I remember the mess on my desk in May 1996 when I was working on my final thesis at the university. My desk was loaded with all kinds of legal publications, newspaper clippings, books and my notes. I was working at nights and every evening started with looking for the mouse. Lifting all the papers made no sense, so I just pulled at the cord starting at the back of my computer. This worked every time until one evening I had found the mouse and realised that I can't see my keyboard. I took it as a sign and cleaned up all the papers I'd had processed already.
I had to think of that incident today when I needed one of my usb memory sticks. Half of my keyboard was covered in stuff too, so it was definitely time to clean up. One by one I have removed from my desk: three pairs of earrings, four rings and two necklaces; a photo camera, two sets of headphones and two plastic cases they were originally packed in; a pack of wheat crackers, a small plate with some crumbs on it and an almost empty bottle of mineral water; coins and banknotes of different foreign currencies, an empty wallet and a flight itinerary; a huge pile of electricity and insurance bills, various forms and bank statements; two writing blocks, seven pens and a letter opener. Now tell me, is this common or is it just me?
My definition of a clean desk: