Clutter bug finds home in desk


Leah Lehman, Leader Columnist

This avalanche that I call my desk can be quite adept at hiding things. Every now and then, I need a stapler, and I can’t always even find that, not-too-tiny, handy tool. I finally had to break down and purchase a new one, and I made sure it was a bright orange, with some white, so it should always be easy to find.

Of course, that meant that I would find my old one right afterward, but I guess that is OK. Now I have two, and one should always be easy to grab. The staples are no big problem because I have the yellow box containing them on the window sill.

Every now and then, I make a valiant attempt to clean the desk. Usually that happens when I am looking for something that I am sure is on the desk. Perhaps a corner gets cleaned, and I get to feeling proud and promise myself that I will work a little every day until it is completely cleaned and neat. That has happened a time or two but not in recent years.

It’s funny, when I had planned things for the office, I had planned for a lot of flat surface and drawers that served as file cabinets. For the most part the file cabinets serve a good purpose. Some have files that are easy to find when needed; others are mainly for storage. There are a couple of smaller drawers for pens and pencils and the like, but somehow they are across the room from the computer, and not always easily accessible.

The reason for that is there are a couple office chairs in front of them. It seems my back likes different chairs at different times. Plus, they provide a flat service to put stuff that no longer fits on the flat surface of the overlarge desk.

If I didn’t volunteer as much as I do, I would have a lot less stuff on my flat surfaces. A good deal of it is left over from past volunteer jobs I have had. I was told that none of those needed to be passed on, but to date I have not been able to part with them. However, the next time I get to that part of the desk, the paper is going into the recycle bin. It is finally time.

I also help produce the newsletter for our church, so some things are left from that. The biggest amount of clutter is due to my being a volunteer work schedule person for the LCFS Thrift Store in Shawano. As such, I put out a four-month calendar three times per year.

By early December, I put out a work schedule calendar for the first four months of the next year. Groups can trade with each other if they can’t work on their date, but the calendars help keep things going as best as we are able.

In addition, there are letters, a day-manager’s list and the like, to keep things current. While many of the items are kept in the file, so they do not get lost, some of them stay in a small file on top of the desk, so they are right at my fingertips, just in case a call comes in about something.

I don’t think it is possible to always keep things in tiptop shape. One of these days I do plan to get them in better shape than they are currently. The clutter bug has long been a problem at my house.