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Tidying the Messy Desk: Open Windows, Closing Doors

Fuzzy pompom dwarf with button nose
Saying goodbye to librarian colleagues: PomPom Dwarf from BCLA PDDay ©Marie F. Jones

When I was a toddler, one of my favorite books was When I Go to Bed by Margaret Yerian. It starts, "When I go to bed, I only take one teddy bear and me." The next page adds another item, and another, in the Twelve Days of Christmas repetitive style beloved of all three-year-olds. The upshot of the story, of course, is that with all the stuffed animals and toys in the bed, there is no longer room for the child.

The joy of a messy desk is that there is seemingly endless space to pile projects on top of and next to one another. Eventually, though, we have to tidy up, or else the entire pile will topple over.

Messy Desk Consulting has been on this website since about 2019. It started as a vocational experiment, exploring what I would like to do in retirement (a decade or so away, at that point). Helping people organize their spaces and their lives seemed different enough from my lifelong work as a librarian, but built on those same skills. A few people were interested. It turned out that many were adults with ADHD. My background in education seemed particularly helpful there.

Between then and now (June 2023), many doors have opened for me. My priority has shifted to writing and publishing. I wrote The Messy Planner and The Messy Planner Workbook, and published both on Amazon. I met Pat Magee and wrote To Be the Best by Any Measure with him. I'm now starting on my next book project with naturalist Linda Martinson.

Meanwhile, I've been offered a job coordinating and teaching in the Business and Organizational Leadership Program at Brevard College. It's a huge leap from being a librarian, and will take a lot of learning on my part.

As a result, I'm packing up the "organizing" portion of Messy Desk. My focus for more than a year has been on writing, and I will continue with that. Being a Professor of Business is a good platform for nonprofit consulting and leadership coaching, and any "Messies" that wander my way will be welcomed for any kind of coaching they may need. I'm just not featuring that part of my work anymore.

Really, the main change is that I'm giving up having a separate blog on, and I won't write much about organizing households anymore. I don't plan to put out a separate newsletter for awhile. I have been trying to keep up with this blog and one on Medium, and that's not been good for either.

For a limited time, you'll see both a Blog Archive (this blog) and a New Blog link on The New Blog will direct to my Messy Desk, Messy Life publication on Medium. I expect the writing there to be a writer's blog, with a bit about my life and links to whatever I'm writing, thinking, and speaking about at the time. If you have received my newsletter in the last year or more, that's the type of content you'll see there.

In place of the newsletter, I'll send out the Medium blog posts with "friend" links to everyone on my mailing list(s). That will let you read the posts that are behind the Medium paywall.

If you are reading this in your email right now, that means you are on my mailing list. If you signed up to read about organizing, then feel free to hit unsubscribe below, and I'll take you off all of my lists. If, on the other hand, you are reading this post on and have not received email from me before, go up to the top of the page and click on the "log in" button. That will put you on my regular mailing list and you'll get news when I make new posts.

The Takeaway

If you have a lot of irons in your fire or a lot of piles on your desk (choose your metaphor), take some time to reflect on what's not serving you well anymore. What's on your "do not do" list?

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