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Get Over Overwhelm—Getting Started

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How do you get started organizing when you feel completely overwhelmed? One step at a time sounds logical, but it doesn’t answer the question, “Which step do I take first—and why?” Truly, when the task is big, any step is the right one. A start is what’s needed. So let’s talk about some quick and dirty ways to get unstuck and to begin the task of digging your way out of your project. Pretty soon, you’ll be sweeping up after the project is done.

  1. Pick a five-minute task first—organize your sock drawer, or one kitchen cabinet, maybe the spice shelves, or the pots and pans. …[Read more]

Decluttering: “I don’t know where to start!”

A complaint I hear all the time from my organizing clients and prospective clients is, “I don’t know where to start!” People look at the decluttering to be done and become immobilized by the magnitude of the tasks in front of them. Here are some ideas to help you get unstuck when the project seems too large and you don’t know where to start.

Kitchen timer as organizing tool
Use a kitchen timer to limit the scope of an intimidating organizing task.

Break down your organizing project into finite, measurable chunks. Let’s say you have a room that’s spilling over with junk. Instead of setting a goal of clearing out the whole space, break off a manageable piece. For example, take a garbage bag and wander through your space picking up 10 things that you’re willing to throw away. Put the bag in the garbage can. Pat yourself on the back for making a start!

Or grab an empty cardboard box, and gather 10 items that you’re ready to donate to a thrift store or put in a garage sale. If you’re making a donation, take the box straight to the car so you can drop it off the next time you run errands. If you’re planning a garage sale, place the box in the space you’ve set aside for storing items …[Read more]