A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 23, 2013
“Tidy desk, tidy mind”

“Tidy desk. tidy mind” is a popular saying, though not always an accurate one. “A tidy desk, he said, meant a tidy mind” was cited in print in 1948.
 
A similar saying is “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” “A cluttered up desk is the sign of a cluttered up mind” was cited in print in 1947.
 
“Tidy room, tidy mind” has been cited in print since at least 1982 and “Tidy house, tidy mind” since 1986.
       
 
Google Books
Punch
Volume 215
1948
Pg. 620:
He said that the great thing was always to keep a tidy desk. A tidy desk, he said, meant a tidy mind.
 
Google Books
A Shooting Star
By Wallace Stegner
New York, NY: Dell
1962, ©1961
Pg. 22:
Tidy desk, tidy mind, Mother used to say.
 
Google Books
The Dakota Project
By Jack Beeching
London: Cape
1968
Pg. 37:
“Tidy desk you have.”
“Tidy mind.”
   
OCLC WorldCat record
The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook : A Professional Guide to Leadership for all PAs, Senior Secretaries, Office Managers and Executive Assistants.
Author: Sue France
Publisher: London : Kogan Page, 2012.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : 2nd ed
Contents:
A tidy desk leads to a tidy mind; ...
 
Yahoo! Lifestyle
Messy desk or tidy desk? What does it say about you?
Working in a chaotic environment makes people more creative and adventurous - but less healthy and not so generous as their tidy-minded counterparts

By Kim Hookem-Smith | Yahoo Lifestyle – September 23, 2013
Tidy desk tidy mind? The old idiom might be true, but there may be something to be said for working in chaos, as according to a new study, working amid clutter could actually make you more creative.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, September 23, 2013 • Permalink


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