7 De-cluttering tips for writers

I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
Beryl Pfizer

If I get into college my life will change considerably, I will have to find 20 extra hours a week working college into my schedule. As he looked around my office yesterday, my husband commented that I will have to work on my time-management skills. Even though I regularly show him pictures of writers offices that are cluttered with paper, files, and stuff I know that a unorganized work space makes me less productive. So my 7 rules of de-cluttering will have to kick in.

1. Take a look at flylady. My cousin introduced me to this site and it’s full of great information on how to start the de-cluttering process and keep at it fifteen minutes everyday. Warning this information can make you more productive and organized.

2. Don’t take any more misc. papers. Sure, you need information you’re a writer but if you still haven’t accessed the info in the last five years, you’re unlikely to still be interested in writing an article about it. Plus, the internet is your paper-free info zone.

3. Attack your file cabinet. Take everything out, place in large box, now only put back information you truly need to keep. You might want to talk to your accountant first when dealing with financial stuff.

4. Scan your writing clips and throw out the original.Make a back up file.

5. Organize your virtual desktop. Make folders for your work and back up the files to a CD. For example I put all my poetry ready for publication in one folder, short stories in another, submission tracker in another, you get the idea so when I’m looking for files they are easy to access.

6. Purchase a shredder and use it. If the junk mail is taking over. Make a habit of dealing with your mail on a daily basis.

7. Donate books, software, magazines you no longer need or haven’t used in the past year.

Today, take a look around your work space…are they any clean surfaces or is your desk full of distractions? Spend fifteen minutes today getting rid of your distractions and make a plan for a clutter-free office for 2008. I’d love to know your de-cluttering secrets to add to my list.Now get back to work!

Lovingly de-cluttering,
The Writing Nag

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2 Replies to “7 De-cluttering tips for writers”

  1. One word of advice about using the internet as a filing cabinet – you’re not the only one who can access that cabinet and sometimes they throw things out. If you find something you think you might use then save a copy. There have been a number of times recently I’ve discovered something I didn’t have time to go through and then couldn’t find it later. Oh, and save them in a consistent format where you can search multiple files. It’s worth taking a few seconds to convert the HTML into something cleaner like PDF.

  2. good advice Jim but I was thinking more about menus, pamphlets etc.,paper that fills your desk but you could find the info online if you
    needed too. I’m a paper collector. Important files I keep hard copy and on my computer.

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