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It happens to everyone.

You tell yourself that you’re going to just buy one more piece of clothing, one more book, one more piece of furniture. Before you know it, you have piles of clutter all over your home.

You tell yourself that you’ll clean tomorrow but you’re just too tired to organize things right now. The effects of a busy schedule start to take over, and things keep getting put off until later. Before you know it, your house is a disorganized mess, and you’re starting to feel the pressure. You go on binge-cleaning spurts where you organize a corner – only to have all of your work undone by carelessly dropping your grocery bags on top of the precarious pile and watching it all come crashing down around you.

Eventually, the stress builds and you no longer know where to turn. What do you do when your “healthy clutter” turns into a chaotic mess? How do you know where to begin? Where do you start? How can you declutter your life without driving yourself crazy and making a bad situation even worse? Surprisingly, it may be easier than you think.

It’s all too easy for a few piles of stuff to gradually take over your living space until there’s virtually no room for anything. You have to shuffle papers off of the couch just to be able to sit down. You can’t eat in your kitchen because you have books and study materials all over your kitchen table, and you ran out of counter space a long time ago.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and once you feel that overwhelming stress kicking in, it’s easier to just procrastinate and put your cleaning off until later. You tell yourself that you need to be more prepared to go in for the long haul, and it’s best to wait until you have a chunk of free time – which will inevitably be filled up with something a lot more fun than housecleaning.

It happens to everyone. So how do you get started?

Start Small

With any major undertaking like cleaning, it’s best to have a plan in place. Don’t get so wrapped up in the planning stage that you completely avoid digging in and getting started. If things seem to be spiraling out of control, focus on one specific area. If your desk is a magnet for papers, bills and books start there. It’s amazing how much of a difference one clean area can be. It can give you a much-needed sense of accomplishment and give you a sense of pride that will spill over into other areas of your home.

Once you get started and see results then you start to feel good about yourself and the space you live in.  A positive momentum takes over and before you know it you are an organizing machine.

Simplify your decision making

People get bogged down trying to get rid of clutter because they can’t make a decision on whether to keep something or throw it away.  If you spend ten minutes on whether or not to keep that old sweater then its going to take a very long time to get through the stuff you’ve accumulated over the decades.

How do you decide:

Love it or lose it.  If you look at something like that sweater do you love it, like it or hate it? Only keep the things that you love and create positive energy.  If something is just okay then why keep it?  It’s the things that are “okay” that you will never use again.  There’s a reason its been hiding under a mountain of other unused relics from your past.

Have you used it in the last year?  If not then toss it.

Is it broken?  Then its trash and no you’re not going to fix.  Nope throw it away unless it worth a lot of money.

Do you already own this item?  You don’t need 30 white shirts okay.  Get rid of a few.

Avoid the “Grab and Stuff” Method

You can quickly declutter a home by grabbing everything within sight and shoving it into a rarely used closet or cupboard. Unfortunately, this doesn’t actually clean anything – it just shifts the problem somewhere else, and you’re going to encounter serious problems if you need to find something amid the chaos. Even though it takes longer, it’s worth the effort to put things in their proper place the FIRST time so that you don’t have to backtrack and clean the area all over again.

If you’re dealing with a lot of mental clutter, decluttering your living space can be the first step in clearing the cobwebs from your mind and moving things forward more positively. A clean house can help organize your thoughts, and it can give you a sense of pride and focus that is often difficult to come by.

A clean house can even help decrease stress, and cleaning itself assists in the production of serotonin – a brain chemical that assists in mood stabilization and also enhances mood. While cleaning is an unpleasant task – especially after things have gotten out of control – it is a task that can work wonders in your overall mental health and well-being.

Instead of putting it off until later, take control of the situation and dive in. You’d be surprised at how quickly a clean place to relax can turn into a home that you’re proud to come home to. A place that you can take pride in that fosters and encourages mental clarity and a break from the stress of every day life and the hectic realities of the world around you.

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