Are you thinking about organizing your home freelance writing space but you aren’t sure where to start? Whether you are writing in a dedicated office or your work space is a portion of another room in your home, you will find that you will be more productive if your workspace is neat and free of clutter!
Assess Your Freelance Writing Space
When you are thinking about organizing your writing space, start by looking at it from the perspective of someone looking at it from the outside. Get up out of your chair and step away from your desk. Does the overall area look inviting to you? Does it have enough natural light that you feel good about spending time there?
Let go of any lingering ideas you may have about writers having to retreat to a grotto and suffer for their art. You deserve a space which is well-lit and inviting where you can work. Add a lamp or move your desk to a location which feels comfortable for you. Ideally, you will want your desk to be positioned out of high traffic areas in your home so that you can focus on your writing tasks without being interrupted too often.
Once you have addressed the basic layout of your freelance writing space, the next step will be to think about things you do daily, as well as tasks you need to perform less often. Your plan for getting (and staying) organized should incorporate a plan for supplies and equipment which fit both categories.
For example, if you use a day timer or calendar to keep track of meetings and deadlines, you will want to keep this within reach so that you can refer to it often. Even if you use an electronic calendar on your computer, it’s a good idea to have a hard copy of your schedule as a backup in case you are unable to access it for some reason. (Computers are wonderful and do make many tasks much easier, but a lost Internet connection or a software glitch can mean you are stuck without much-needed information – and usually at a time when you can’t afford to waste time looking for it.)
Keep Things Within Reach
Next, you will want to make sure that client files and other materials you need for daily projects are readily available. It’s a good idea to have a specific spot for these items, since you know you will be referring to them often as you work. Depending on how much space you have available, you can consider using a file folder for each client’s project. Another option is to use an accordion file for this purpose or to store files for current projects in a small filing cabinet near the desk and keep contracts and records for closed ones or work with longer deadlines in a second, larger cabinet.
Make a plan to store your office supplies in the same way. The core supplies you use often should be stored within easy reach. Have a couple of pens, a pad of paper and some Post-It notes handy, but don’t go overboard.
If you are looking for storage options for your home freelance writing space, but don’t want to take up any more floor space, look up. There are a number of storage options which can be mounted to your walls or ceiling which can keep your files and supplies handy without taking up any more room. If you have an office or a corner you can use for writing, personalize it by choosing some storage solutions which reflect your personality.
Substance Over Style
It can be tempting to have a dozen pens in a rainbow of colors available because you are trying to emulate an office look you saw in a decorating magazine. While the image may look attractive, it may not be workable for your office. Your goal should be to find something which is practical. The more stuff you have on your desk, the more items you will need to pick up when something gets knocked over, and these kinds of spills are an inevitable part of work. A better choice is to keep only a couple of pens on your desk (one to use and one for a spare) and store the rest until you need them.
Keeping your home office simple and streamlined means you can spend your time focused on writing instead of looking for or picking up things which have fallen or gotten spilled. Clutter has a way of creeping in to your work area unless you are diligent about weeding it out before it has a chance to take hold. Spending a few minutes at the end of the day making sure your work space is clean and neat is a good way to keep it organized once you have devised a system which will work for you.
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Kathy Richardson
Kathy is an online freelance writing specialist working for academic writing company.