Maria Gracia

Article Summary:

How to remove the clutter from your home.

Declutter Your Home

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your home? Start on a smaller scale instead and it will be a whole lot easier.

For example, instead of starting with the entire house, commit to starting with one room.

Follow these 11 steps, and you're well on your way to an organized home:

1. PICK A ROOM--ANY ROOM. Decide on what room to start on. Write it at the top of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. This will be your Action Sheet.

Example: BEDROOM A

2. CHOOSE AN ENTICING REWARD. Designate an appropriate reward to give yourself on the Dumping portion of the job. The reward concept serves as your motivation, so be sure to choose something that you'd really enjoy! Write this reward on your Action Sheet.

Example: Treat yourself to a massage or go out for a nice dinner -- whatever it is that you love to do. Write it on your Action Sheet.

3. SET A DEADLINE. Set a specific Dumping Completion Deadline for this one room. Write it on your Action Sheet.

Example: DUMPING DEADLINE: APRIL 30

4. SCHEDULE TIME TO DUMP. Schedule 3 specific dumping dates (one hour for each). Hopefully this will be enough to complete the dumping portion of the job. Write it on your Action Sheet. Then, post the Action Sheet in a prominent place where you are certain to see it every day, like your bathroom mirror. It will serve as a reminder of your goal, deadline and pending reward.

Example: DUMPING DATES: APRIL 18 from 8-9A, APRIL 21 from 8-9A, APRIL 24 from 8-9A

5. KEEP YOUR APPOINTMENT. When the 1st dumping day arrives, keep that appointment, just as you would any other important appointment. Bring a bunch of large garbage bags. Play your favorite music in the background.

6. TIME IT. Set a timer for 1 Hour -- one that sounds off when the hour is up.

7. SORT THROUGH IT. Pick up one item at a time, and start dumping. (If you come across items you want to give to charity, designate a special bag for those items) Whatever you are going to keep, just put to one side of the room.

8. DO IT UNTIL THE TIME IS UP. Continue doing this until the timer goes off. If you prefer to continue, keep going. Otherwise, stop and follow the same procedures for your next two scheduled dates. Don't let the garbage bags sit there. Make sure they are thrown out now (or donated), or on Garbage Day at the latest.

9. CELEBRATE. Once you've managed to dump everything you don't want or need in that one room, it's time to celebrate. Take advantage of that reward you designated.

10. KEEPING IT ORGANIZED. Now that everything in that room that you wanted dumped is gone, you're ready to begin putting everything you are keeping back in an organized manner. Be very careful not to put anything else in this room that you don't want.

11. REPEAT. Repeat this process for each of the other rooms in your house

Maria Gracia, founder of Get Organized Now!, specializes in helping people get better organized to live the kind of stress-free life they've always dreamed of.

During Maria's ten years with Dun and Bradstreet's Nielsen Media Research in New York, Maria worked as a marketing, organizing and management specialist.

Today, Maria and her husband, Joe, live in Watertown, Wisconsin where they own and operate their company, Effective Business Systems. Maria founded the Get Organized Now! division in 1996.

Maria is the author of Finally Organized, Finally Free which has been read by thousands of people all over the world. In addition, she has created a variety of other helpful organizing products that can be found in her Get Organized Now! Store at www.getorganized now.com.

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