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Spring Cleaning: Get Organized

Spring’s here, and it’s time to clean up your act—and your house. Why not get your writing life organized, too? I once used the following quotes to speak to a women’s group about organizing. The principles they present will help you get your work organized, too.


Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. – A.A Milne, writer of Winnie the Pooh.

Your Stuff

  • “This is my scissors rack. If you use them, put them back.” –my mother’s scissors rack
  • “Everything should be done with dignity and in proper order.” —1 Corinthians 14:40, Common English Bible
  • “When it comes to organizing a workspace, relaxation and comfort aren’t the primary goals. Work is about efficiency and productivity. … The more neat and logically organized your workspace is, the better you will be at your job.” Peter Walsh

Your Work

  • “Plan your work and work your plan.” –attributed to Vince Lombardi, former Green Bay Packers coach, and Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the UK
  • “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin
  • “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” —Proverbs 21:5, The Message
  • “Write something every day.” Who knows who first said this. You hear it from writing teachers, workshop leaders, and other writers. A variation is “write one hour every day.”

Your Time

  • “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” —Lee Iacocca
  • “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3, Common English Bible
  • “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” Proverbs 19:21, The Message

Readers, do you bother with spring cleaning? Any kind of regular re-organizaton? Please comment on this post and share your thoughts. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

10 Responses to Spring Cleaning: Get Organized

  1. W Terry Whalin April 22, 2017 at 10:23 am #


    Thank you for this terrific post. Every writer has to go through spring cleaning and gain the skills for organization. It’s the only way to consistently meet deadlines with quality writing. I appreciate these great reminders.


  2. Tracy Crump April 22, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    I usually clean the windows every spring. Didn’t last year because my dad passed away so they are in dire need now. But I’d rather be writing!

  3. Cecelia L. Lester April 22, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    I had hoped to declutter during Lent, but the weather got colder. We are back from our vacation. I hope to seriously do some organizing next week.

  4. Paula April 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

    I’m a strong believer in reduce, re-use and re-cycle. So I generate very little trash. The practice doubles as de-cluttering because, as soon as mail shows up, I go through it and decide where it’s going. As far as spring cleaning my home is concerned, I don’t have anything that needs it besides windows. They don’t get the attention they need in the winter (for good reason, since I live in Michigan). Other cleaning has a regular schedule.
    I’m a stickler for keeping clutter down. Physical clutter messes up my mind. Over the years, I’ve rid myself of one-fifth of my total household because I decided I didn’t like it, it had no practical use in my home, or had no sentimental value. And even some of the articles which have sentimental value are going the way of the consignment shop or being passed to other family who want them. That’s not to say I have no ‘trinkets’ in my home; let’s just say dusting and washing mirrors, etc. is not my forte.
    My favorite way to de-clutter now is to scan documents I may need in the future onto exterior drives. The file cabinet will be so much lighter the next (if ever) time I need to move. As I go through this process, I am amazed at how many articles and what-all I kept and can’t for the life of me remember why.
    I agree with your mom’s rule about the scissors rack. I had a list for my kids similar to that rule when they were young. The most important one was “Don’t put it down. Put it away.”

  5. Emily Akin April 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    Thanks, Terry. I used to be more organized than I am now. I guess I’m slipping, but I’m determined to get back in the groove.

  6. Emily Akin April 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    Me, too, Tracy. We are considering downsizing our house, so I’ve been in serious de-clutter mode this spring. I asked for a quote to clean our upstairs windows (storm windows and outside of wood windows). The man said he didn’t have safety equipment for upstairs, so why didn’t I just get new windows.

  7. Emily Akin April 22, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    If your weather was like ours, winter was so much like spring that it’s been hard to tell when it’s time for spring rituals.

  8. Emily Akin April 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Thanks for the ideas, Paula. I’ve let the clutter get out of control at my house. I like your rule about putting stuff away.

  9. Laurean Brooks April 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    I’m bad about holding onto to things. It seems to be true that physical clutter leads to mental clutter. So if I clear my home of all the things I no longer need, I should morph into a well-focused, phenomenal writer.

    Right? LOL.

    I enjoyed this article.

  10. Emily Akin April 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Thanks, Laurie. Glad you enjoyed the article. I think you’re onto something. We are thinking about downsizing, moving to a smaller home. I’ve been trying to get rid of stuff for months. It’s hard.

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