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Clearing the Clutter Chaos: How to Declutter and Organize your Home Table of Contents Introduction. The Benefits of Organizing Your Home Chapter One. How to Get Started Chapter Two. Hallway Chapter Three. Kitchen Chapter Four. Bedroom Chapter Five. Living room Chapter Six. Bathroom Chapter Seven. Laundry room Chapter Eight. Closet Chapter Nine. Storage areas Chapter Ten. Staying organized Conclusion.

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Introduction. The Benefits of Organizing Your Home When most people notice the tell-tale signs of stress, they naturally begin to search for its root cause. They will typically look at various aspects of their lives in order to find out where the trouble lies. Is their chosen profession forcing too much pressure upon them? Are personal relationships creating unnecessary tension? Many even go to great lengths to learn relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga, so that they can alleviate the anxiety, worry, or stress that is impacting their lives. However, a vast majority of people tend to overlook the very thing that is causing this sense of chaos...the clutter in their homes. Now, this may sound like a strange notion. After all, how could a lack of organization in your home have such a negative effect upon your life? If you give it some thought though, you'll realize that, for many, our homes are our sanctuaries. We retreat there when we want to escape the outside world. We recharge and refresh our minds there, and spend time with our loved ones within those four walls. In many respects, your home is your “base of 2


operations�, where you are able to create a plan for conquering the challenges that you may face when stepping out the front door. As such, when our houses are filled with clutter, this can effect every other aspect of our world. The chaos that exists within our retreat can carry over into our work performance, our relationships, and even our well being. There have been studies which have suggested that a clutter and disorganized home can negatively impact our immune system and other bodily systems, not to mention our psychological state. Thus, keeping your home tidy and organized can even help you to enhance your overall mental and physical health. There are a variety of other benefits associated with organizing your home, as well. Decluttering can also improve your ability to truly relax and achieve more restful sleep, given that your are not exposing your mind to various stimuli within your living space (i.e. clothes piled up on the floors or paperwork strewn about your desk). When your home is organized, you are able to control the pressure that you are placing upon your senses. In essence, you are not overloading your visual and tactile senses, 3


thereby avoiding unnecessary stress. Tidying up and organizing your home can give you the power to take control of your life, as well. You see, when you live in a space that is in a constant state of chaos, this sends a message that your life is also chaotic. This can make your overwhelmed of helpless, given that there are just so many things lying about that you don't even know where to begin the organization process. However, if you take the clutter out of the equation, you can start to organize your thoughts and focus on managing other aspects of your life. Decluttering can also do two more things for your personal and professional life...save you money and time. If your home is clutter-free you can easily find important documents or objects that you have in your home (such as car keys or bills). This means that you won't have to go in search of them if you are pressed for time, and can save yourself a great deal of precious time. You can also be more economical, given that you are bound to find useful items whilst you are tidying up that may come in handy, so that you won't have to buy a replacement. You can even re-purpose certain objects that you may 4


discover when you are clearing the chaotic clutter. At this point, you may be thinking that this all sounds quite nice in theory, but organizing your home is much easier said than done, right? Well, that's where this book comes in. This guide will help you to handle every aspect of decluttering your home, from clearing away the unnecessary odds-and-ends in your kitchen to making your bedroom the organized (and peaceful) retreat that it was intended to be. I'm going to share with you all of the tips and tricks that you'll need to banish the clutter and create a calm and relaxing environment in your living space. Many of the ideas and suggestions that you'll find in this book have been gathered from personal experience. My home used to be an absolute mess (which is an understatement). I was constantly losing things and just couldn't seem to achieve a sense of calm and peace from the minute that I stepped through the door. The hodgepodge had taken over, and I was starting to feel as though the mess that I'd accumulated (not to mention, my life) was out of control. 5


So, one day I decided that it was about time to crack down on the clutter. I started organizing, by using the tips and techniques that I'll share with you, and haven't ever looked back. Clearing the clutter was the best thing that I could have done, and it has improved every part of my life. Taking just a bit of time now to organize your space will give you the ability to maintain a tidy and calm space that you'll be proud to call “home sweet home”. I've divided the book into sections, based upon the area in your home that you'd like to organize, in order to allow you to focus on one key space at a time. It's better this way, so that you don't become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that's involved. After all, I know that the task of organizing can often be quite daunting. Pacing yourself and taking back control of one area at a time can give you the power to tackle the job with the least amount of frustration. Trust me though, it will all be worth it. When you are through organizing your home you will be able to spend just a few moments each day to tidy up and keep everything nice and neat. Be sure to read the “staying organized” chapter as 6


well, which will give you some ideas on how you can stay on top of decluttering your home and banish the chaos once and for all.

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Chapter One. How to Get Started The first step in making your home a clutter-free refuge is to have a clear plan for how you're going to tackle the mess. This can give you the ability to get the job done, without becoming overwhelmed by the often daunting task of organizing your home. In this chapter, I'll go over some ideas for how you can get started, without having to deal with the stress and frustration that often comes along with decluttering. Before I begin, I just wanted to mention that these ideas, tips, and tricks and time tested and proven. I used all of these when clearing the clutter from my living space, and can honestly say that they helped me to keep my sanity while I was taking on the challenge of transforming my home into an organized sanctuary. So, you can trust that they really will give you the power to get the most out of your decluttering efforts, even if you may feel as though the cause is virtually hopeless right now. Schedule decluttering time in advance. In order to really dig into the task at hand, you're going to need to set aside a block of time in 8


advance. This may, in fact, be the most difficult part of the entire process, given that it can often be challenging to find enough room in our schedules to devote a day or two to organizing, decluttering, and cleaning each space in our home. However, it's essential that you give yourself plenty of time to get the job done, so that you avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed. What I highly recommend that you do is plan on decluttering one room in your home each weekend (or anytime that you can get one or two days in a row off from work). Don't schedule anything during these days, and make sure that you enlist as much help as you need. Ask your significant other to stay home and work on organizing the room with you, or have other family members come over and give you a hand. The main reason why you'll want to set aside plenty of time (aside from avoiding a good deal of frustration and anxiety), is because it's not only decluttering and organizing that you'll probably have to accomplish. You will also have to take care of cleaning the space once your done, as well as packing away boxes of unused 9


items. Also, if you are planning on donating anything to charity, then you'll also have to make the drive over the drop off point, and that can take a good chunk of time out of your schedule in-and-of-itself. Tackle one room at a time. One of the main obstacles that you'll have to overcome when decluttering your home is to avoid straying from your goal. So, you'll need to set up a plan that doesn't lead to you throwing your hands up in the air and giving up. Trust me, when I began the process of organizing my home this happened more often than I'd care to admit. I would start to declutter my house, only to lose all hope of it ever becoming organized a couple of hours later. That's when I realized that I was going about it all wrong. Instead of trying to tackle the whole house at one time, and busily hopping from room to room to sort things, I began focusing on just one room at a time. In fact, if there was a room that was particularly troublesome, I simply chose one specific area to begin clearing, and then chipped away at that. For example, my kitchen almost became too much for me at point early on, so I just concentrated on clearing out 10


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