Yes, I know of articles about clean desk vs. awful ones as a testimony to creativity (my colleague Sharon Kane at SUNY Oswego, in fact, shared that she too has an assortment of everything in her peripheral view. I have a sister by Lake Ontario (one I admire).
The truth is, I like minimalism and clear spaces to do my thinking. There's enough wackiness in my head, so I don't need an environment to personify this where I sit to actually think. I know I must clean before I can actually process, and that is what I've been doing.
Ah, but cleaning paperwork, budgets, and forms - that's a different story, because that material needs to be provided to other offices on campus so everything in grant land goes forward. I can say, though, that I have lived this way on campus, so it doesn't filter its way into my home life (which has stayed moderately calm and non-chaotic).
I can't believe I'm actually thinking about this, as I'm embarrassed that any of my spaces can get this crazy with stuff: so much stuff, but this is what running a National Writing Project site looks like (and what supporting teachers and kids becomes in the day to day routine).
I will say, too, that my office no longer looks like this. I'm ready for the conference call this morning, meetings, and time to actually write. I simply need to move the paperwork onto the next phase of their existence.
(On another note, I used my DVR for the first time last night for Big Brother. Who knew fast forwarding and rewinding could be so difficult?)