With all the oh-so-tempting sales on all things that help us get organized, I’m not surprised to discover the National Association of Professional Organizers has designated January as “get organized month.” Everything has a place, everything in its place, right?
Marie Kondo, who’s taught and inspired millions to tidy up, has launched a new collection with The Container Store. It offers bins, boxes and canisters in a variety of sizes for…well, everything. It looks fantastic. I’m measuring drawers and shelves and making a list!
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is comprehensive in its approach but it offers great ideas to help create a tidy, inspiring writing space. Her approach is rooted in keeping only items that “spark joy,” an essential concept that resonates with so many of us.
Now, some writers I know like their “clutter.” They work best with everything out, visible. They’re surrounded by books, magazines, reference materials, printouts of research, drafts of their work-in-progress, bills to pay—nothing gets lost in a drawer, as one friend puts it. And why not? If it works, it works.
I love books, paper, pens and all sorts of office supplies and resources, but I tend not to have a lot of stuff out when I’m writing. Just what I need at that moment. It’s not a sterile space. I wouldn’t want that, either. On my desk are two pen-and-pencil holders my daughter made in pottery class when she was in third grade. They might not be the most practical options but they’re sturdy and they definitely “spark joy.”
Like many avid readers I know, I didn’t follow Marie Kondo’s advice on getting rid of all my unread books. I’ve read some of them since the start of the pandemic. Others…I can see she has a point. No books, though, in my workspace. I have non-fiction books in an adjoining room. I’ll sit with a cup of tea and thumb through books on Ireland, Maine, stone masonry, art history. Lots of books. My husband and I keep our library of novels in a different place altogether. (I just finished Lisa Black’s Every Kind of Wicked and loved it!)
I’m not always tidy by any stretch. When I’m finishing a manuscript, I’ve been known to toss printouts of drafts on the floor and then dig around for a cast-off scene. And there was that time with the mice. Best not go there.
What about you? Are you getting anything organized this month? What items in your workspace “spark joy” for you?