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De-Cluttering and Organizing: How to Get Started
By Eva Abreu, Professional Organizer
Part 1 of a 3-part series

As warmer weather approaches, many of us are in the midst of home remodeling, spring cleaning, yard sales, selling our homes or moving. The common theme that we are dealing with is de-cluttering and getting organized. The hard part is, how do we get started?

It’s easy to get stuck and become overwhelmed, with no idea of where to begin with our organizing projects. Many of us become emotionally attached to our belongings. Other factors which contribute to the difficulty in getting started include lack of time or focus, no one to assist, medical problems, no place to put things away, not sure what to do with unwanted items, etc.

There are television shows dedicated to this topic, magazine articles, organizing products in every store, and a wide selection of books about organizing. Does this scenario sound familiar? You pick up a great organizing how-to book, start reading through it with the best of intentions, then put it down and say to yourself that you’ll get to it “someday”, as it gets added to your clutter pile.

In fact, maybe you’ve become an “expert” in your knowledge of what to do to get organized, but for some reason, you just can’t get yourself to apply the techniques. You’re not alone! If you can keep an open mind about learning some of the systems and methods of being organized, then pick and choose what might work for your own particular situation, and be willing to take action and give the ideas a try, the chances are greater that you’ll experience success in achieving your organizing goals!

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Replace negative feelings with positive motivation.

What comes to mind when you think about your areas of clutter? The most common feelings are embarrassment, shame, depression, need help, can’t have anyone over, stuck, or overwhelmed. To get a jump-start on your organizing project, it’s best to acknowledge your current feelings and know that you are not alone and many others feel the same way that you do.

Next, replace these negative thoughts with your positive motivation for wanting to get organized. Think about why you want to clear your clutter. What is your goal? Visualize this outcome and let this be your focus from now on.

[Part 2 & 3 to be continued]

©2007 Eva Abreu. All rights reserved

Eva Abreu is a Professional Organizer and owner of Sort Things Out in Piscataway,NJ. A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, she works one-on-one with individuals as an organizing partner and coach, helping clients to de-clutter. Ms. Abreu also hosts “Sort Things Out Talk Radio”, conducts corporate Lunch and Learn programs, teaches community education courses and workshops, and facilitates support groups to help clients get organized. She can be reached toll-free 1-877-708-0884 or visit for more information