As a computer programmer and knowledge worker (I don’t love this term, but I don’t have a better one), my desk is my constant home. It’s also the continuous home for my stuff. My desk is the home of things I’m using and things I need to find a home for. And so the piles grow.

As I embark on the challenge of cleaning this year, I decided to start with my desk today. I removed almost everything (only mandatory computer pieces were left), wiped the desk with dish soap and warm water, and coated it with mineral oil.

I am also figuring out where particular objects live during my working day. I’ve got a cable organizer, and command stripped my USB hubs so that they will be static.

The next challenge is figuring out where everything that was on my desk belongs. I’m going to try a new idea for me. Only the things I need RIGHT now are allowed on the desk. The notebook I’m writing in, the pen I’m writing with. What I’m doing right now can live on the desk.

The stuff I want to access quickly can exist in my small organizer draws under my desk. Things I may need less frequently will end up in a bin or toolbox somewhere in the space.

Having a cleaner space will allow me to focus better as someone who is easily distracted.