Home » ADHD » Blogs » ADHD Millennial » Dissecting the Contents of My Desk

Dissecting the Contents of My Desk

For those of us who have trouble keeping our desks clean and orderly, the contents of our desks are a little like the rings inside a tree. The inner layers tell a story about a time long past.

With that in mind, I’d like to invite you to dig into the accumulated layers of my desk’s contents. Let’s see what fossils we can find from bygone eras.

Tree RingsPerhaps the most obviously dated contents of my uncleaned desk are the holiday cards that people sent me last year. I really need to recycle these soon because it’s going to be discouraging if I start getting more holiday cards and still have up the ones I got a year ago.

I think the main reason I haven’t done so is because once I go to clean the holidays cards off my desk, I’ll feel a need to confront all the other outdated contents of my desk as well. And I’m definitely going to do that, just not right now.

Speaking of those other contents, I already see a jury duty summons from February (spoiler: I didn’t get put on a jury). To be fair, I should keep that for my records, right?

There’s also the requisite collection of receipts and ticket stubs spanning, as far as I can tell, about a year. Interior decoration tip: small slips of paper like these are a great way to fill in any gaps between the larger items covering your desk’s surface.

Also, since we’re interested in historical observation and the passage of time, I should probably mention that there are calendars from three separate years on my desk. Happily, these years are 2017, 2018 and 2019, so that’s pretty much the best case scenario.

The bottommost item in the heap – the innermost tree ring, as it were – is an unsuccessful application I sent in by USPS Priority Mail, which was then returned to me in a self-addressed stamped envelope. I sent the application in so long ago I couldn’t even tell you the exact year without looking at the postmark. Which I’m definitely not going to do, because the envelope is sitting unopened under a stack consisting of three books, two magazines, some papers, the box my smartphone came in, and another box whose original function has been lost to posterity.

As far as my room goes, my desk is definitely one of the weakest links organization-wise. There just never seems to be a good time to clean it off. In fact, the astute reader will note that I’d rather write a blog post describing in detail the contents of my desk than actually organize said contents.

Still, my hope is to use this post as a form of perverse self-motivation. Maybe by publicly shaming myself, I will guilt myself into a long overdue desk cleaning session. I’ll keep you updated!

Image: Flickr/stuart anthony

Dissecting the Contents of My Desk

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on psychology, ADHD and education. In addition to ADHD Millennial, he writes about psychology at Psych Central's AllPsych blog and about ADHD at He can be found on Twitter at @ADaptHD_blog

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2019). Dissecting the Contents of My Desk. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Nov 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.