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What’s in Your Junk Drawer?

Recently I was in the office of a colleague to help her re-position several certificates and awards she’d earned when she asked me to get a measuring tape from her desk. With a mighty tug on what I thought was a jammed drawer, it released and with it, the contents, including magazines, old newspapers, and more. To say I was shocked is an understatement and it reminded me of cranking an old time “jack-in-the-box” to have the toy spring out with a pop. She, on the other hand was nonplussed and simply wanted to get the documents hung and thought the tape measure might be mixed in with the other stuff. It was her office junk drawer.

Now, this woman is a professional, always well groomed and every surface in her office is immaculate, so how could she be so uncharacteristically messy? In my rush to judgment, based on experiencing one tiny piece of her world, I started to think about what my junk drawer looked like and whether it was even a single space or a place.

No doubt, professional organizers have stories to tell. People may be highly structured in their workplace and not so elsewhere. We’ve all seen people whose wallets are crammed with receipts and so full they can’t be closed. Accountants talk of clients who come to them with shoeboxes of paperwork, invoices and notes, yet the rest of their lives are relatively together and successful. Do you take pride in the cleanliness of your car but the glove compartment is a twin to my colleague’s office drawer?

• Is it OK or perhaps healthy to have a free area where you can just dump things? • Does it provide some relief not to control every square inch of your world when so much of it must be more aligned? • What would it feel like to pull out the mess and organize the space so that it’s functional? • What would you gain or lose by eliminating your junk drawer?


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