You could say that a tidy desk is a sign of a tidy mind (or is that tiny mind, I’m never sure?). I’ve always been a bit of a clutter bug and even when I had an office job I secretly prided myself on having a ‘busy’ (read messy) desk. Needless to say that when I started working from home a few years ago and no longer had to even pay lip service to the idea of keeping my desk tidy for the sake of my boss/fellow employees, this habit strayed into the realms of slovenliness. When this sluttishness reached new heights in the run up to Christmas (the busiest time of year, in my defence) I decided one grey January morning to give this room an overhaul. What started as a general tidy up, escalated into a spring clean, which soon became a bit of a workspace makeover.
To gain the full effect of this transformation I should really have photographed things when they were at their worst but as I said, I hadnt intended this to be a blog post in the making (just a disgruntled, resentful clean up as a way to avoid doing my tax return). But to get an idea of what my office used to look like (and how much detritus I had in there) take a look at this office room tour post from a few years ago.As you can see I was a slave to my children’s artwork. I still am if truth be told, but I packed away my favourites into a memory box and kept a couple of recent doodles washi-taped to the side of my bookcase, out of view. Immediately my desk area felt a little cleaner, calmer and I felt like I’d regained a bit of my own space. After all, we have children’s photos and pictures all over the house, why shouldn’t my office be more of a place for me?Now that I have my new beloved macbook, I feel like my desk should be a bit more minimal anyway, as befits a sleek, beautifully simple and well designed piece of kit. In short, my desk and I needed to get our shit together and January seemed like the perfect time to start.
So out went all the random bits of tat, souvenirs, business cards I don’t need and postcards I’ll never send. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a bit of inspiration and I’m all for a good mood board but I’m being ruthless these days. Instead of pasting all the things to my wall and overloading my eye line with distractions, I’ve started using this little clipboard, which can hold whichever print or image I’m loving most at the time.Just to the right, I also have my new filing tray from ikea which keeps anything important to hand but most importantly not piled up in a heap, buried under crap. I also have my digital radio (I love a bit of Lauren Laverne and BBC 6 music in a morning) and my angle poise lamp. As for the dried hydrangea, yes they’re probably going to gather dust but they’re pretty and add a bit of gentle colour. I can’t be too minimal after all.I still have my various shelves, cupboards and bookcases too, but these underwent a good clear out and now look a little more ordered. And just under my window (to get the best light) I have my instagram table, where I often arrange bits and bobs I want to photograph.
It’s still not perfect or zen-like in there. I still have samples and paraphernalia stashed in places (not to mention far too many cables/chargers under my desk) and it certainly hasn’t received the full Marie Kondo treatment. But my desk surface itself definitely feels like a nicer place to work. I no longer sit down and immediately feel stressed / guilty / mild self-loathing. So I suppose I’d better try and keep it that way.
What do you reckon?