...and I take my whisky neat.
So, I started reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and even before I've finished the book, I'm heavily into the process. I've modified it some, but it's working for me. And in theory, tidying one's space also tidies one's mind. We can but hope!
The closet isn't done yet, but four or five 30 gallon bags of clothes that do not spark joy have gone to the thrift shop. I was skeptical about the advice to organizing hanging clothes with longer, heavier things on the left and shorter, lighter things on the right, but I tried it, and I like it. It's different than organizing by category and color, but I like it, and to my happy surprise, it isn't hard to find things! The dresser drawers are now lined, some with scented paper, and very tidy - and yes, I think I can keep them that way. I've been practicing and doing pretty well for a few months now, and with fewer things in the drawers, it should only get easier.
What has this to do with writing? Well, of course, there's the organizing thoughts that goes along with organizing stuff, and there's the way that moving clothes around seems to spark ideas. But that's peripheral; the real link to writing is when I moved this process to my office. I have, so far, filled the recycle bin twice, and half-filled the very large garbage can. Things I thought it would be emotionally painful to get rid of weren't; it was a relief. It will be even more of a relief when I am done!
I had a moment of panic when I couldn't find an important file, because it was in a new place (which turned out not to be as convenient as I thought it would be). This experience has made it very clear that Kondo's advice - not to worry about where things go until you decide what to keep - is very good advice. I have ordered a couple of things to better store what I am keeping; she likes shoe boxes, but I've used all mine up (mostly in the dresser drawers), and anyhow, I don't want shoe boxes on my desk.
I have been through a lot of files, but still need to go through several more, including my oldest one: Names, Notes, and Scrappy Bits. I love this file. It holds a whole lot of ideas, most of which will never be developed - but, and this is key in the "KonMari" process, it brings me joy to go through that file now and then. Doing that will be my reward for getting the rest of the office tidied. (Kondo uses the word "tidying" a little differently than I and most of my friends do. For her, it means a deep and thorough clean out, whereas in my world, it means tucking things out of sight when people come over. She asserts that if you interact with each object, and only keep what you love, you will be less inclined to get/keep things that don't spark joy. That's over-simplifying, of course, but it makes sense to me.)
Once I get this project finished - the other rooms can wait (and no, I'm not "supposed" to be doing it room by room, I'm supposed to be doing it by category of thing: clothes, books, papers, memoribilia, and lastly, photos, but I'm doing it the way it works for me, so ...) - I will be able to get back to writing with the useful files handy, and fewer distractions, physical and mental. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. (Yes, I will come back with pix of the tidied office.)