My "writing table." This is just a tiny table crammed in my bedroom between my sewing corner and the Big Ugly Chair (you can see it in the last picture here), at which I rarely sit to write.
And, finally, not a drawer, but my "writing shelf." This is a shelf in my closed where I cram my writing notebooks, back issues of zines, sketchbooks and, apparently, all the other crap I own and don't know what to do with. It's the one shelf I did not deal with when I did my major closet clean-out.
Where to begin? On Saturday afternoon, I emptied the contents of all five drawers and the shelf onto the living room floor and began sorting things into piles and categories (the biggest pile being "recycle"). I dusted out each drawer and only put back what I actually wanted in each one. Here's how they look "after":
Better, no? However I still had a gigantic mountain of homeless crap in the middle of the floor (my children were not pleased with me a. taking up all the play space and b. not cleaning up my stuff--except that they wanted me to play with them so that I couldn't clean up my stuff. You can't win, I tell you!).
Sunday morning, I emptied out my drawer in the filing cabinet (we have a four-drawer filing cabinet, with two of the drawers for C's work, one for our family financial stuff, like taxes--which I'm sure should be next on my list of cleaning, sorting, organizing and dumping--and one just for me). I went through each and every file folder, with the recycling box by my side. My goal was to free up most of the cabinet for writing, with files dedicated to works in progress, submission guidelines, my zine, etc.
I did keep some items strictly out of sentimentality--does anyone else have a hard time tossing the papers you wrote in college? And I have a file of poetry dating back to when I was in third grade, which consists mainly of a vast body of melodramatic work from the tween years, including one poem that begins, "Have you ever had a broken heart?/Have you ever cried like I have?" Yikes. Maybe I'm relieved I don't have any daughters (not that men don't write their share of broken-heart poetry--which is a good thing for the pop music industry--and not that my boys don't engage in their share of melodrama). I also saved my seventh-grade diary and an entire file on the Southern Methodist University Swim Team circa 1991-1992 (hey, I covered the team for the college paper!).
By Sunday night, still ankle-deep in papers and piles, I was starting to whimper a bit, and C asked me why I hadn't just tackled one drawer at a time (clearly he does not know me very well--hello! I gave birth to twins, remember? I don't do things by halves.). But I got the floor cleared and the filing cabinet refilled (with not as much free space as I'd been hoping for, and with a system probably not up to the standards of Regina Leeds, but much improved no less)