Your bedroom’s a little messy and you’re totally fine with that. There are probably some nooks and crannies you almost always ignore when cleaning up. I’ll admit, I don’t keep my home in perfect condition all the time either. Life gets in the way and there are many worse things than a couple pairs of dirty socks on the floor.
Still, no matter how messy you let the rest of the house become, it’s important to keep your writing space clean. You need some kind of organization. Everything you’re likely to need in a given day should be within easy reach. All the things you need should have designated homes where they return when you’re done with them. Even a small work area can seem spacious if it’s well organized and kept clean.
Scheduling time to regularly clean your work space is as crucial to your success as scheduling time for self care. A clean, organized workspace reminds you that you’re dedicated to becoming a professional writer.
If you spend most or all of your writing time in one spot–especially if you’re a full time writer–the cleanliness of your work area will make a huge impact on your mindset. Your writing space should be a place where you feel comfortable. It should be a place you’re excited to get back to because you associate it with creativity and the work you love.
How exactly you choose to clean and organize your writing space is entirely up to you. Every writer is different and every workspace comes with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. If you tend to take on numerous short projects, you might want to re-organize your space more often than if you know you’ll be working on the same projects for several months. You might decide to do a deep clean–scrubbing the surrounding floors and walls–once a week or once a month.
Do whatever works for you, but make sure you do it regularly. Build it into your schedule. Create a checklist of things you must do to properly clean your writing space. Your list should include organizing loose papers, wiping the surface of your desk–or the kitchen table, whatever you’re using–and sweeping the room you work in. Regularly cleaning your keyboard and scrubbing any spots off the walls and floors is important too.
If you’re serious about this writing thing it means you’re going to end up skipping a lot of social events to write and spending a lot of time indoors. Keeping your workspace clean and organized is one way to make sure you want to return to your story.
If you’ve been working in a messy office for ages and don’t believe cleaning it up will truly impact your productivity and happiness, try keeping it clean for an entire month. See how you feel. Odds are, you’ll find it was one of your most productive months yet. Better still, you’ll be more excited to continue writing because your writing space feels more comfortable.
Finding time to do a thorough cleaning job may be difficult, but I assure you it will be well worth your time–especially if you’re trying to make do in a small space.
Do you have a cleaning routine for your writing area? What does it look like?