And this is where we ended up...
But of course this begs the question: Where is all that stuff that had been laying on the desk?
Well, much of it went into the garbage. The books were placed in a stack on the bookshelf for future minimizing, and the papers that were deemed "not garbage" went into two in-baskets for "future minimizing efforts".
I will note here that one thing I do not want to do is to just move stuff from one place to another. For instance, clean up the desk by just relocating papers to the kitchen table. With this in mind, going through paper is going to be a major task today.
Several times during the previous year my wife and I have spent multiple hours trying to locate a receipt or a bill that we needed. Here's one thing I have learned: Piling papers on the desk is NOT filing.
The goal at the end of this minimization in the office is to have way less paper to contend with, and to be able to locate papers that are important or that will be needed again. Papers needed for taxes, for instance, or warranties and bills.
Both Leo Babauta and David Allen both have strategies to go through and then stay on top of paper. The key is to get through the stacks of stray paper quickly, have a plan ahead of time on what needs to stay and what does not, and a strategy to not allow the paper to get out of control again.
Right now I am really pleased with the desk. It makes me happy just to look at it, and I feel motivated to sit down and use it to write. Having a de-cluttered space to work in seems energizing, and isn't that the point in minimizing... to get rid of the excess junk that is weighing you down and find your true self.
Next up... the paper in the corner.