As I’ve discussed previously, the recent move from a two bedroom apartment to a smaller one bedroom apartment resulted in the need to get rid of a fair bit of stuff. Technically my current place isn’t that much smaller than the old one (about 50 square feet less,) but the amount of storage space I have available here is quite a bit less than I had previously, hence the need to get rid of quite a few things before I moved. This included the huge desk that I used to have. Those of you who have been reading this Blog long enough may recall a post some time ago about my old desk, which was a huge Ikea Galant corner unit with two extensions, and provided roughly seven acres of flat surface on which to place things. Judging from the fact that most of the time the portions of the desk not directly around the computer would frequently accumulate large quantities of random junk, this wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
At the time of the move, my plan was to get a smaller version of my old desk that was more in line with the size of the new apartment, and to use the small work table (previously used as a workbench for my RC car in the old apartment) as a temporary computer desk until I could get around to getting the new one set up. In theory that’s how it was supposed to work, but now it seems that my “Temporary” desk is turning out to be not quite as temporary as I would like. This isn’t because I’ve been putting off the purchase of the new desk. In fact, I bought the new desk (a smaller version of my old one) just a couple of weeks after I moved in. Mostly this is just a matter of not having found the proper amount of time and/or motivation required to actually get the move from one desk to the other completed, but at the same time, I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t really need such a big desk after all.
Since I’ve been using this small table for my computer, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot less clutter to go around, if for no other reason than the fact that there’s nowhere for the clutter to go. Sure, there’s a few papers and other things here and there, but for the most part I can actually manage to maintain some semblance of a clean desk if I don’t have much in the way of a desk to maintain. Even on the old desk I was able to maintain a bit of a buffer zone around the computer to provide enough room for whatever non computing tasks I might be performing at the desk, but that was mostly accomplished by shoving stuff out of the way when necessary, which probably contributed greatly to the clutter of the desk. If I tried that with this particular desk I’d end up with a big pile of stuff on the floor. Assuming, of course, that I had space on the floor for it, which I really don’t.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have space issues in my new place compared to my old one (I’d say I have probably around 2-3 more storage bins full of stuff than I really have a good place to put them at this point) but as counterintuitive as it sounds, it seems that in some ways having less space almost makes it easier to keep things organized. Another example of this is laundry. In my old apartment I had a bad habit of letting piles of clean unfolded laundry accumulate for far longer than I really should have. I have been a lot better about keeping this under control in my new place, mostly because there’s just not anywhere to put a big pile of laundry here. There is the slight issue of not having quite enough room in the dresser to keep everything unless I keep roughly a hamper full of laundry out of it, but all in all, I’ve found it a bit easier to keep that particular trouble spot for clutter in check as well. I’m sure someone out there has done research on this subject and has some sort of obtuse scientific hypothesis that can be used to explain this effect, but if I had to guess, I’d say the whole thing probably boils down to the fact that try as you might, you just can’t put stuff into space that does not exist.
Oh, and the big table that I’m supposed to be using as my desk? It’s mostly sitting around accumulating random stuff. Old habits die hard, I guess.