If you constantly feel disorganized, out of time and overwhelmed, you are probably among the many of us who need some space clearing and de-cluttering at home or work. Living and working surrounded by unorganized "stuff" can be fuel for the fire of unhealthy stress. And who needs more stress and anxiety? Begin by clearing just a counter space, storage area or cluttered corner. It will generate a great feeling of accomplishment and energize you. Here a four simple tips to get started: Start small. When a task seems daunting -- like your office, the garage at home or the big closet in the hall -- break it down into manageable chunks. Set a time limit, schedule it and stick to it. Book 30 minutes after lunch on Monday to clear your desktop; do the same on Wednesday and Friday, 30 minutes each for the main file drawer, then the storage box in the corner. Set a manageable pace to finish the room - this stuff's not going anywhere and every bit of headway you make will lighten your load.
Carry something away. Whenever you leave a room, be it your office, your kitchen or the family rec room, take something with you and put it where it really belongs or get rid of it. Keep it simple: just one item, every time you leave a room, and you'll be seeing a difference in a matter of days.
Trash junk mail - every day. Take a quick look, and if it's not something you feel compelled to even open and skim, don't set it aside for later. Shred it or tear it up, and into the recycle bin it goes. You may also want to check out options for reducing junk mail by visiting Direct Mail's Facebook page for information on its "National Do Not Mail List."
Make a Donate box. Pick a box of manageable size and keep it near the exit door. Whenever you come across something useable and in good repair that you don't need anymore, put it in the box. Each time the box gets reasonably full (meaning you can still easily carry it), put it in the car and drop it off the next time you go out. As your de-cluttering becomes habit, you'll become a familiar face at the Goodwill and other local charities.
Give yourself three weeks of using these simple starter tips (they say that's how long it takes to make habits stick), then take a look around and enjoy your cleared space and reduced stress level!
Article by Kim Washetas, contributing writer, enthusiastic whole health advocate - and recovering clutterer.