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Chapter 4. Your Work Area > Your Desk Drawers

Your Desk Drawers

Think of your entire desk as “prime space.” Anything that stays this close to you must earn its keep, which means you use it often. Start with the drawers, sorting these as you did the credenza, by consolidating, dumping and rearranging one at a time. Throw away the unused, useless, old or unidentifiable items. This includes the power cords to equipment you no longer have, 150 year-old rubber bands, gadgets that never really worked properly, keys that open nothing you own and business cards that are yellowing around the edges. Consider the six dozen pens and pencils, the four rulers, the three pairs of scissors, the innumerable bottles of white-out, in every color, the 10,000 paper clips that litter the bottom of drawers, not to mention the numerous sticky note pads in every size. Keep only the supplies and quantities you really need and return the rest to the supply room.

As you proceed, take a moment to reflect on why you rent an apartment or own a home. One reason is that it is a place to return all those personal items that have slowly encroached upon your work space. This means that you must limit your personal items to one drawer (no, it cannot be the big file drawer). Take home the extra pairs of shoes, empty food containers and extra clothing. Throw out the plastic utensils, paper bags, mustard packages, congealed sugar, the two-quart bottle of Cremora with two tablespoons left in the bottom. Oh yes, and do something with all those napkins.


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