, so that I have to put the thing away after a half-hour. Otherwise, I can see myself staying on it all day.

If your desk is the only thing bugging you, I think you can rest assured that you really are organized. I just don't think computers, printer and all of those wire, etc. lend themselves to look cleared off.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 1:05PM
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Well I don't know why *you* can't keep it clean, but if that were *my* desk I wouldn't be able to keep it clean because...

Because there are no drawers to hide stuff away in (like pens and post-its and that scrap of paper you scribbled a phone number on).

Because there's not enough surface area. An additional shelf to get the reference books and kleenex off the main work surface but still keep them in arms reach would be good.

Because there's no basket/bin to hold that small amount of papers that need to be handy for the next week or so. And if you take a messy stack of papers and stick it in a basket, all of a sudden it becomes controlled chaos instead of unsightly clutter. (but of course you need to purge the basket on a regular basis!!)

Because there's no corkboard/magnetic board to hold the scribbled notes and phone number you'll need to be able to find next month but don't want to store long term in an address book or file folder.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Looks normal to me ...

You need shelves, a corkboard, and an on-desk or wall-mounted file organizer.

Shelves to hold the tissues, pencil cups, etc. Corkboard for pinning notes and reminders. Small file organizer to hold current projects.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 2:26PM
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My desk at work was so bad, my co-workers nick-named me "the mad scientist". Your desk doesn't look bad to me at all. You seem to be a normal person with many interests and duties.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 2:44PM
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You are a visual person--and want things out where you can see them. Some people like to put things away in file cabinets, closed cabinets, and they can remember whats inside each cabinet or file. Thats not you. Don't worry about it. The most critical people I know don't do much except watch t.v. at night anyway so their desks at home could be immaculate. (giving them more time to be critical I'm sure)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 8:16PM
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Your decor reminds me of my two best friends. They are both out-going, involved in many projects, like lots of folks, and continue to enjoy learning about new people, place, and ideas. We are all very fond of each other, but they would be miserable living in my house [and vice versa]. Like you, they have photos and momentos on almost all vertical surfaces (my walls are plain, with only an occasional picture), and they use bright colors with many prints and plaids in their furnishings (my decor is solid-colored neutrals with brights limited to pillows or picture frames). Their desks look much like yours, whereas mine has only the monitor, a mouse, and a phone. Obviously, we are very different in what we like to have around us.

Personally, I think as long as you are comfortable, and can find what you are looking for, and keep everything clean -which is a different issue from keeping everything neat- then why change? If you want to change, do it because it will make *you* feel better, and not because BF, DH, or pals indicated a change would make *them* happy. IMHO, your bottom line should be to have enough 'visual interest' to keep you happy, and enough organization to make it easy to keep things clean.

The main reason your desk looks messy is that there are papers scattered all over. Keep in mind that you can't read more than one page at a time, and keep the other pages in file folders (it's easy to flip them open to refer to when needed). Use an L-type bookend to keep the reference books from sliding around (I use several, so I can get out the dictionary or thesaurus without the others falling over). A shallow box to corral the headset, calculator, and small necessities might help if everything can be reached easily. Be realistic, and remember that it usually takes about 30 seconds to clear off a desktop - IF you do it every time you finish. Otherwise, remember that doors were invented for a reason, and the second reason is that they make a room *look* neater -- think about a bookcase and a cabinet, the first is going to look 'busy' no matter how great the amount of organization, while a cabinet with closed doors is going to *look* neat no matter how jumbled the hidden shelves!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 8:30AM
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I started with your question about a year ago and I have solved my problem with the help of this forum. My desk is the same color/size as yours but now it has storage areas that open up on each side. On the center section that doesn't open up, I have a telephone, a lamp, a small Japanese box that holds my camera wires, my IMAC, and one blank page book that I use for notetaking by the phone. I have two small narrow drawers for pencils, calendar, calculator, and envelopes. That's it. My kleenex box goes on the nearby radiator cover. Printer is on the floor. (Guy who built the desk built a two inch stand for it -- just adds a finishing touch but I do have to reach down to retrieve the pages.)

I keep more supplies and my large business size checkbook/bills in another nearby location.

When I get up from the desk, I push my keyboard and mouse under the drawers out of sight, clear off the papers behind the top-opening drawers and I am done. I love it.

It was a real struggle to get to this place. Since the rest of your house is in such good order, it seems you could master the mess with the suggestions you get here. The more questions/ideas you post and respond to, the more suggestions you'll get. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 5:56PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I definetly am visual. I read one time, that you shouldn't have family photos in the public areas. I think that's a crock of ****. My family is the most important thing in my life, so i always have lots of pix out. Before we downsized, I had the extended family out too.

I cleared off the desk. Within an hour, it was loaded again. My DGS in Ky asked for some recipes, so I got out a lot and typed them up and e-mailed them. I'm toying with the idea of doing a bunch of family receipts(old spelling)for the younger generation for Christmas. Can't
put up the recipes until I decide. I did up one of desserts years ago, so maybe main dishes would be a good idea.

As for colors, I love color! One of my sisters has every wall done in cream, her dishes match the walls. there are roses on her dishes. She's painted her dining se the same, also her end table etc.

Another sister has paneling on her walls. She still likes it after all these years. Both have family photos up everywhere. A third sister lives in her kitchen and computer room. Not a lot of pix but she does have family photos around.

Maybe it's an area thing, cause now that's I'm thinking about it, almost everyone I know does the same. If we have generic pix around, they usually have a sentimental quality to them.

Do you suppose it's a 'reneck thung'? I know our family tree don't branch very much.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Perhaps an old-style office "inbox" would help? I'm thinking ONE tray so you can just scoop up the jumble of papers when you're finished at the computer and put them in one tidy pile. Try it with a shirt-sized gift box first and see how that works for you.

P.S. I think the recipe idea is a good one!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Do you have nine children? Or maybe 3 plus four grandchildren? (photo on wall) Well, in any event...

There you have it. Your command center (computer, files, letters, bills, invitations, announcements ) has more than the average number of ground troops to stay in contact with. Way to go for keeping your home, desk included, better than average looking. I salute you.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 1:53PM
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