I recently moved out of my old apartment, a sacrosanct hovel dubbed the Pug Palace, and into some fresh, new digs across town. It was a harrowing lesson in cardboard commotion, but most of my belongings emerged unscathed.

During the big move, I came to a handful of semi-interesting conclusions about myself. For one thing, moving is the dumbest thing on Earth and folks should just stay put instead of breaking their backs lifting sofas. Secondly, I am far less tidy than I thought I was. Not only do I own way too much stuff, but it’s absolutely everywhere.

While I’m most certainly not a hoarder, I’m definitely a sloppy punk. I should have seen the warning signs. If you’re not familiar with them, here are the surefire signs that your commitment to a dashingly geeky lifestyle is affecting your cleanliness.

Your desktop is littered with icons

Everyone knows that the things you buy say a lot about you. What is less talked about is how you maintain the items you buy correlates to your deepest, darkest nature. In terms of geeks and keeping their belongings orderly, one of the biggest signs that you’re headed toward a messy end is the manner with which you keep your computer desktop organized.

Is the entire screen full of icons? Are there multiple versions of documents, each bearing the word “final” in the file name? Have you placed large wads of icons into a folder entitled “Desktop” that you have been planning on organizing for months?

You’re a slob, geek. Clean it up.

You mistake iGiene for hygiene

Many of Boulder’s sloppiest geeks think that because they own a large number of clean, sleek Apple products that those qualities are automatically transferred over to themselves. I’m talking about the shimmery idea that if you own enough sexy, unblemished gadgets, you are somehow exempt from society’s mores.

This Mac-based delusion, which I have dubbed iGiene, has become even more widespread since the iPhone became available on more carriers. With the dramatically increased userbase for the device, more and more people are allowing their dishes to stack up, Netflix DVDs to gather dust as they remain unwatched, and the months on their adorable cat calendars remain on, like, April. If I’m describing you, pull yourself together at once!

You attempt to use CTRL+F to find things

This is the last and saddest stage of one’s descent into slob status. You enter a room, a room that is largely familiar to you but thoroughly covered with junk, and try to find something. Without thinking, your hands twitch as though you were operating a keyboard and pressing the CTRL key and F key simultaneously.

As most web users know, this is the shortcut that produces a small window that lets you search a page or a document for a particular word. It does not work in real life, but your cluttered mind is so far gone that you have convinced yourself that it might — tragic. You are beyond my help.

If you have progressed to this stage of disorder, you may as well grow some dreadlocks. Where you are headed, I cannot follow. For the rest of you, mind the signs! Pick up after yourself before it’s too late!

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