My desk/office space is in my second bedroom. Ever since the middle of Winter break, that room (and my desk) have been filled with clutter: student projects and assignments (due to working on student evaluations), my own school projects and assignments, and various bills, paperwork, books - you name it, it was probably in my second bedroom!
I have felt overwhelmed having to swim through stacks of "stuff" to get to my desk. My dog has probably felt the same, as "her bed" has been cluttered with piles, and she has had to wade through the stacks to even get to it.
After weeks of feeling helpless about my state of messiness and clutter, I finally got off my duff and did something about it. Basically, it looks like I just rearranged my piles and put them in the dining area (I am still sans a dining room table and chairs, six months after moving into this place). But, really, I did throw a ton of stuff out, organized what was left, and even found proper places to put things away.
All the things I moved into the dining room area are things I need to bring back to work, anyway, so my plan is to move a bit of the mountain at a time, to school with me every day this coming week. Five manageable hills sounds more do-able than one massive mountain.
I have a pile now of all my thesis books, papers, etc. next to my desk, and I believe this week I'll go purchase a file cabinet to organize these things so that they will be easily accessible as I need them over the next few months.
I already feel better being able to see the floor of my second bedroom, the bed made and tidy - sans papers - and my desk completely clutter-free. I am, therefore, assuming that my mind is already much more open to focusing on all that I need to be putting my energy towards.
I attended a writer's conference in San Francisco about four years ago, and I remember listening to two different writers dialoguing about the ways they work best, including how they arrange and like their writing space. One of the women said that she needs her desk to be absolutely free of anything other than her computer, while the other said that she works best amongst an array of books, papers, and assorted what-elses. She barely had elbow room and said she couldn't write otherwise.
While I was pleased to hear that I wasn't alone (being the pile horse I am), I relished the idea of being a Spartan writer, like the first woman. However, I think I function best as a bit in between the two. I can't have a complete tabula rasa of a work space, but I certainly have learned that clutter muddles me up, and so I can no longer work - or at least I can't work well - with an array of...of everything in my space.
Lee Worley once said, "Make space your friend." I don't know that she had an office space in mind, but I'd like to think that my mind will be a better friend to me (and I to it) with more space in my office.