OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a slob. I never used to be, probably because I was raised by a mother who kept a very clean and tidy house. For years I tried to follow in her footsteps, but my dissent into bachelor life six years ago threw me back to the stone age.
It was like I was finally getting to live like I was in a frat house and it has been a very hard habit to break.
My messiness extends from home to my job.
I have a very messy desk.
A mound of papers, used notebooks, empty water bottles and other odds and ends occupy my desk on a daily basis.
A former publisher of mine from years ago once told me “a cleanly desk is the sign of mental illness” — so I’m pretty sure the condition of my cubicle makes me certifiably sane.
The other day I sat down to go to work on something and when I went to put my bottle of water on the desktop it nearly spilled. I looked over to find the desk was so messy, so covered with papers and other objects that I had run out of places to set the bottle.
It was time to clean. I will consider it my spring cleaning and I may again clean it before summer is over — or when I run out of room for beverages again.
The clean-up didn’t take long. There was a lot of things on my desk I no longer needed — old press releases, typed letters to the editor and empty envelopes from mail I’d opened and forgotten to throw away. I found six empty, ripped open envelopes alone.
I found notebooks going back several months, a stack of plain envelopes I’d been using to send out questionnaires for an election back in February, a box of paper clips and two pads of sticky notes I’d been looking for
(mental note — cancel office supply order promptly!).
I always find myself searching for a pen and I discovered why — there were nine pens buried under the mound of papers on my desk. Three black
Bic pens, three blue Bics, two pens from a local apartment complex and one of those neat black and neon green pens a local business comes around every month and hands out to downtown merchants here.
I bundled my new found supply of pen with a rubber band and I am trying hard this time to hold on to them.
Then there’s the stuff I was really missing — a book with phone numbers and other vital information on Genesee County government offices; some missing pictures from an article I have been trying to find for a week or two; and my precious Chinese restaurant menu. Thank goodness I’d memorized the number of my favorite dish so I didn’t have to go without.
With my desk finally clean enough where I can see about 50 percent of the wooden surface, I decided my mission was accomplished. I now have my sights set on the growing collection of phone numbers written on sticky notes hanging from my overhead cabinets.
Time to get me a phone book to write them all down in.