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Category:  Cleaning

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How To Get Out From Under All That Clutter!

By G. Gaynor McTigue

Clutter is one of the most irritating words in the English language. It's synonymous with stress, because just looking at it can give you agita. The physical clutter soon becomes mental clutter.

The problem is getting rid of it. It's a huge job, so you keep putting it off. But the more you put it off the more clutter you accumulate, making it an even more humongous task to face. Here are some tips, excerpted from my new book "400 Ways to Stop Stress Now...and Forever!," that will help you break the cycle.

Throw something out every day.

You've got too much stuff in your house. Office. Garage. Attic. Useless clutter that's weighing you down, getting in the way, obscuring the things you really need. Be realistic. If you're not going to use it, lose it. Every day, find one thing you don't need and toss it. Or give it away. Or sell it at a consignment shop. In time, the clutter will begin to vanish and space and order will magically appear in your home...and your life. Stick with this. It really works.

Take ten minutes a day to neaten up.

Here's another effective do-it-by-degrees strategy. Supplement your regularly scheduled cleaning by spending a short time each day neatening your home. Use those few minutes to clear a cluttered surface, tidy a child's room, clean out a drawer, dust a long forgotten place, put something away...or whatever obvious need is staring you in the face. You'll be amazed at how much this small attention to neatness can accomplish over time. And how organized and productive you'll become. And when you do get around to more intense cleaning, the job will be that much easier. You're probably awake at least 16 hours each day. Take just ten minutes of that time to tidy up.

Store things out of the way.

Take an extra moment or two to put things back where they belong. Why? Because you can bet that wherever you put them temporarily, they will soon be annoyingly in the way. So you end up moving the item two or three times, when you only had to do it once! More than that, things left out tend to reproduce (I swear they do) and multiply to the point where work surfaces and living space soon disappear. Nip those stragglers in the bud and haul them out of sight.

Don't buy what you already have.

This may sound obvious, but there are probably several duplicated items in your home right now...and you donít even know it. Or you do know it, because it was easier to find it in the supermarket than fish it out of your cluttered house. So before you go shopping, check to see that you donít already have what you think you need (the rear of the refrigerator, cabinets and closets are good places to start). Make a list of infrequently used possessions and where they're kept. Over time you can save a lot of money, and spare yourself a lot of clutter, just by keeping track of what you've already got.

Clean out your closet.

Why start each day on a sour note by having to confront an overstuffed, messy closet? How can you possibly figure out what to wear if all your clothes are crammed in and piled up like that? Free yourself of this stifling encumbrance. Go to your local home center and get closet organizers, racks and shelves that'll help you make the most of your space. Give away what you no longer need. Enjoy the convenience of having everything sorted and easy to locate. Wake up each day feeling relaxed, organized and in control.

These should put you well on the way to a clutter-free, stress-free home. For more ideas, go to where you can get a free stress tip each day.

 G. Gaynor McTigue is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA). His sixth book "400 Ways to Stop Stress Now...and Forever!" has just been published. To learn more contact 203-254-7789, or visit


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Category:  Cleaning

Related Links:  | CleaningClutter Control |

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