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Thursday, August 27

10 Reasons People Just Can’t Get Organized

I have a friend who avoided going home after work because it was just too depressing. Her home was cluttered and disorganized in every room. She had fast food wrappers everywhere. Drinks had spilled on the couch and carpet that made a sticky mess. She couldn’t find her DVD’s because they were scattered everywhere. She had late fees galore on both DVD’s and library books because she couldn’t find them under all the clutter. She didn’t know how to declutter her home or her life. If this sounds familiar to you here are 10 Tips on how to declutter your home and your life.

1. Some people think they are just lazy and that is why they can’t organize. As a professional organizer I have worked with hundreds of people and no one I have met is lazy, that may be an avoidance tactic. We are busy people and have a lot of demands on our time.

2. They don’t know what they want and haven’t taken the time to think about what they want their home to look like.

3. You may want to keep everything you now have in your home. In each room eliminate 30% to 50% of the stuff (depending on how much you have). If this is too hard to do get rid of 20 items in each room, again depending on how much there is to get rid of.

4. You tell yourself you don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions of where to start: Chose the room that bothers you the most. Start in your bedroom as that room can be a place of sanctuary for you. Start on the front porch or in the entry way as that is the place visitors and guests see first. When you are in a room start organizing from the inside out, do the flat services after you have done the closet, drawers, armoire, cupboards etc.

5. Have you ever said there just isn’t enough time in the day to declutter my home? The solution is to start slow and take baby steps. Set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes and see how much you can get done in that length of time. You will be surprised how much you can get done by taking one small bite at a time. If you are in a good rhythm, reset your timer and keep on clearing clutter.

6. You blame other people in your home for keeping the clutter around. (Only because it is often true). Start with your things first and when they see you are serious and are making changes they will be more likely to come on board and will be willing to declutter their space. Negotiate with your family and share with them your goals on how you want your home to look and feel.

7. What is the use to organize, it will just get unorganized? Do you ever feel this way? And it is true unless you have some systems in place to help you and your family keep it organized. Have a home for everything and after using something put it back where it belongs immediately after using it. When you see something out of place pick it up then and put it away, or in a drawer straighten things up before they get out of hand and a jumbled mess.

8. Do your children undo everything you do? Give them responsibilities and teach them how to declutter by putting things away, reward them and praise them for jobs they do.

9. You are holding on to things because you may need it someday. It is all just stuff; consider is it worth the cost to replace it IF at some future time you need it compared to what it is costing in clutter living in your home.

10. You can’t decide what to get rid of? As you look at every item ask yourself how long it has been since you used it, do you ever use it, does it light you up, could someone else make better use of it? By asking yourself these questions it will be easier to part with the stuff that is just taking up space in your home and creating clutter.

By using these simple steps to declutter your home you will be able to keep organized. Life happens and things get unorganized, but keep your goals in mind and use the systems you put in place to keep organized.

Marilyn is a professional organizer and invites you to visit her website, She is a sought after public speaker and author who is passionate about teaching ways to organize your life and how to reduce clutter. She works with women in their homes and offices. On her web site she teaches you to get rid of clutter by using her Lights On Organizing System. She provides practical information on how to declutter your home, office and life. In her blogs, articles, and videos she gives timely tips on how to clear clutter and how to declutter everything in your home and office. She is the author of a book called Go Organize! Conquer clutter in three simple steps which will be in major bookstores in December 2009. -Marilyn Bohn

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