{what does your office desk look like?}

I know there are a couple different viewpoints on how an office desk should look. And I know, you probably know exactly how yours looks right now… and you’re probably thinking, Yep, and I’m happy with how it looks.

two per week

But I’ve still got something to share with you ;] I’m pretty sure I’ve found the best “look” for my office desk. Wanna know what that means?!

My office desk needs to be clean + organized with most of my quirky, inspirational decorations hanging from my Inspiration Board, not on my desk. I need to have only the essentials out with plenty of room for my coffee cup ;]

I used to think that my desk should be messy. For me, this meant papers everywhere, multiple projects, receipts, checkbook registers, to-do lists and invoices {yikes!} all intermixed. But honestly, the longer it went on like that the more overwhelmed, or frustrated, I felt. And ultimately, the quicker I felt like I didn’t know how to “do handmade” for a living because HELLO! MY LIFE IS A MESS! Or at least that’s how it seemed.

Eventually I came to think that maybe all of those messy “things” should be put away.

apartment therapy

Shortly before thinking that I heard someone say that the state of your office desk is a near-direct reflection of the growth + financial success of the business your office desk is representing. Or something like that ;]

For Gussy Sews, I’ve decided that’s absolutely true.

Now wait just a minute… What I’m NOT saying here is that my studio or dining room table is clean + organized. Those places are for creative working where messes and unkempt-ness helps drive growth {and financial success}. And those two things are so important, for every business.

Continuing this thought ~ understanding what goes out each month so we know what we need to bring in each month is critical for growth. I have a pretty good memory, but too often I was feeling so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even think.


Yep. Awkward.

So to fix this I cleaned up my office desk, bought a filing cabinet {and stopped using our family filing cabinet}, and commit to leaving work each evening with a clean + organized desk.

What are your thoughts? Do you disagree? Do you wholeheartedly agree? Do you think it doesn’t matter? Or is your desk so messy that you can’t even remember what I just asked you…

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  1. 1


    I’ve got to admit, I agree with you. My creative space (which is normally a comfy chair near a radio) can be a mess. Loose threds, bits of yarn ends, stitch markers and other miscellaneous things abound. BUT when I’m doing anything administrative I need a clean space. And more importantly…I need to have only one project out at a time. It helps me focus and keep from feeling like the task at hand is overwhelming. (like filling out the paperwork for my LLC, or balancing my check book register against what my account is showing as “cleared”). And sure it can be a pain to take out all of the folders I need for one task spend an hour making a mess of it and then have to put it all away again before starting something new, but it keeps me sane.

  2. 2


    Totally know what you mean! I don’t own a business, but I do write academically (and recently finished my thesis) and I learned that I can tolerate SOME mess, but not a WHOLE LOT of it. When things got too messy I was unproductive, lazy, and didn’t want to work. Clean spaces make me feel like I want to get something accomplished, so I try and keep things fairly clean and organized.

  3. 3

    Bethany says

    I agree wholeheartedly. When I step back into my office every morning, what I see directly impacts my mood and sets the tone for the day. If I see a mess, I feel I’ve already started the day behind. If everything (ok, most things) are filed neatly and I have amanageable to do list/pile, then I feel I can take on the world. I don’t judge other people’s work space, but I know what works for me and choas isn’t it!

  4. 4


    my workspace is a mismash of fabric, machines, notes, and such. Not to forget a few sippy cups, toys, and kids art projects. And everytime I look at it and think – oh, to have a space of my very own. I then realize I wouldn’t want it anyway. That extra stuff means my famiy is there supporting me every step of the way and that is important!

  5. 5


    Totally agree! When my work space gets cluttered, I think it is directly proportional to my head getting cluttered. I even try to keep my sewing space very neat. This one is a bit harder to do! Everything has a place and it goes back there at the end of working. I would get so frustrated with spending five minutes looking for a pair of scissors.

  6. 6


    It’s hard to stay un-cluttered, un-messed. But I think it really REALLY helps! When your ideas don’t have to be sharing brain space with “Don’t forget you put that bill in with your mortgage payment” and “Now where did I lay my scissors?” you are a lot more free to just create. Great motivating post!

  7. 7


    Honestly, I can’t even FUNCTION if my desk is a mess. When it comes to organizing, I am so A.D.D. that I can’t pay attention to anything I’m doing/need to do if my desk is messy. Even right now, I am trying to push out of my mind that I have a few (like only 5!) receipts to enter into my computer. And what makes it worse is that we are moving in two weeks and so things don’t really have much of a place around our house — BUT my desk is one spot right now that is still kept tidy. It actually stresses me out when its messy! lol (I think I need some therapy…) ;)

  8. 8


    I have two work areas: the couch which is my creative space for my knitting and crocheting; my desk is the long table in craft room where my sewing machine and my other supplies live. I keep most of the yarn in cabinets with pull drawers but occasionally a skein or two escapes and I can’t find the needed color and panic sets in. The heavy breathing starts, I go from yarn bag to yarn drawers. My anxiety levels rise and I feel mad my myself. Where did I put that yarn? Why do I do this to myself??? When I get so frustrated looking, I stop and start organizing the craft room on the spot. I usually find the missing villains and I feel happy again. Each time I think “this isn’t going to happen again”, a few weeks later, I’m going through all my inventory! Things are organized right now because I had a “fix it” day two weeks ago so I’m keeping up and Happy right now. Your posts inspire all of us to keep on our toes and make our work day better.

  9. 9


    I was JUST looking at my desk and thinking it was time to clean.

    I believe in happy messes, but also in responsibility. Let it get messy, but don’t let it get out of control. I try to totally clean mine once a week, to maintain a not-too-messy quota.

  10. 10


    Agree. I can’t be productive in a messy environment. Unfortunately, my desk becomes a catch-all for lots of random items (thanks to two messy boys and a messy husband) and I end up spending a lot of time cleaning up every time I need to use it! How’s that for unproductive!?


  11. 11

    Nadir@StitchSense says

    *cowering* You are preaching right to me! My office/studio is the hardest thing to keep straight. It functions as our guest/spare room too & with all the inventory I’ve been accumulating, plus working on my blog & shop redesign, its a little daunting to have to keep up with the office too. I hope to have it in order soon, its so true that when the office/studio looks great, I feel great & more creative!

  12. 13


    I totally agree! I can’t think or work in a messy area and I get super stressed if I think that something important might be hiding under a pile of something else. A clean workspace is the way to go!

  13. 14


    My desk is usually a mess. But the messes have evolved over time. Right now it’s not nearly as messy as it was a year or two ago. I’m making progress!

    But – yes, I definitely need a clean/organized desk to feel productive, even to be productive. I have a huge corkboard above it which helps. Important things that tend to get lost (orders, notes, etc) get put there so I can’t pile everything on top of them.

    I’ve made a habit of a couple of times a week, turning on a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and just cleaning. My phone rings/beeps? TOO BAD. I see something and want to sit down and go through it? It can wait. I just clean. I’m trying to get into a habit of doing that daily because honestly that 15 minutes is more productive than even an hour of unfocused time.

    Now… you’ve inspired me to clean my desk off. It’s been a few days! ;]

  14. 15


    Aw, Gussy. The last few posts have been written specifically for me, weren’t they?? You’ve been an encouragement (even now to de-clutter my desk!) during a very hard week and I appreciate you! Thanks for letting us in on what’s going through your mind…xoxo

  15. 16


    To be honest, I made myself a desk about a month ago and since I got it, it’s been a dumping station for all the paper I don’t want my puppy chewing. However, in all fairness to my lack of organization, I can’t currently even USE my desk because I still lack a desk CHAIR, so I have to do all my creative stuff & officey stuff on a portable little tv tray.

    I should organize it, though. That’s a good idea.

  16. 17


    I wholeheartedly agree. My desk is always a disaster and I really think I would be way more productive if, at the very least, my desk was uncluttered. Most days it’s hard for me to find a spot for that coffee cup!

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