Your desk is too messy. clean it up, or straighten it, or tidy it

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Senior Member

A teacher sees a student's desk is too messy, and then he wants the student to make it good. What can he say?

(He does not mean to have the student put the things on the desk away)

Clean up your desk.
Clean up the mess on the desk.
Straighten your things on the desk.
Tidy your things on the desk.

Is any of them natural?
What would you say?

  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I'd probably say just "Tidy your desk".
    "Clean up the mess on your desk" suggests to me that the student has spilt something over it.

    But I think all the suggestions probably imply put away the things on the desk that you don't need. :)


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think I would just say, "(You really need to) Straighten up your desk." It could theoretically imply that the desk itself was crooked but in American English it's a very common way to say things should be neater and tidier and that would be the first thought to come to most people's minds.

    It might naturally involve putting some things away but not all.
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