Cleaning the Desk One Day

YOU COME ACROSS A bolt of uncertain origin, a quarter-inch, hex-headed machine screw. There is no doubt that it is of some importance, or it would have been tossed in the trash, rather than kept in clutter. There’s no matching nut or washer(s), and you really have no clue what it’s for. If you leave it lying around forever, you may never find out, but it will contribute to clutter, confusion, dirt, and disorganizement from now ’til Kingdom Come. If you put it away someplace where you’ll Know Where It Is, you’ll forget the location within a month easy, and possibly as soon as a week. If you find the place or thing where it actually belongs, and for the eventual repair of which you’re saving it, you’ll have no idea whether you have the part, let alone where it is.

Q: What do you do with the bolt?

  • A: Mount an all-hands evolution to locate its true and proper location and purpose and effect repairs.
  • B: Find an appropriate nut from your collection, thread it on, and put the two of them back where you found the bolt.
  • C: Find an appropriate nut — and washer(s) — from your collection, slip the washer(s) on, thread the nut on, and put the assembly on your desk to admire from time-to-time.
  • D: Put the bolt back where you found it to marinate longer.
  • E: Put the bolt in a drawer Where You’ll Be Sure to Remember Where It Is.
  • F: Pitch the damned thing in the trash and be done with it.

For extra credit, calculate the length of time (T) it will take for you to find the bolt’s proper situation after you’ve done (F).

Full Disclosure Update: I did (E).

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