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Spring Cleaning Steps to Declutter Your Life

Hooray for spring! As we move into spring and prepare to put away our winter boots, bulky sweaters and those nasty winter blues; it is also a good time to start thinking about clearing the clutter from our lives as well. Clutter is one of the biggest challenges people face when trying to be organized. The external environment we create for ourselves is often a fair reflection of our internal environment, thus, when our lives are filled with clutter, we end up spending too much of our time managing the small stuff, and we never have time to manage the things that really matter. Here are 5 ways to spring-clean the clutter from your life.1. Breakdown the project, and lose the all or nothing approach
Start with one room at a time, or one area at a time.

It is unrealistic to say that you are going to complete an entire house in one day. By doing that, you set yourself up to fail by having unrealistic expectations. It is best to decide on a starting point and decide on the length of time you will work on the project. For example, "I will organize the den area of my home starting Saturday morning at 10am; I will work on the project for 2-hours". After the allotted time has passed, make a decision about when you plan to resume the project and congratulate yourself on the progress made.

2. Collect like items
Put like items together; put all the clothes in a pile, all the papers in a pile, all the shoes in a pile and. Collecting like objects, helps to break the project down into smaller pieces; by doing this, the goal of completion becomes more of a reality.

Once you have the room separated by like items, you may want to continue breaking the piles down even further by continuing to separate items that go in the same area.3. Label everything
Labels, Labels and more Labels, by labeling boxes, containers and even the outside of drawers or cabinets you are defining a place for things to go. This also makes staying organized easier over the long haul, as everything in your home or office has a home, a consistent and appropriate place where that object is normally kept. Some items that you use every day, may be on display and/or readily available for frequent use. Other items like holiday decorations or out of season clothing, can be stored until needed.

When you begin to see that there is actually a place for things to go, you gain more confidence in your ability to continue the project and also your ability to keep the area clean.4. Use it or lose it
This is one that may be difficult for some to wrap their hands around, so for all you pack rats out there, here it goes. The rule of thumb is, if you haven't used it, looked for it or needed it in a year, it probably has very little or no value in your life. For important papers, the general rule of thumb is 3-5 years, but it is important to use your own discretion when deciding how long you should keep an important document.5.

Make it a family affair
Enlist the help of the entire family, pick a day, cut off the TV, cut on the radio and make it a fun family project. By doing this, you also make others accountable for their actions that may have led to the clutter and it also gives you the opportunity to spend some quality family time together.The idea of clutter is overwhelming but the sooner you get started; the sooner you'll achieve your goal.Personal challenge for the week: Define an area of your home or other personal space, and use the steps listed to begin the process of removing clutter from your home and your life.Journaling exercise: What are some things in your life have you neglected because of clutter and disorganization. What are some things you plan to do too eliminate the disorganization and clutter from your life so that you have more time to focus on what really matters? (The plan needs to be realistic and concrete, actual steps and things you will do to become more organized) For example, I plan to wake up 1 hour earlier than usual, so that I can spend time preparing for my day.

I will do this so that I won't feel so rushed and will have time to enjoy some well-deserved personal time for myself.

.Wanda Austin-Williams is a Clinical Therapist and Personal Life Coach. She is the owner and founder of Total Essence Counseling & Life Coaching Service in Ann Arbor Michigan. Total Essence Counseling and Life Coaching focuses on helping people live authentic, healthy and purposeful lives. Wanda is also the author of a weekly ezine entitled, Live Joyful, Live Purposeful.

For more information about Total Essence, email totalessence0@lycos.com or check us out on the web at http://www.totalessence0.


By: Wanda Austin-Williams

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