Senior cleans his desk for the first time in forever

January 26, 2021 — by Rohan Kumar

You might think you know what a messy desk looks like. Sorry to break it to you, but you have not seen a messy desk until you’ve seen my post-finals desk in all its glory.

Stacks of scratch paper, old AP Biology notes and wires lay scattered over its surface, which sported a coating of dust and coffee stains. Getting out of my chair to put my plates in the sink is difficult, so utensils and wrappers from my afternoon snacks somehow started accumulating.

So what’s the reason for this mess? Simply put, it’s a near-religious belief that cleaning a desk is immoral. Where’s the personality in a perfectly organized desk? Where’s the fun in being able to find everything instantaneously? And, of course, it’s also immoral to make me do that much work. My inability to clean my desk was so bad it became a running joke with my friends. I even wrote a short poem and a three-page-long narrative extolling the virtues of my messy desk for last year’s English 11 Honors assignments. For future reference (or maybe not):


How many whirlwinds does it take to mess up a desk?

Zero. It only takes me a day of me using it to make it grotesque.


Why bother cleaning it? Sure theres a coffee stain there,

And a nice collage of random papers and pencils (which I need, to be fair)


You say I’m incompetent, I say I agree,

Would you like to clean my desk for me?


Yet once winter break rolled around, the unthinkable happened. I actually wanted to organize. Free time apparently doesn’t just make me play more video games and sleep.

And so the eight-hour saga of organizing my desk began. No, my desk wasn’t so messy that I needed eight hours to clean it. However, the rest of my study was just equally as messy, so the time I needed to organize my cabinets, bed and closet added up pretty quickly.

I started with my cabinet, which was full of hastily stashed old notebooks, random stationery, and binders. A lot of binders. I ended up throwing away half of them that had torn covers, but in the process I stumbled across a book report I did in seventh grade and a Beowulf artwork. Unfortunately, it seems my handwriting was neater back then.

I then moved on to the bed. I don’t sleep in the bed in my study room, so it basically became a makeshift desk. As all desks should be, it was covered in papers and old school materials. I spent an hour sorting through random papers for scratch paper, reclaiming last year’s folders from AP Chem and APUSH and miscellaneous charging wires. Why charging wires were there I have no idea, but to be fair, if I ever needed an iPhone charger for my Android phone I wouldn’t have to look far.

The closet was fairly easy since it just involved patting down my backpack for any items I forgot to remove. Somehow I managed to find more wires, but luckily these wires actually plugged into my phone and Mac. I still don’t get why iPhones have different chargers than Macs but Androids have the same ones.

Finally, it was time to tackle the gargantuan heap of scratch paper, wires, cereal bowls and who knows what else that my desk had touted without complaint for months. After clearing off the paper and food junk for a solid 30 minutes, I finally got to see the actual desktop. I had almost forgotten what color it was in all the time it was covered by untamed wilderness. I grabbed a wet cloth and wiped off the grime, organized my stack of scratch paper, and twist-tied my charging cables for my phone and laptop into a more practical arrangement.

Finally, after a day of cleaning, I had a clean desk. It was beautiful. Well, it was for two days before it reverted to a terrifying whirlwind of papers, but at least I got to send a picture of it to my friends. They didn’t even recognize it.

I may or may not have two Lindt truffle wrappers, two dirty plates and five sheets of scratch paper littered around my desk right now, but I got my two days of glory and proof that I have the ability to clean my desk once in a while. What more can I ask?