As a home-based business owner, I enjoy the flexibility of having my office in whatever room the mood strikes me. My actual office is set up in the basement and I am surrounded by state-of-the-art equipment, cabinets of supplies and a multitude of file cabinets.
However, as a writer, my most important equipment is my lap top and that goes where ever my lap goeth, which this summer has been on my screened in porch overlooking the golf course.
Talk about your creative setting. I can watch the sun rise and often work until the only light outside or in is the illumination of my computer screen, but that's okay with me.
However, living in the northern part of the country the temps have begun to dip and unless I want to type while wearing gloves, I've had to face the fact that it is time to move the office back in doors. So that was my focus this weekend.
During the summer I set up a separate filing area with my new customers and on-going customers, personal files and reading material and found it required a little more effort that just moving my laptop. As I got downstairs, I discovered that over the last five months I've been bringing piles of STUFF down into my office and every surface was covered with completed projects, research material, magazines and books that I've finished, software manuals, handouts from delivered speeches…you get the idea.
SO…I began reviewing the piles, sorting and making folders where needed but when I opened my file drawers I found there was no room in the inn.
So that began an even bigger project of going through old files and boy did I ever uncover some treasures. (I found a 1971 Johnny Bench baseball card in mint condition and the People Magazine from the month thatdied. Talk about your treasures!) I bit the bullet and started pitching. It took me hours – well, the better part of two days, but I pitched and purged and sorted and re-filed and tomorrow I will be starting work in a clean, organized, up-to-date office.
It was exhilarating. Granted that tells you just how little it takes to please me, but really there is nothing like a clean well organized office. It frees the mind. It also gave me the opportunity to find notes and research on possible new business directions that I'd abandoned for one reason or another but now will be revitalized.
I highly recommend taking the time to purge and pitch and refresh. I wouldn't recommend doing the whole thing in one weekend but you might set up a schedule for doing one letter of the alphabet each week!
Chris Perrow, of Perrow Systems is a great proponent of purging. She offers wonderful daily/weekly/monthly tips for staying organized.
How do you stay on top of the clutter?
Deborah Chaddock Brown