Tidy desk, tidy mind

Tidy desk, tidy mind is one train of thought. The other is empty desk, empty mind. What does that even mean? Empty mind, as in there's nothing going on in there or it's been cleared out for you to fill it with loads of creative ideas and mind blowing revelations?

My last feed involved me clearing out our back room/kitchen/photography studio/?/?/? It was something that I had been wanting to do for a really long time without actually wanting to do it, if you know what I mean. The reason it took so long, honestly, was because I knew what lay ahead. Lots of soul searching, memories, the odd tear and loads of sneezing – I’m not good with dust.

As time had gone on it had filled up with all kinds of stuff; samples, old discs, envelopes and boxes in odd sizes, various stationery bits and bobs and lots of other things that I didn’t even know were in there. I know that it’s wrong but I just can’t help thinking to myself that we might need it all one day. I tell myself that it will be in the not too distant future. In reality it ends up being a couple of years (if at all), even then it’s a case of do we really want to use that in its current state? The answer (after spending time finding the little piece of treasure that you’ve hidden away for a rainy day) invariably is no..

There are various methods that can be used for de-cluttering missions.


The Gung-Ho Method™

Step 1. Enter said room knowing that none of this stuff has been used for a few years now.

Step 2. Throw that stuff away and forget about it.

There are obviously big risks doing it this way, for me anyway. If you do choose to use this method then you can’t have any sneeky peeks into boxes, as soon as you spot something that you had forgotten all about, that’s it – you enter the rabbit hole of flipping through the book, leafing through the leaflet, trying to sharpen the old snapped pencils…

When I did my feed – that’s what I tried to do… I failed. I went through everything, piece by piece to make sure that I wasn’t getting rid of any treasure. You never know, there could be a winning lottery ticket in there, a family photo or better still an uneaten humbug. Every item was evaluated;  what is it, how long have we had it, will it be used again, is anyone likely to ask to see it again and most important of all, will it keep me up at night knowing that I’ve taken it to the recycling depot and just left it, all alone, never to be seen again?

It was emotional.

It was a great success in so much as I managed to clear out a lot of old things that probably should have ‘left the building’ many moons ago. It was Sod’s Law there were a couple of things that were actually asked for a few days after I put them on the chopping block. Did I mention that it took all day?

I have since seen #minsgame  which is publicised by the minimalists who are all about cleansing yourself of clutter.



Day 1: Get rid of one item by either throwing it away, giving it away or selling it.

Day 2: Do the same with two items.  

Day 3: And again with three…

…and so on and so forth. For a whole month. Maybe a good start if you find it difficult to part with those ‘saved for a rainy day’ items. I wouldn’t be able to follow this method though. It all seems a bit drawn out for my liking. I think I would need to skip to day 10 at least. It also involves commitment to the cause i.e. de-clutter everyday for a whole month… no thank you.


So I suppose that at the end of the day we had a clutter free room which is now being put to good use and there was a sense of achievement. I can already see a few bits of collateral making their way back in there though. This is where I’m supposed to say that I’m in the ‘Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind’ camp now, I am converted and will forever more be Mr. Tidy. That’s not the case. I never have been, and as much as I try, I never will be. I like a bit of variety in my life and a bit of excitement. Expect the unexpected. What’s more exciting than going through a pile of papers at the end of your desk or rummaging through your draws and stumbling upon that thing that might just spark the making of the next great idea.



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