End of the Year Office Mess

So extensive that it requires a poorly-seamed panorama shot! Get this, this is straightened up a bit from what it was (I cleared a path to my computer).

And yes, it will be cleaned at some point in the reasonably near future. All I need is to get the back hoe up the stairs.

50 Comments on “End of the Year Office Mess”

  1. Yikes! Now I feel vindicated (mildly) bad for snarking your chaotic sanctum sanctorum. Man, I couldn’t work like that. I need order.

  2. Mess? I don’t see a mess. What I see is a personal organization system. I’m willing to bet you can find whatever you’re looking for though there’s probably an occasional surprise in there. That’s a fun thing and helps maintain the motivation for going through it all from time to time. At one point I tried to apply the back hoe but it merged with my personal organization system and since it went into blend mode it was the only thing I couldn’t find.

  3. I just looked at the photo again. Can you give us the photo embiggened? Call me nosy but I can’t read the titles and authors of the books as it is.

  4. No, dear, that’s not a mess. That’s advanced pile management.

    My folks specialized in APM, which is probably why I’m such a martinet about keeping things organized and uncluttered.

  5. Mr Scalzi, I feel thoroughly vindicated. I’m bookmarking this picture so I can pull it out and show it to my partner when he starts looking disapproving at the way my stuff starts overflowing from my desk to the small drop-leaf table behind my chair to the dining table. Of course, then I’ll take him into his den, and point out his criticism is more than welcome once he’s cleared his own desk, and organised all his paperwork so I can find things for him when he phones me about them during the day.

    Seriously, I have a system for all my paperwork; it’s all in one of four possible locations. For his, I’d need a whip, a chair, a packed lunch and a waterbag before I’d be willing to start trying to figure things out.

    I realise I should have asked for a paper shredder for Christmas. Oh well, I’ll see what the Christmas money comes to, and then use that to buy myself something to deal with the overflowing “to shred” tray.

  6. @Josh – Would you be prepared if gravity suddenly reversed itself?

    That’s kind of what my office looked like before 5 rounds of “Keep, Donate, Shred, or Recycle.” Now I just have a few piles of magazines I want to read through.

  7. I do not see your Agents of Chaos picking their way to your office chair and tipping piles of books over on the way. Do your kitties not purposefully pose for the camera?

  8. Gee, another kindred soul. Imagine that. I think there may be fossils in the lower strata of my piles…

  9. Your office looks a lot like mine, except mine is full of craft supplies–although I do have some (craft-related) books in here, I have piles of yarn and other craft stuff everywhere, including the closet. I’m trying to thin out my yarn stash, if you need an afghan, scarf, sweater or anything like that, let me know! :-)

  10. Out of curiosity, how often do you suppose you end up cleaning your office, and about how long does it take? I ask because we’re facing a similar situation in our home office (based on the drifts I’d say ours is in a slightly more advanced state), and I would like to have some data points to share with my wife. Light a fire, as it were.

  11. Nothing a coal chute mounted to that window wouldn’t fix. When the box at the bottom of the chute is full let me know and I’ll cover the FedEx Freight to have it, um, properly disposed.

    Thanks for letting everyone know that even you are living in reality and not some dressed up home magazine photo shoot lifestyle.

  12. Yeah, that brings back memories. Elliott Bay Book Company back in the 90s. A certain bookseller’s office by the name of Rick Simonson. His office was a series of small pathways between piles of books and galleys. Piles like that. In fact, it would make your office look relatively neat and tidy. The good old days.

  13. If I received that many books, my local library would (eventually) end up with an incredible SF collection.

  14. I’m sending this to my wife, as justification for my clearly-far-less-messy office that she sometimes calls a “sty.” Thanks for giving me something to point at and say “See?? That’s a SUCCESSFUL guy!!!” :)

    John Scalzi: does more to save marriage than any congresscritter ever

  15. A note for the Mrs. to put bookshelves on the Christmas list. Unless of course, he’s getting coal instead.

  16. If those piles were stacks of bins, full of various materials for sculpture, I would swear that I was looking at a recent picture of my workshop…

  17. Oh, thank God! We’re not the only one that has an office that looks like the apocalypse actually happened. Thank you for vindicating us, John.

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