Decluttering…The Finale!

Over the past few weeks, hopefully you’ve had the chance to slim down your filing cabinets and your schedule, you’ve gotten rid of that muffin that’d been on your desk for three weeks and was starting to leech spores into the air, you’ve updated your website and social media pages and even learned how to set realistic goals for yourself along the way.


Some lessons that I hope you heed from this series are that clutter accumulates a lot easier than it tends to disappear or become manageable. If you find yourself getting stressed out from the process of decluttering, remember to take some pointers from our “decluttering mindfully” piece. Go out for a run, write down your frustrations, take a nap, listen to a podcast or call a friend. Sometimes we need to take a break to achieve a task at hand, and it’s perfectly okay to let yourself do that in the interest of being more productive upon your return.

In that same vein, remember that “decluttering ambitiously” can be as important as decluttering your filing cabinet. This means setting reasonable goals for yourself (for cleaning up or for writing!) and using a calendar or schedule of some sort to keep yourself accountable for those goals. Maybe you didn’t have time for cleaning up shop this month because you were busy getting to your blog posts or finishing up a chapter you’d been working on. That’s okay. It’s never too late to organize. A rainy spring day when you can’t find the motivation to write or go outside might work even better for you–it’s called spring cleaning for a reason.

We all know time is precious, so “decluttering temporally” is a practice we can do without having to invest much time at all. This is as simple as being able to say “No”: to working extra hours, to going out when you just really don’t feel like it, to helping someone move, etc. etc. This can also be as simple as avoiding wasting your time on things like scrolling through a Facebook feed.

All that time mindlessly scrolling could, of course, be better used by “decluttering digitally” and cleaning up your author website and making sure your documents are organized in some meaningful way and backed up in case some sort of coffee catastrophe were to be unleashed upon your laptop or hard drive.

But when you do get around to it, remember that a cluttered desk–or room–often means a cluttered mind. Make sure that your physical desktop has only the essentials on it that you need for writing. No need to be stressing out about bills or constantly looking at that empty bag of chips while you’re trying to be productive and create a beautiful story! You ultimately want your workspace to be comfortable and to promote creativity and productivity. This might mean pulling some uninspiring books off the shelves and donating them to Goodwill. It might also mean spending a long time weeding out unnecessary files from your filing cabinet. But it might mean something more fun, like finding a piece of artwork for your walls or a comfortable chair for your desk!

Just remember, if it’s not aiding in your productivity or creativity and it’s even a little bit in the way, it should probably get completely out of the way. Decluttering sometimes means parting with the strange things we hoard and latch onto without any real rationale behind it. But I feel very confident in saying that ridding yourself of these cluttering items will only help you in the long run.


The Series

  1. Decluttering … The Desk & Workspace!
  2. Decluttering … Clearing the Mental Clutter.
  3. Decluttering … Digitally!
  4. Decluttering … Your Schedule.
  5. Decluttering … Ambitiously!
  6. Decluttering … Publishing!
  7. Decluttering … The Archives.
  8. Decluttering … Your Bookshelves!


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s