Cluttered Mind, Cluttered Desk

I’m one of the most organized and anal people I know when it comes to having things just so, but when it comes to my desk?  It’s a mess!  I pile up “important” papers on one side; books on another; and have sticky notes covering my computer monitor’s perimeter and open areas on my desk.  I have a desktop calendar, but instead of having it full of important appointments or dates to remember, it has seemingly endless scribbles with phone numbers, things to do, and ideas to follow through on.

So why is this the only area in the house that seems to be plagued by so much clutter?  And why is it that I can’t seem to keep it from happening, even if I put things away on a regular basis?

I think that my desk is a representation of what my mind is like at any given moment.  I always have something on my mind, whether it be a project I’m working on, my current to-do list, people I need to call, a resource idea I need to design, or an event I want to plan.  I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember, but over time the “content” I’m focused on has changed.  When I was younger, I was mostly focused on school and my “businesses” – travel agency, real estate agency, restaurant, school.  As I got older, it became more about school, friends, and boys (let’s be honest, we all went through that stage).  Then in college, it became mostly about school and extracurricular ways I could be involved in education.

Now?  I feel like it’s a little bit of everything mushed together.  I know I’ve said it before, but my mind is always going in a zillion directions.

I’m always thinking about my wedding plans.  I’m always thinking about what I’m going to be cooking for dinner throughout the week (just in case I need to take something out of the freezer or stop at the grocery store).  I’m always thinking about what chores need to be done and which ones can wait a day or two.  I’m always thinking about which schools I’ll be working in this week.  I’m always thinking about how I think my current book is going to end.  I’m always thinking of ways I can extend my business to reach new clientele and enrich people’s lives more.  I’m always thinking about what plans I have this weekend and if I need to do anything to prepare for them.

Therefore, when my “thoughts” materialize in the real world, they turn into a cluttered desk.

Questions to Consider:

  • What object or physical “thing” would you use to give others a glimpse into how your mind works?
  • Do you have an “exception” to your personality?  For instance, my cluttered desk goes against my organized and neat nature.  What goes against your “typical” way of being?
  • What’s on your desk?

Katrina Martin

Katrina Martin is the owner of Katrina's Resources and a B-6 certified teacher in New York State. She specializes in elementary education and curriculum development. You can read her blog at or view her educational resources on

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The way I organize my manuscript material and other important papers give a glimpse into how my mind works. For instance, I have some of them in three different file cabinets. While others are place in paper bags and plastic bags. Although the bags are a neat presentation, I don't remember what papers and manuscripts are in what bags. As for my filing cabinet, my manuscripts and other papers are all mixed together in an unorganized manner. I don't know which cabinet drawer has what manuscripts, tablets containing my handwritten notes for my manuscripts, and which cabinet drawer has what other important papers.

  2. Very interesting! I love hearing how other people organize their "stuff". I think that we all have a sense of organization, but some organizational "codes" are easier to figure out than others.

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