10 Ways To Recharge Your Home Office

by @thewritermama on August 1, 2016 · 9 comments

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Feeling sluggish from all the down time this summer?

Wondering how you will ever get back to being as productive with your writing as you were last school year?

Well, never fear. Here are ten ways to wet your writing whistle before fall arrives:

1. Purge your office.

Lordy, I had no idea I was such a hoarder. I’ll tell you what you are going to need if you find yourself in the same boat as me–a really sturdy shredder. Mine has broken like three times already from all the overuse. I would get this one next time:

Or maybe even this one:

2. Redecorate your office.

I have not gotten this far yet because I’m still purging, but may I suggest inspiring posters from my Etsy shop? I am planning to use some in my office.

3. Buy yourself a fun or beautiful desktop object.

I have been wanting a red Swingline for a while now. I use a stapler regularly to attach my payments to my invoices, so it will be nice to have a snazzier one for this task.

4. Update your portfolio.

I do this on an ongoing basis and I find it keeps me abreast of my own work, since I am rather prolific. I have two types of portfolios: a hard copy binder of all my monthly articles and an online article bank for editors. If I don’t stay up to date on all my articles, who will?

5. Gather recent testimonials.

You’ve been seeing me posting weekly testimonials in this blog. I’m making that a habit for this year. I’ve got a steady stream of them pouring in. Why wouldn’t I share them with others?

New Cindy Hudson Testimonial

6. Display your latest accomplishments.

I hang my latest articles on wires above my desk. I also put my books in shadow boxes and display my posters. If I don’t update what’s on display once in a while, it gets old quickly. This is the old view.

IMG_6948

7. Make your office pet-happy.

We lost a beloved cat over the summer. We got three kittens last summer, anticipating that Devo would be going soon, but he decided to stick around another year. Now that he’s gone we are combining generations. Our 8-year-old rescue lost her best buddy (who we were keeping away from our kittens) and she  is now being integrated with a band of young hooligans. Needless to say, they are thrilled, but her not-so-much. It’s an adjustment, but every day they get a bit happier together. Oddly, all three kittens are getting along with our two dogs, maybe because the dogs have mellowed now that they are older. So we have a houseful of animals that almost all get along. Meanwhile our barn cat turned house cat has another litter of kittens on the way (she was already preggers when we rescued her and her kittens, which now all have homes). She is kept away from the fray for now. I guess my best advice for a low-energy office would be to get a kitten or two to keep you company. And don’t skimp on the cat towers, so they don’t take out their crazies on your furniture. You won’t be sorry!

Aspen acting like the boss of everyone, which he basically is.

Aspen acting like the boss of everyone, which he basically is.

8. Buy a new calendar or planner.

I usually use an academic wall calendar in the kitchen to keep track of everybody’s everything. This is an example of one I would typically like.

9. Back up computers and devices and update software.

Ugh. My least favorite task to do. But the one I celebrate being done with the most. I have a few backup hard drives and I also use the cloud. Pretty happy with both my Seagate (portable) and my G-drive (desktop).

10. Garden or spend time in nature.

I get a ton of writing inspiration when I’m out in my gardens. I am having a lot more fun in my garden again since I put down soaker hoses to keep everything hydrated during the dog days. If you don’t already have a built-in watering system and, like me, you are always creating new gardens, keep them looking their best all late summer and early fall.

The bottom line? Sometimes you have to make a mess to become more productive. My office is in shambles right now. But I have already filled the recycle bin four times!

We have to make room for new growth and the best way to do that is to cut away the old growth. I hope you will join me this last month of summer in getting ready for a big growth spurt come fall.

Share your de-cluttering stories in the comments if you like.

If you liked this post, I recently wrote another on “Paper-lovers, Practical Home Office Products To Inspire Your Next Organizational Update.” Check it out!

I also wrote “A Continuous Quest For Joy Is What My Creative Writing Process Is About,” which you can read here.

Thanks for reading! And thanks for sharing this post with fellow writers! Please subscribe to The Prosperous Writer Blog and sign up for The Prosperous Writer Newsletter for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to start learning.

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  • Mar Junge

    I do an annual office decluttering every August to get ready for September — which I’ve always thought of as the first month of the year. And as I go through my bookcase, I see books I won in your Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaways — another reason I looked forward to September (before it switched to May). Your influence lives on!

  • Sue LeBreton

    The return to school does feel like the new year. I did some purging earlier in the summer because we were having company and it was inspiring.

  • Sara Barry

    Worked through a huge stack of papers yesterday (um, why did I have 3 years of preschool newsletters?) and got my desk more or less cleaned off. And we have the same taste in big organizer calendars. I have one like the one you showed on my fridge. I don’t have my own space for now, but I’m going to take over a little more wall space—my favorite read, write, dig prints + a press sheet from an essay recently published.

  • christinakatz

    Way to go, Sara!

  • christinakatz

    Way to go, Sara!

  • christinakatz

    It feels great, right?

  • christinakatz

    It feels great, right?

  • christinakatz

    Wow, I totally forgot that I used to do it in September. Thanks for the reminder, Mar! Happy back-to-school!

  • christinakatz

    Wow, I totally forgot that I used to do it in September. Thanks for the reminder, Mar! Happy back-to-school!

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