Spring into an Organized and Clutter Free Home Office (Part 1)



© 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.

March 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 surface?

Okay, now that you’ve identified your problem areas, you need to have an action plan.

Find three boxes. Mark the first one "Keep", the second "Recycle/Toss", and the third "Put Away".

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 accomplishment.

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 filed.

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 make.

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.


 About the 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 at http://ccmalandrinos.tripod.com/ 

 Click to read Part Two of this article








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