When I was in my late 30's, I had a boss that was a VP who was the most meticulous person, male or female, that I'd ever known in the workplace. Joe's organizational skills were second to none. One day he came to my office, where, there on my desk as usual, were piles and piles of paperwork. He asked me for a document that he needed, and I, with great confidence, pulled it from within one of the several piles and handed it to him.
He then asked me (rather sternly) to find a place in a file, labeled, for every important piece of paper on my desk. He wanted to be able to find paperwork even if I weren't around. Imagine that! I later found out that he'd spent the better part of a day, earlier in the week when I was on a business trip, looking for that same document that I had just handed him. He was very frustrated with me and my "filing system", and I had to admit, it did lend itself to a certain amount of job security. I spent the next weekend in the office organizing. The following Monday morning, Joe came into my office and congratulated me on the organization of my files. Then, he fired me.
Since that day about 16 years ago, I've had one singular guide that I've used when it comes to a work office/space. I keep everything 100% organized, and I never bring more personal items into the space than I can get into one small records box. I keep the records box under my desk. When I leave, I'll leave with my box and I won't look back. So here's my very well organized work desk.
There are almost NO personal items on my work desk. The pictures are of work friends/events, not family. The bookends are a gift from a vendor. The clock & business card holder are gifts from my company for achieving certain levels of sales. The only personal item I keep is a tiny yellow enamel cross that I got at church one day.
I don't plan on leaving this job - I plan on retiring here, but if someday my boss comes in to congratulate me on my great organizational skills, I've got my box, and I can pack it in less than 5 minutes. Then, I'll just bring it all home to French Lique.
ps... inspiration supplied by Organising Queen. Thank you.