Spring: Time for Cleaning and Decluttering

The northwest has enjoyed some early spring weather this year. On each clear and sunny day, Husband Bob has been outside cleaning and decluttering our yard. We love our mini-forest but each rain and wind storm brings down needles, fir and pine cones, tiny boughs, medium-sized limbs.

At some point, this gets under Bob’s skin and he HAS to get out there and clean it up so the debris doesn’t get ahead of him. Still not able to get out and help him I stay inside and work but I’ve begun to notice that my housekeeping has slackened a bit over the last two plus years. It’s time to get busy!

Spring cleaning usually makes us think of home. But what about our work spaces? As writers, we often overlook that space. I know mine needs a good cleaning and decluttering, but where to start. Today let’s look at what you can do to enhance your writing space.

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1. Author Website

Yes, your website! As writers, we are careful to keep content current and regularly produced, but what about the following: your bio, your photo, old content in your sidebar(s), broken links, page load speed, recent backup, delete unnecessary plugins, activate any plugin updates, check site’s responsiveness on mobiles and other browsers. Many components of our websites are often updated. If we’re not keeping those updates current, our sites will not function well for our readers.

2. Email

Although your email program likely holds a lot of data, it is still a good idea to go through your email system and delete unneeded folders, no longer needed emails just sitting there, newsletters you don’t subscribe to any longer, and perhaps consolidate some duplicate folders under different names.

Another and perhaps hardest step in managing your email is to unsubscribe when going through new mail to those mailings or newsletters which you consistently delete without opening.

3. Computer

If you are a Microsoft user, you probably know how to use Microsoft’s disc cleanup to maintain your computer. For Mac users, I’m told there is a program called CleanMyMac3 which is easy to install and operate.

A large variety of “clean my pc” software exists online. However, be cautious and make certain you know what you’re downloading. One last piece of advice not to be ignored: if you are not already doing so regularly, backup your computer often.

4. Social Media

Time to make sure certain things are up-to-date in this part of your writing life. Check profiles on social media, settings, check apps attached to your Facebook author page to make sure they’re working, make sure videos and/or trailers are loaded to author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook author page, etc., and check groups on LinkedIn and Goodreads to determine which ones you should leave (i.e. not active or productive) and search for new groups to try.

5. The All-Important Desk

Last but not least, what about your desk? Is it clutter-free? Are stacks of paper stashed all around, on the floor, underneath? Sort out that paper! If you have physical file folder, place any related paper there. If you don’t need it, recycle it.

If you’re not sure, start a temporary folder as a holding place for these. If there’s a chance you’ve filed any of the paper to Evernote or OneNote or another app, take some time each week to doublecheck those apps for that piece of paper. And if it’s there, get rid of it. I’m guilty of this last one, and I’m working on this now.

There are many other steps we can take so that each morning we can walk into a space ready for us to write. It was impossible to cover everything in one blog post.

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If you have a suggestion about cleaning and decluttering, please share it below in the Comment section.

4 thoughts on “Spring: Time for Cleaning and Decluttering

  1. Great tips, Sherrey. I’m still in winter-mode because of all the snow but I’m sure the first lilac of spring will motivate me to start decluttering, starting with my overloaded email account. Happy Spring!

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    1. Isn’t it amazing how much that email inbox collects? And I forget winter is still in existence where you are. Hoping it will soon pass away and those lilacs will start blooming. Wishing you the happiest of springs!

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  2. I was reaching the storage limits on my email and so deleted a ton of them. It’s too embarrassing to tell you the date on some of the oldest items. Best wishes on your cleaning out enterprise, Sherrey.

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    1. Marian, I just did the same with my email. It was horrific when I looked at the date on the oldest! Finding just the right way to maintain an even flow in that inbox is hard. Good luck to you in keeping those emails under control.

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