Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On De-cluttering by Mary A. Berger

Everyone says I should clean up my office. But it only takes two days to get to my desk. What's the problem?

I know, I know, we authors need space in which to work—neat, uncluttered space. On a personal level, I've actually misplaced a chapter or two of a novel in that vast stretch of territory I call my desktop. So there's no one to blame but myself for such non-organization.

However, I am making progress. Nowadays, you'll see fewer sheets of 20-weight, 92-brightness strewn across the floor, requiring visitors to watch their step. Thanks to my latest round of tidying, some of those scraps have found their way to that shredder wastebasket in the sky. This fact called for a major celebration—with a touch of white zinfandel on the side.

Seriously, I've come up with a few tips to help avoid or at least tone down the amount of desk clutter.

* Don't set something down and tell yourself you'll file it later. Find a home for it now, even if it's a hastily marked manila folder, then tuck it away in a desk drawer or file cabinet.

* Choose one area of your desktop and concentrate on that section, be it the overloaded box of office supplies, a pile of writing-related books, or the ceramic bowl filled with dried out marker pens.

* Rather than taping or affixing sticky notes all over a desk shelf, hang strips of colorful duct tape about ten inches in length, then adhere your sticky notes to those strips, one just above the other. Your desk will appear more organized and might even look like a fun place to be. 

These are but a few ideas I've come up with to help myself feel more organized. Remember, you control clutter; don't let clutter control you! 

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