|Writers can be terrible hoarders. Research materials, manuscript drafts, books and magazines often clutter our desks. Much as some of us delight in a bit of creative chaos, no one enjoys when utter confusion reigns. When “disarray” reaches “dismay,” it’s time to take action. |
Miriam Mennin, a professional organizer and personal coach from Greenwich, Conn., reminds clients that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Make an appointment with yourself for when you feel the most energetic and tackle one task. Even a little organizing can yield great results. Paper in particular can be the bane of any writer’s organizational existence, but bite the bullet and get filing. “The categories for your folders can be whatever you want to call them and jogs your memory, but do alphabetize,” Mennin says. If you’re running short on physical space, scan materials into your computer and arrange electronic files instead.
To really get your blood pumping, try a short, timed exercise. Mennin recommends removing everything from your desk, setting a timer for 10 minutes, and making “rapid-fire decisions about the disposition of papers and other items.” When the time is up, everything worth keeping should be in new homes and the rest in piles for donations or trash. Clearing out clutter can be overwhelming, but don’t forget that “what should stay and what should go is entirely your call,” Mennin says. Only you know what is really useful and what you can let go.