Inspiration in Your Office

Break the block.

When you get stuck in a rut, face writer’s block or some similar loss of creativity and feel boxed in in your office, there are a few ways to get out of it. One of the first lines of defense is a makeover. No, you are not going to the salon. No, you are not going to the DIY center.

Spring Cleaning

I prefer to think of organizing the office as alphabetizing the chaos. Creative people do not like to clean, so let’s keep it simple.

First, be creative…no sense in this being a chore! Add some color to your in box by splitting it into a more effective to do system. Pick your three favorite (or matching) colored boxes or baskets. If you prefer using your desk or filing cabinet to organize, use three drawers. Let’s name them today, tomorrow and everyday.

“Today” contains tasks which are already late and those which will take less than 30 minutes to complete. Finish at least one task from this box everyday or empty it everyday.

“Tomorrow” holds tasks that take less than one day to complete and those nearing deadline. Schedule a day to do these tasks or devote two hours each day to these tasks. When they are almost finished, they can move to today.

“Everyday” contains those big projects. Work on them everyday for 10-30 minutes until they are finished. When they are small enough to fit in tomorrow, move them.

If you are not ever going to do it, bin it. This step may be painful, but it is critical to de-cluttering your office. Now, the projects are off of your desk. This will help you concentrate on one project at a time.


Second, tackle all of those loose papers and envelopes on your desk. Instead of hiding them, or putting them into your new “to do” system, finish them for good.

Use an alphabet file for receipts and a calendar (1-31) file for bills. File receipts and check stubs under the payee name or expense (office supplies, postage). Easy for tax time! File bills under the number 7 days before they are due. Each day take out that day’s bills and pay them. Then drop the portion of the bill you keep in your alphabet file.

If personal mail has found its way to your office, answer it. Put your letter in an envelope with a stamp and walk it out to the mailbox. Then, throw the mail away. If you must keep it, move it to your scrapbook space, memories box or photo album.

THREEThird, place a source of inspiration in the view of your desk. A plant, a picture of your (grand)children, your favorite book or a frame of your first copy (or rejection letter) make great inspiration pieces. Just be sure to choose something which will inspire your writer or artist within.

Now, all that is left on your desk is a paper clip chain, four sticky note pads, six pens that still write and your stress relieving squeeze ball. Rake all of that into your desk drawer. A messy desk is the sign of genius, after all.

Sit in your chair and survey your organized office. If all of the neatness makes you uncomfortable, just peek in the drawer! Get to what you love…write about how creative you are in your organized workspace!

This plan works equally as well for craft spaces and DIY workshops. Use it to de-clutter the space where you create.


What is your inspiration in your office? Do you already have the “to do” system? How often do you rearrange your office?

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. You’ve been looking at my office, haven’t you????? I am one of those “out of sight, out of mind” people, so I have piles everywhere. My ‘office’ is an area in our family room behind the fire place that I call “the cave”. I usually write in a chair in the fam room though and have stuff beside me there (printer….).

    I have to confess that I don’t get alphabetical organization. Not because I can’t alphabetize, but because I can’t remember where I decided something goes. I guess I get creative in my labeling. I could cross-post in every possible letter, but then I’d have every file in almost every file and I might as well keep doing what I’m (not) doing. I drive my husband insane, but he puts up with me because I’m eye candy 🙂 Thanks for trying to help the helpless.

    • I alphabetize the cans in the cupboard and the spice rack…on a lazy Susan. Can you say OCD?

  2. Since my office is my cruiser and I basically live in it, it is normally cluttered. I try, and underline try, to keep it clean but with body armor, heavy coat, computer bag, case files, I think I need a maid.

  3. My goal for the week – write one hub, clear a book shelf or two, buy a white board, clear off my desk tops both of them, reorganize my cd collection which my beloved disorganized in his search for a single cd which I could have found for him had he asked.

  4. I like that your “today” box includes items that are already late. Oh you know us well!

    • Only rarely do I put things already late into the everyday file. Sometimes, to be honest, they go in the bin 😉

  5. Okay mind reader! I’m my inspiration, because if I’m in my office, I stand a chance of getting something done. Really though, I have a lot of things. My crazy decoupaged desk, my rock from somewhere with ” Inspiration From The Inside” written on it and my memorabilia everywhere.

    Right now, my “to do” system is a magnetic chalk/whiteboard with ideas/topics to write about, a drawer for bills and a drawer for things I’ve written. I also have boxes/bins with my finished and unfinished work all around.


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