The enemy: clutter.
Now, when most people say their desk is "cluttered," they mean they've got a couple of pictures of their dog and/or their kids, nieces, nephews, maybe a couple of troll dolls, a vase of flowers, and a pencil holder with a witty motto such as "I don't do mornings" or "#include <caffeine.h>".
When they say their room is "cluttered," they mean that there is, perhaps, a basket of undone laundry in the corner waiting to be taken to the wash and two or three pairs of shoes in a pile by the door. There may even be a box of stuff waiting to be taken to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, and some books piled on one of the chairs.
This, my friends, is not "cluttered." Or maybe, it is "cluttered" in the same sense that "abdominal pain" could be a bit of gas or an aortic aneurysm. To make a long story short, I suddenly became aware of the fact that my office was the victim of the proverbial aortic aneurysm of clutter.
For example, I know that, theoretically, there is carpet on the floor of my office. However, except for a very narrow and precariously obstacle-laden trail to the door and another to the bathroom (the latter being nearly as difficult to negotiate as your standard English hedge maze with the occasional Molotov cocktail being lobbed over the greenery at random), said carpet could not be seen at all.
Indeed, I know that, theoretically, my desk has a surface which is composed of glass-covered wood. However, except for a very narrow space approximately three inches square where I place one of my elbows, said desk surface was also mysteriously missing.
My filing cabinet was filled from top to bottom, not with neatly filed paperwork in nicely labeled file folders, but with big stacks of bank statements, insurance claim paperwork, medical receipts, and unopened mail promising me thousands of dollars in equity on houses I don't own anymore and/or never did. I had, of course, shoved all that stuff in there, first, to get it out of the way, and second, because the various piles were threatening to leap out and attack anyone entering the front door of our house. (The piles had previously been stored on the coffee table out front.) As I'm sure you'll agree, potential paper cuts do not make the best theft-deterrant system, and since the papers were threatening our houseguests, I opted to ... file them.
Well, hey, they were IN the filing cabinet. That's a start, right?
Shut up you.
So. Having noticed the encroaching threat, I felt that something had to be done before I ended up literally buried in, if not work, at least stuff in the office. Of course, as with any monumental task, such as balancing the Federal budget, building a Space Shuttle, or un-clutter-ifying my office, there was what seemed to be an almost insurmountable task right from the get-go.
Of course, I'm referring to the bit where you have to decide where to start.
And thence came the horror.