Spring into an Organized and Clutter Free
Home Office (Part
© Cheryl C. Malandrinos
- All Rights Reserved.
Spring is the season of fresh
starts and new life. How appropriate then, that in March we
celebrate so many holidays to help writers de-clutter, clean
up, and organize their work areas.
11th was Organize Your Home Office Day; but
even if you missed that, you can still celebrate National
Clutter Awareness Week from March 18th –
24th, which flows nicely into National Cleaning Week
that begins March 24th.
As with everything we writers
do, you need to set goals for cleaning your home office that
are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. If
you know that you’ll be chauffeuring kids around all week to
various sporting events, don’t commit to cleaning your entire
work area or home office. You’ll just get discouraged and
abandon the project soon after it starts.
We’re going to learn how to
tackle the intimidating tasks of organizing your home office
and getting rid of clutter in small increments, which
ultimately will allow you to concentrate more on your writing
and less on the mountain of stuff surrounding you.
This month we are going to
focus on your desk.
I want you to stop whatever
you’re doing right now and take a look at your desk.
What do you see?
Is your Inbox overflowing?
Are there piles of paper stacked on one or both sides of your
computer? Do research materials for more than your current
project make a home on your desk? Are there non-writing related
papers or objects taking up space on the work
Okay, now that you’ve
identified your problem areas, you need to have an action
Find three boxes. Mark the
first one "Keep", the second "Recycle/Toss", and the third "Put
Going from one side of your
desk to the other, pick up each item and decide where it goes.
This includes paper and non-paper items like an old stamp pad
that has long since dried up, your son’s MP3 player, and the
stress ball you play with when you’re on a deadline.
Those items that are in your
"Keep" box should only be those objects, papers, and research
materials that are important to your current project.
Everything else needs to find a home elsewhere; this includes
pictures, books, papers, and office supplies. Walls and
bookcases make a great place to display your children’s
artwork, and if need be, you can purchase a few containers to
hold office supplies.
Anything that ends up in the
"Recycle/Toss" box should make it out to the garbage can or
recycle bin right away. This will give you a great sense of
Things that might end up in
the "Put Away" box are: reference books for past or future
projects, CD’s or cassettes for music you had listened to while
working, miscellaneous items you or your family dumped on your
desk while walking by, or paperwork that needs to be
Take a few moments to get
these items put away. It’s good for your body to stretch and
walk around a bit, and once again, you’ll begin to see the
difference not having these items in your way will
The last thing you need to do
is return the items from your "Keep" box to your work surface.
Take a brief moment to reevaluate each item before you make a
space for it on your desk. Remember, if it’s not necessary for
your current project, it doesn’t belong there.
Now that you have an
organized and clutter free desk, take a deep breath and feel
how much more relaxing it is to sit in an area where you aren’t
bombarded on all sides with piles of stuff threatening to
topple over when someone rushes by.
Congratulate yourself on a
job well done and look forward to next month’s article, which
will show you how to assess your office equipment to make sure
unsuitable furniture and office machines aren’t interfering
with your productivity.
Author: Cheryl C.
Malandrinos is a freelancer who specializes in helping
writers increase productivity through time management and
organization. She has also written articles on
everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting, and
women’s health issues. Cheryl is also a virtual book tour
coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. You can find
out more about Cheryl by visiting her website
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