Why is it that desks seem to attract junk? They’re natural junk magnets. And why is it that there are never enough places for the junk to be moved to during an emergency tidying session?

Why is it that staplers don’t have a natural habitat – somewhere you should be able to reasonably expect them to be. Instead, staplers roam. They roam around the desk, around the room, around the building… and around the world. The problem has got so bad that many offices now have dedicated stationery detectives, who travel the world, tracking down lost staplers, paper supplies, paperclips, etc.

Junk, of course, has a fascinating trait. It ceases being junk the moment you decide to tidy up. What was a worthless piece of paper with some scribbles, someone’s sketch of a… ummm… well, I’m not sure what it is… the slice of tree that was not worth its weight in recycled paper pulp instantly becomes a document vital to the survival of the human race the moment someone questions whether or not it should go in the bin. How many times have you looked at a piece of paper, and found yourself uttering to yourself the immortal words:

"Nah, better not throw that out. Might need it".

And so, having made the decision not to throw it out, you have two choices.

(a) Leave it exactly where it is, in the hope that you will actually need it sometime in the next fifteen minutes.

(b) File it away in a folder of some sort with other such vital snippets of information, so it can be sorted, out of the way, completely lost if you actually do need it again, and thrown out with the whole folder the next time there’s a clean-out.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.