Jan 202018
 

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a pleasant holiday!

I wanted to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart – organization.

This past December, I was looking for some business information, but couldn’t find it. I tore my office apart and still couldn’t find what I needed. I spent so much time looking for this paperwork that I grew frustrated with myself. I knew I needed to get organized and vowed to go into 2018 clutter-free. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but I was up for the challenge!

I started by writing down what I wanted from this process. I wanted to be able to find the information I needed in minutes, I wanted to go paperless, and I wanted less physical clutter in my home. My main reason for getting ultra-organized was because I knew it would help me with writing.

How does being organized help me with writing?  The less time I spend looking for items, the more time I can spend on writing. Also, I’ve noticed that when my home is clear, my mind is clear. This allows me to be more creative and focused.

I began this process of going clutter-free by gathering all of my business information and putting it in a clear bin. Then I moved onto the piles of paper in my home. I scanned each page using an app called Fast Scanner Pro. It is a genius app that everybody should have, which allows you to scan directly from your phone and e-mail it to yourself or save it on a site like Box.com.

You do know about Box.com, right? It’s a cloud content management service where you can upload, save, and share your files. You can even make custom folders on your account to house your scan’s by category and then by year, etc. It’s essential if you’re attempting to go paperless like me!

My next step was to purge. I started by placing items my family and I no longer needed into bags and then took those bags to the Salvation Army as a donation. I honestly feel a lot lighter.

Here are some techniques I use to keep my space clutter-free:

  • As soon as I get mail, I immediately decide if it gets thrown away or scanned. If scanned, I do it right away. No paper, no mess.
  • I purge. When I see things piling up, I know it’s time to sell or donate. I set it aside and take it to the donation center within a few days.
  • I delete 25 messages from each e-mail account every morning to keep my inbox maintainable.
  • I keep a single bin in the living room where I place my current journals and books so they aren’t cluttering my space.

I know what you’re thinking. Can I really do this? Yes, you can. All you need to do is set aside some time and commit to the process. Once you do, you’ll have greater focus and creativity for your writing. You can do it!

When you’re done, send me your before and after photos! I would love to see them.

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May 032017
 

For Spring Break, my family and I made our way out of Chicago and down to Key West, Florida. The weather did not disappoint as it was gorgeous!

While there, we stopped at the famous Hemingway House, which quickly became my favorite author house after the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion in Salem, the home made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The House of the Seven Gables. You can check out more information about our visit here: http://jr-williams.com/blog/?p=659.

As we walked through the Hemingway house with our fantastic tour guide, I couldn’t help, but feel Hemingway’s energy. Everything from the furniture to the typewriters, to the chandeliers, to the porch, to the cats screamed beauty and excitement. Check out some of my photos below:

Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer really loved the house and it was evident throughout each room and the grounds, but the pièce de résistance was Hemingway’s writing room. I wanted to rummage through his books, sit in his chair, and type a letter on his typewriter, but I wasn’t the only one because the entrance was closed off by wrought-iron doors.

All in all, I found Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer’s home incredible. It’s definitely worth touring if you make it down to Key West.

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Oct 072014
 

My life is always changing, which means that the space around me is always changing. After my first update, I worked on my office closet again and here are the results.

I stated that I wanted convenience, space, lighting, and color. I think I have achieved all of that and more.

Here is my current space:

closed and open closet doors

And here is a close-up of the interior: office closet
Here is what I did to achieve my dream space:

For convenience, I had an outlet put into my dining room and it is wonderful. I no longer have to avoid cords sprawled across my floor.

For space, I purged a ton of paper. I still have one small bin that I need to go through, but everything else is in files on my desktop. Sure things need to be separated, but at least all of that paper is out of the way.

For lighting, I used a clamp lamp, which can be moved around anywhere. It’s a great tool to have. I couple that with my overhead light above and it works beautifully. I believe that a workspace needs plenty of light to be functional.

For color, I added a city scene that my son made and put up photographs and desk toys. These pops of color are like tiny pieces of happy energy that help me focus.

For organization, I added a DIY combination cork/dry erase board. I made it using an old cabinet door and a pack of square cork and dry erase tiles. I used stamps and white paint to make patterns on the cork, which gave it a little bit of personality. I love my cork/dry erase board and use it every day to keep track of ideas, to-do lists, and important reminders.

I also organized my writing books by color. Organizing books by color makes your space look well put together. Try it yourself.

The best part about my office closet is that there is a place for everything and when I’m done, I can just close it up and join the real world.

May you find your perfect work space in your home as well!

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Apr 022014
 

When I began freelancing, I didn’t have a computer. I’d write out all of my short stories and novel ideas in notebooks. Then, I’d take them to the nearest computer/coffee shop where I’d spend hours transcribing. I thought I was spending my time and energy wisely, but looking back, I wasn’t as productive as I should’ve been.

I should’ve been writing, not transcribing, but I didn’t have a proper tools or workspace. It’s easy to talk yourself out of being productive when you don’t have either.

It took me a few years, but I now have what I need: space, a laptop, software, books, a coffee maker, a routine, and the ability to say no.

This works for me, but every once in a while I dig a change of scenery. Unfortunately, I get easily distracted at coffee shops and bookstores. This leaves me with my current workspaces. I have three desk areas, but they are all very small.

Here’s what I need: space, light, color, and convenience.

Here’s what I need to do: purge and purchase new matching supplies.

When my workspace is unorganized, I find that I am mentally unorganized. I am going to fix my workspaces. My timeline to get these workspaces complete is in 1 month.

I will show before and after photos of my workspace on Monday, May 5th. Stay tuned.

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