House & HomeMom's LifeThe KitchenWork and Passions

mini-resolution: clean up my desk

by Meagan Francis on February 2, 2012

Where do you do the majority of your work? Is it typing at a desk? Stirring over the stove? Mixing in a test tube? Creating in a studio? Chasing kids around the living room?

For me, the answer should be “typing at a desk”, but right now I’m sitting in the living room pounding away at my laptop, perched precariously in my lap. In an hour or two I might move to the bed, where I’ll slump over the laptop, kinking up my back and trying not to get sleepy.

Why? Because my desk is a hot mess! See for yourself:

Sad, huh? Yes, that’s a board game. And two bowls and an antique potato masher I haven’t found a home for yet. A Christmas tin. Stamps. A book. A sales flyer (probably from December). Window film boxes in my in-trays. It’s a big old pile of miscellaneous with zero room to sit and work.

When we had house guests over New Year’s, my desk became the unofficial dumping ground for all things that were taking up space in the kitchen or dining room. And between trying to get back in the swing of real life and going on two trips since the holiday, I haven’t had time to tackle it. I just looked at the calendar and realized it’s been a month since I’ve had a functional desk! I’ve gotten to the point where I walk quickly past my office and avert my eyes so that I don’t have to deal with the reality.

But today? I have clean it up. I need my space back!

The good news is that once you’ve decided to tackle a project like this, it usually doesn’t take that long. As I’ve pointed out before, cleaning and organizing are a process, not a goal you can reach and then stop worrying about it. Letting mess build up doesn’t mean you’re hopelessly messy or disorganized, it just means you have to make the decision to get in there and make it right again.

So that’s my mini-resolution for the day. How is your work space looking? Could it use a little attention so you can be more efficient and creative?

UPDATE! I spent a little over an hour cleaning this afternoon – thanks to my friend Melissa for coming over and keeping me company! – and here’s how my desk looks now:

A nice improvement, huh? It really didn’t take that long, but I feel like I can breathe again. (Of course, looking at this photo just now I realized that a picture or something had slipped behind the desk! Can you spot it?)

If your desk or work area is bringing you down, there’s still time to get it cleaned up today. Ready, set….go!

PS: Thanks to Cecily Kellogg for posting a fun slideshow of bloggers’ desks – it definitely inspired me this morning.

I’m wrapping up a four-week series of mini-resolutions: small, simple improvements I’ve been making in different areas of my life. This week I’m focusing on “work”, whether that’s your creative passion, your career or the work of caring for home and family. I hope you’ll join me!

Want more ideas
for creating a happier home life?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiran February 3, 2012 at 6:16 am

This made me laugh. Before I clicked on “more” I was automatically thinking, oh man, I bet her desk makes mine look terribly disorganized.



Great job cleaning. I bet you will feel all zen and better able to focus and write! Looks awesome.


cagey (Kelli Oliver George) February 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I work in our formal dining room. It’s one of my favorite rooms — 90s era wallpaper and all. We have an 8 person, square table and it’s just the perfect size for me to have a corner with all my stuff which leaves plenty of room for the kids to do their coloring, drawing, crafts, playing, everything else. I love this room — so cozy with two windows where I can watch the seasons go by.


Jill February 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Wow, that is an extremely cluttered desk… by the way, where is the desk ;-) oh, under that pile. Good luck sticking to your resolution (I think you should resolve to get a bigger desk too)…


Divina February 6, 2012 at 2:08 am

You have really done a nice job in cleaning you desk.Thanks for providing a simple solution to my problem. Thanks for sharing.


Kristin February 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I just found your blog today. What perfect post. I was at a friends house the other day and noticed how nice it was. I have a nice house too but when I came home I noticed that the reason I liked hers so much is because there weren’t piles of junk everywhere.

I’ve come a long way on house keeping, but it’s a constant battle for me. Yesterday and today I have focused on de-junking my dresser, desk, entertainment etc. But somehow i’m back here typing on the computer…Oops, got distracted.

I’m glad I got distracted. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one with a junky desk.


Guia February 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

There is really a HUGE difference between the after and the before.. Hope you’ll maintain the new look! :)


Mel March 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

What a beautiful desk you found under that pile!


Pam April 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I just ran across this blog, first time ever and am having a snapping good time reading your post.
I clean like mad all the time in my office but yet it gets bonfire freaky in 30 seconds flat when I turn my back.


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