I am the queen of clutter.
How can I possibly part with all that good 'stuff', it's still useful, right? (Especially those Pizza Hut coupons. You can never have enough of them.) Those notes I scribbled ten years ago might be the next great novel. When I get time to read them, it might just end of being my new project. (As if I need another project right now. I'm up to my eyeballs in manuscripts. Not complaining though, I love it.) Which brings me to organization.
Even clutter has to be organized.
For all pratical purposes, my 'office' (the ususable one) exists within the confines of my laptops and two big legal pads with the words "Wind" and "Luck" written across the tops of the binding. It's been this way pretty much two years now, since the remodeling and the stint in mother-in-law world began. (If y'all have a mil who loves you dearly, whom you'd go to the ends of the earth for, lavish attention on her. She is worth her weight in gold. I am insanely jealous of you.) The clutter is mostly confined to my room at her house and my office space at the new house (I do work up there some, and most of the 'has to be filed stuff' has been moved there). Anything I need for Seven or have scribbled down for ideas or don't anticipate actually needing on a daily basis until we move in a month or so, is filed on the big desktop computer which doubles as my youngest' homework computer. Notes for any of the Elemental Magic books, Cullen's Luck, Gypsy Moon, or contracts, bills etc. are in pocket organizers within easy reach.
As for my electronic filing system? Cluttered but organized. When I save or add files they usually orginate from two places email or my small laptop, but I work on three different computers. (Sometimes I need a bigger screen and keyboard.) After two days hunting for the beginnings of a new project I'd started, saved and lost without finding it, I changed my document system. Now there are thirty files, the E M series has its own separate file as does each of my projects, a central library of ebooks for review, another for reviewed ones, etc.
Anyway, the same system exists on all three computers and when I update a file, I save it to my flash drive and update the other systems. It's time consuming, but if one crashes (like it has in the past) I don't lose anything. (I have a habit of losing my flash drive, which is why I don't keep it all on a flash drive.)
My desk at the new house hosts the desktop pc of course, several random books that have nothing to do with the craft of writing and more about procrastination, as in I still need to finish reading Acheron and that ten year old National Geographic magazine and will when I can't work and want to look busy. There is an old piece of Sarah Conventry jewelry that reminds me of a talisman or something, a 1930's pic of my grandma whose passed, a pack of brads (molding), a hammer, a printer, a handheld sewing machine and various office supplies. The hammer and brads are there because when I was putting up molding, I kept laying them down and losing them. I always seemed to look for them there first, so I finally gave up and starting leaving them on the desk. Across the desk chair is an afghan made by my great-great grandmother, in strange shades of orange and yellow that matches nothing in the room (didn't match in the old house either). I never knew her, but it still has a place in my space. I have alot of items that have been entrusted to me simply because I never throw anything remotely useful away.
So, what's your work space like? Is it easier to create in clutter where everything you see inspires something new? Or do you prefer a blank slate?