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Are you constantly stressed because you can't get organized, no matter how hard you try? Do you ever feel as if you are drowning in a sea of stuff? Are you frustrated because you are always running behind? If so, here are a few steps towards a better organized you.

Start with a plan. Don't try to do everything at once, or you'll get overwhelmed and give up before you even start. Junk accumulates in 4 areas: space, time, priorities, and paper/information.

Decide which one of the 4 areas you want to deal with first, and then ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why do I need this in my life?
  2. Why do I want this in my life?
  3. Why is this essential in my life?

As you use the 3 questions above, take baby steps in what will be a life-long progress that will help you be more successful and have less stress and more balance in your life.

Your Space

When you eliminate things you don't need or use, life becomes simpler, with less stress and more balance. You are able to focus on the things that are important to you, and you can get more enjoyment out of your space.

As you go through your home, tackle one room at a time, starting with the area that's most frustrating to you. Get that under control, and then move on to another problem area.

The bathroom is often a good starting place because it's one of the smallest rooms in your home, and de-cluttering it will give you a sense of accomplishment and renewed energy to keep going.

Your Time

Do you want more time to take care of yourself? Are you trying to squeeze more time out of your day to spend with your family? Are you looking to cut down on your chores at home? Time seems to be one area that gets out of balance very quickly.

There are many activities vying for your attention: socializing, church and school programs, recreation, yard work, reading, exercise, and so much more....And even though they all seem important, you don't have time for all of them. You need to make decisions about how to best spend your time.

To help you manage your time, make sure you have a family calendar with everyone's activities recorded on it: not only will this help you stay organized, but it will show you if you are spending enough time with your loved ones.

Use lists to stay on track: grocery lists, cleaning lists, project lists, etc. Lists help you in two ways: first, by writing down your tasks you are de-cluttering your mind, and second, you can do your chores quickly, knowing exactly what needs to be done.

Remember that time is a precious gift: use it wisely by making choices rather than reacting to situations as they occur.

Your Priorities

Do you find yourself on the run at all times? It's really easy to always be busy and not accomplish things that are most important in your life.

When you know what's important to you and what your goals are, it is easy to say "no" to those activities that don't move you towards those goals. To set priorities, you must first know what you want to achieve: take time right now and think where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, and even 10 years.

What will you be doing? Where will you be doing it? Why will you be doing it? How will you be doing it? And lastly, with whom will you be doing it?

Once you have a clear picture of where you want to be, you can create a plan to take you there. Write your goals in pencil, and don't be afraid to change them, if your life's circumstances change. Goals are just guidelines for your life.

Your Paper/Information

You need a plan to control all types of information: your photos, children's mementos, bills to be paid, receipts, warranties, income tax information, and any other vital documents.

For photographs, have them placed in an album for that year, or for the occasion, immediately after you picked them from the photo shop: otherwise, you'll be wondering later on, where or when you took those pictures.

For your kids treasures, get a box for each child, and when they fill it, they need to throw away one memento before they add their last creation. This is the best way to save only the best of your children's treasures.

For your vital documents, make sure you have them in a safety deposit box.

As for your online information, organize your desktop and your email with well labeled folders, and make sure you only save information that is absolutely necessary: otherwise, you'll soon be overwhelmed.

There are so many things you can do to de-junk your life! I hope this is the beginning of a great adventure for you, as you declare war on junk and take control of your life.



A place for everything, and everything in its place.

~~ Isabella Mary Beeton



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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Written by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW, CEC
President, CounselingPros.com, Kenosis Counseling, Inc.
622 W. Valley View Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46217
(c) Copyright 2005 CounselingPros.com, Inc.