For the month of June, The Nester set a goal of going 30 days without accessories in her home. I joined her process, although with a bit different spin, focusing just on my desk. That was quite enough of a challenge for me. The goal: keep my desk cleared off for 30 days.
This was my starting point - well, after I cleared it all off and filed or trashed the multiple piles.
You may not think this is cleared off. For me, it is.
Here is the daily reality. Which, if you remember my before photo, is a huge improvement. I took this photo without putting anything away. What is out is being used today, or in process over the next few days.
I know what each item is and what I am doing with it. And where it goes when I am done with it.
What did I learn from these 30 days?
- I need to re-think my view of the appearance of creative, busy and productive. What I imagined appeared to be creative, busy and productive was in reality messy, disorganized and cluttered. I don't need messy, disorganized and cluttered in order to be creative, busy and productive.
- As The Nester said, she "craved cleared surfaces." Me too. I find the freedom of space liberating and pleasant. Like a cool breeze or a drink of refreshing lemonade on a hot day. I now have room to think and create.
- A list of impressions: released, unburdened, free, relaxed, not embarrassed, open, alive (not buried).
- I do not need perfection. There is still stuff on my desk. What is there is there for a reason. A stack of library books to go back tomorrow. My wallet (yes, that should be in my purse). Paints for a blog post photo later this week. Pens and sticky notes (I am using the sticky note tool on my computer for most lists, but still jot down notes and quotes and ideas on actual sticky notes - besides, they are a colorful decoration I enjoy). My devotional/morning reading and journals. Two files I was adding to last night. A list of stuff to pack for our upcoming ten day trip. A new book from the library I am reviewing to decide if I should take it on the trip or wait to read it when we return. More pens. Reading glasses. My phone cord (that should be plugged in to the wall - not sure why it is on my desk). Notes outlining another blog post for this week. Computer and lamp.
Remember the William Morris quote? My version:
Have nothing [on my desk] that I do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful.
I learned each day to make a quick check. Am I using it? Is is pretty? If not, file it or clear it off.
And enjoy the empty space.