I have an enormous U-shaped desk in my office. It is far too fancy for me, but it is what they thought I needed when we moved to our new building in July.

I am a messy person who knows where any and all the  documents  are  in the piles on my desk. Please don’t make me clean up. It ruins my organizational strategy.  The larger my desk, the more and bigger the paper piles on it.

In one corner of my desk I have the collection of figures you see in the header photo. I got the Freud bobble head from my son. The red puppet I got in Bremen Schnoor district. He reminds me of Tyll Ulenspiegel. The vampire tomtens I got from my daughter.  I have no idea where the Viking came from. I have no idea what people think about  them, or what they think about me when they see them.  I sort of wish people would ask.

What did or does your work desk look like? How did you make your desk reflect you who you are?


35 thoughts on “Knicknacks”

  1. Looking. Computer tower at the far left. On top of that, a shallow ceramic dish imprinted “Phone? Keys? Wallet?”. Saving search time. Center holds the TV/computer screen. That’s not really mine as the budgies claimed it as a claw-warming perch. This requires a layer of paper towel at the front and rear. Birds are free range poopers. Right. A small library with dictionary, several histories and current read, Tale Of Two Cities. Lamp. Coffee cup.
    This is not a work desk as much as it is an entertainment center.
    Oh! I forgot a roll of black duct tape. Extra protection for the various cords and wires the bird people like to chew. A use I never saw on Red Green.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Your Knick knacks have a decidedly European quality, Renee.

    My desk is alternately messy and neat. I let the papers pile up until I can’t take it any more, then I sort and file. And there are the post-it notes full of reminders. When I start losing those I have to sort and consolidate the scraps.

    There is, however, no roll of duct tape. The rest is coffee stains, scotch tape, wadded Kleenex, computer cords and pens and pencils. Really duct tape would be better than my mess.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I do love the menagerie above, Renee. I have a carved wooden troll that I should bring over to this “desk”.

    I guess this is my only desk at the moment, here at the computer. This is a long board held up by two file cabinets, with a fairly wide opening underneath that houses the hard drive. My side is on the left, with a few papers and post-its of things I should attend to. Some of these have been there for weeks. Oh, and my little cup-warmer, and behind the printer is a 3-slot holder for notes, cards… Behind husband’s papers is a retractable bookend thingy holding various dictionaries (for crosswords), address books, and the computer speaker.

    All my file folders for music, dance, etc. live elsewhere, and sometimes it’s a challenge to have everything so spread out.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My desk is like yours, Renee–an organized mess. My knick-knacks include seven little stuffed animals that watch me work. I also have three drink coasters (not sure why– I only have one cup at a time. Also an aroma candle and lighter, phone, cell phone, wallet, calculator, MP3 player and charging cord, nail file, two stacks of various papers, documents, and notes (one stack for investing, one for writing). And of course the requisite desktop computer, two lamps, printer, and two speakers connected to the computer.

    More telling is the rest of my office. Bookshelf is crammed to the gills. File cabinet has detritus on it that has been there for months. But I’m much better about leaving post-it notes all over. My wife HATES that–I inherited that trait from my dad. Every now and then (months? a year?) I clean up what she calls “that mess of an office” to appease her, but within weeks it starts to look “right.”

    There! I’ve shared my innermost personality with the world. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  5. My desk is too tiny to display tchotchkes. It is neat because it has to be, carrying only a clock, keyboard, two speakers, a mouse and the monitor. The desk has a big compartment to hold a computer tower. Because the tower is in the left, I’m forced to sit on the right. That means there is wasted open space on the left side of the desktop but precious little space on the right . . . which is where I, a right-handed guy, run the mouse.

    There is a point to this. My desk absolutely “reflects who (I) are” because I slapped it together before I thought things through.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I am the absolute opposite of you Renee. I like my desk to be as neat and clean as possible. I cannot handle piles of paper on my desk so I have stacker boxes (one for each program) that I put papers into and then every now and then I put the papers into actual binders. My neatness even extends to my inbox; I can’t stand it when I have a lot of things sitting in my inbox. Once I’ve read it and dealt with it, it gets sorted into a sub folder. Right now I have three things in my inbox and they’re all three kind of bothering Me. I do have knickknacks though. I have my little toritos from Peru, I have a small ceramic penguin that I got in college. I have two stuffed sheep that live on top of the printer and a box of animal crackers (a limited addition that had polar bears on it) that’s hanging from a hook on my ribbon shelf.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The worst desk I ever saw belonged to a shapeless middle-aged man who replaced me at the magazine I once edited. His office was small, and it was hard to move in there because there were stacks and stacks of over-the-transom articles, photos, letters and other papers all around the floor. Bill’s desk was similarly covered with stacks of paper. Like Jacque, Barbara and Chris, Bill pretty much knew where everything was. That is, he could go to the right stack and find anything he really needed. I just realized my first sentence is wrong, for I never actually saw his desk. I just assumed there was a desk under all that paper

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That sounds like the desk of Georgine Pliske, the woman who ran the “alumni relations” function of Peat Marwick’ Mpls. office. I have never seen that much paper in any office, before or since. It was in tall stacks,
      all over her desk and atop her credenza, but Georgine knew where everything was. Her mind was like a steel trap. She never forgot a name or a face, and she could tell you, off the top of her head, where every single professional who had left the Mpls. office was currently employed and in what position; she was amazing. She’s now long gone, but I know there are lots of Georgine stories and fond memories of that really special lady.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Over the transom is a phrase referring to unsolicited articles. All magazines get them. Sometimes they are interesting articles by people who are just breaking into magazine journalism. More likely, they are useless things written by wannabe writers. As an editor, I always tried to give unsolicited material a fair reading and I’d thank the writer. For an unsolicited article to be actually printable is very, very, very rare.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. HI-
    My home office desk has one photo of Kelly from way back when. But it’s a great photo. Plus a few sticky notes. The big iMac is in the left corner. Then I have a laptop and extra monitor sort of in the middle. That’s the PC for farm bookwork. To the right is my big calculator. Stapler, numeric keypad and trackball for the laptop. I’ve just added hooks on the wall to hang the bluetooth headphones for music, plus the headphone w/ mic for zoom meetings on it’s own hook.
    There’s 3 external HD’s tucked under the Mac. A big 10 port USB thingy, A cup of pens, The ‘Jeep’ icon from the middle of the steering wheel of my jeep that got totaled. Plus a glass disc from the headlight of that jeep.
    Many years ago, a friend stored their 1964 Lincoln Continental out here. The kind with the suicide doors. When it was finally hauled away as trash I kept the big middle of the steering wheel and used it as a paper weight. To that I added the emblem of a 1986 Eurosport I had. Then the Saab logo. Now the jeep.

    At the college that desk is a drafting table desk so it’s big, I have two monitors, speakers, the upright holders for magazines and notebooks, Telephone, another big calculator, stapler, tape, and a stack of whatever I’m working on right now. And a couple odds / ends props that I don’t want lost up in the main prop room. Like a whiskey flask (empty. It’s a PROP. Honest!) The little rubber hammer they use to testing your reflexes, a couple other misc odds and ends like a tiny pair of nipping scissors, and the cup a faculty member gave me full of green M&M’s as a thank you for helping with their event.
    I have a lot more decorative stuff on my college office door. Things I probably couldn’t get away with if I was in a more public setting. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I just realized that the desk I described is the desk in my actual office (where I haven’t worked for almost a year now) but the tsockies are in my studio (which is where I’m working these days.). However I am quite religiously moving the big monitor off of my studio desk every day at the end of my work hours and the laptop and the keyboard as well. Even if I don’t go in and use my studio in the afternoon or evening I really feel like I want that stuff put away when I’m not actually working.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. My desk is very small. The top holds my printer, a landline (I know, I’m a dinosaur), a small wooden cup from Morocco and a larger ceramic elephant mug from Thailand that hold pens, pencils, & scissors, a Tensor desk lamp, and a Post-It note cube. Three compartments below the top hold printer paper, boxes of small and business size envelopes, a small basket that holds a My Passport & cable for my MacBook and a hand size stress ball, and a tray to hold more pens, paper clips, stamps, and return address labels. When not in use, my laptop sits on top of the printer. Papers sometimes pile up on the desktop – maybe a dozen at the most – but the piles never last long. The messiest part of my desk is on the floor – a power strip with plugs for the computer, printer, and phone paraphernalia. I never actually work at the desk because it is too small. The main purpose is storage and a place for my printer.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Me too. I’m just not willing to give up the landline. It’s kind of a “what if” sort of thing with me.


        2. Plus I don’t think it’s possible to retrain my mother. Despite the fact that I call her from my cell phone, I text her occasionally from my cell phone, she still calls me every single time on my landline.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. The strangest office desk I ever saw belonged to a women who worked in the DFL Media office at the state legislature. Her desk was covered with toys and kitsch like a boxing nun puppet, a Freud bobblehead, two or three rubber chickens, chattering teeth or a bony skeleton hand. This woman was an obsessively conscientious worker with no sense of humor. If you told a slightly off-color joke, she would blush and flee the area. The only way I could explain the goofy stuff on her desk was that it had to have been gifts from guys in the office, and they were probably spoofing the most serious worker anywhere in Minnesota government. She kept all that stuff on display, but believe me, she was not a rubber chicken gal at heart.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I’ll admit when the confirmation came back I actually started to cry a little. I cannot imagine working that hard and that long, sending off your creation seven months earlier and then having to wait like that. So many things can go wrong – I still think it’s kind of a miracle that we can put a Rover on another planet.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. He is long defeated by death, so I tell this. My boss, Donald Harney, Dakota Flooring, from decades ago, lived in a one room apartment above the showroom in Fargo. The man was a millionaire having investment and patents with Armstrong Flooring. I had a love/ hate relationship with him. Monday mornings he would decend the elevator and give out assignments. For several weeks, myself and another employee had been working on carpet in the apartments he owned in that building. Don was late. Really late! So I finally went upstairs to his apartment. I found him asleep at a 4 foot by 8 foot desk ; blue print before him; pencil in hand. He must have scenced my presence and without looking up told me to continue with the apartment across from his. Mr. Harney’s desk was his home. That print was for an NDSU project I worked on a year later. I learned a lot from that guy. “Try not to take your work home with you. “

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Reading others, I see that I forgot to mention the post-it cube (sides printed with chocolate candies), and my French-china-sugar-bowl for pens…

    Our land line phone lives on another desk I almost forgot about – an antique secretary – this one has just one drawer and a lower shelf, but when you open the hinged writing board, there are several small cubbies above for envelopes, etc… We keep maps and electrical stuff in the drawer, and the cubbies hold lots of financial stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. It’s all the extra detritus I can’t find a place for. I have a three drawer file cabinet, top drawer is envelopes, scissors, paper clips, a ruler, nail clippers, envelope slitter thingy (actually a gel cutter, but works for opening envelopes) return labels… all that misc stuff. Second drawer is label paper, photo paper, and where I store receipts before they get filed in the years storage box. Bottom drawer is the hanging file cabinet for the misc important papers that are more than yearly. Property taxes, income taxes, SBA loans, insurance… But there’s a pile of stuff on the couch behind me, and some stuff on the corner of my desk looking for a home. I think I need to clean out the top two drawers.

    Over on the printer is two boxes of stuff from Kellys desk, she’s got a laptop and docking station, keyboard, two monitors, the modem, a stack of papers and the sticky calendar that’s important to her work. Plus another side table with papers.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I have a mug warmer, mousepad and mouse, a kitchen timer in the shape of a ladybug, a small mosaic candleholder in the shape of a cat with a tealight in it, a remote for the Bose, a magnifying glass that has a little LED light in it, and a keyboard drawer that is supposed to be pushed in under the desk when not in use, but actually stays out pretty permanently. On the keyboard drawer, but under the keyboard, a layer o debris has formed, made up of pens and corks and batteries and paper clips and charging cords and post-its and such. I don’t quite know what all is under there. A recent addition is a therapy light off to one side, which I actually remember to turn on most mornings.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. i am too busy these days doir dashing it’s like crack
    formulating my business while i drive and all
    my desk is total accumulation of knick knacks from shutting down my other desks recently
    carved wonderful wooden boxes model vw buses pictures of my dad and art hicks myself we it’s santa at age 4 downtown dayton’s stacks of books comin up next on my list it’s a 3×5 bedside table with drawers to stash nightly change pens before they die papers that fit in a slot and a spot to write if i ever sit down there rather than unload and reload …. my phone is my desk today 100%

    Liked by 3 people

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