How clear is your desk? Empty other than essential items such as whatever you're working on and the tools you need for it, pleasantly filled with objects which you like to have in sight, and work waiting to be done or put away, or is it a hopeless muddle - a mess?
My desk could not be said to be clear, but I'll tell you what's on it:
22 books of which 2 are being read, a couple are being consulted, and the remainder have recently arrived and are waiting to be dealt with; 6 notebooks (all for different things and all used if not daily then often), loose pencils and pens (6) and additional pens, letter openers, scissors etc. in one of two pots thrown by my son, a small amount of knitting and the patterns for that and another project (which is in a basket beside the desk), family photographs (4), a letter rack filled with stationery, boxes of Postcards from Penguin and Puffin, the latest copy of Slightly Foxed, publishers' catalogues, a diary, a pen tray supporting a couple of cards and a small brass nameplate from my legal days, 3 paperweights, a small enamelled box (empty) given to me by my aunt, a wooden box - a gift from my uncle - filled with paperclips and rubber bands, a fabric-covered box (another gift) which used to hold a memo pad (now used up), a lamp, a plant, a computer, my camera and my mobile phone, a Harris Tweed coaster for my coffee mug (which is here as I write), sundry shells and lumps of stone.
Although that sounds like a lot, it's not all higgledy-piggledy, everything is in its place and at my fingertips, though I could probably do with shifting some of the books as it's getting difficult to see over the piles, but dusting is a major operation as so much has to be removed first (hence no shaming pictures!). Most of the permanent items have meaning or sentimental value for me, and the rest of the stuff is typically work-related, but it's true there is not much empty space*.
I'm interested in the efficiency vs. comfort question, i.e. if I took away all but 'today's work', how fast or how well might I get on with it and how much clearer might my thinking be, but would I feel the lack of all my familiar things around me, would the absence of personal items and what is effectively an in-tray be unsettling in some way?
What do you think? What's your experience?
(*There's usually a dog or two under the desk, as well....)