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Quickly Organize Your Writing Space by Rochelle Melander

January 12, 2016

Note From Rochelle

Dear Writers,


This year I’m dedicated to helping you tackle your procrastination habit and finish your book. If you’d like to talk to me about what support you need in 2016, visit my website and schedule a 30-minute consultation at no cost and no obligation to you!

Speaking of tackling procrastination, today’s tip will help you organize your office in two hours!

Happy Writing!

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach




Where do you write? Many of my colleagues write books at their neighborhood coffee shops, libraries, and restaurants. Others have spaces in their homes that they have claimed for their writing.

Because I have a small home office, I store the books and art supplies I use for speaking gigs in several rooms of the house. In the past few months, I’ve spent too many hours searching my house for the tools I need for projects. Over the holiday break, I decided I needed to clear clutter.

Did you know that GETTING ORGANIZED is the second most common New Year’s Resolution, after losing weight?




13543393If you write at home even some of the time, clearing clutter and optimizing your space can support you in writing more. Several years ago, I interviewed Organizer Regina Leeds, author of One Year to An Organized Life, about how to clean up one’s writing space. She said, “Walk away from your home office and return with what I call Fresh Eyes. See it as if for the first time.”






Ask yourself these questions. (You might want to list your answers in a journal.):

  • What tools and papers do you regularly need and waste time searching for?
  • What stuff is in between your workspace and the tools you need?
  • What other items get in the way of you doing your work?


Once you have this information, set aside two uninterrupted hours to do a quick toss and reorganize.


Here’s how:

  1. Gather supplies. You will need a timer and four containers labeled:
  • Toss. This is a trash container.
  • Recycle. This is for your papers.
  • Donate. This is for books and other items that you will donate.
  • Move. Items you want to keep in your life but not in your writing space.

Pro tip: I’ve discovered that selling books takes more time and effort than it’s worth. Instead, donate the books to a place that will appreciate them: a Little Free Library, Better World Books, or a local shelter.


  1. Do a speed elimination. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Choose one area of your writing space and eliminate everything that you identified in your list as being in your way. Use your containers! Repeat this as necessary—saving 40 minutes to do step three. When you’re done, get the containers (and the stuff inside them) to their proper place!


  1. Organize. Move furniture, technology, and tools into the optimum positions. Make sure to put any items you need for writing your current project near your writing desk.


Now congratulate yourself! In two hours you have set up a great foundation for getting organized. You are so going to rock this year!


Need a visual? Emily Johnson from OmniPapers has put together a fantastic infographic for organizing your office.



Tip Author: Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at

Tip Illustrator: Emily Johnson is a content strategist at OmniPapers blog as well as a writing coach who shares tips and tricks to help others improve their writing skills. You are always welcome to contact her at Twitter.



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