If you have trouble finding your car keys, the kids’ sneakers, your favorite belt..you are not alone.  You have most likely become the latest victim in the never-ending battle in the war against clutter.  But don’t give up yet; it is not time to throw up the white flag and surrender.  Removing and organizing clutter will reduce stress and free up the time you are losing by looking for things that are buried in a mound of laundry, or a sea of papers.  Follow these helpful tips to get organized, and take charge of your life.

Start small Don’t try to tackle an entire room.  It can be overwhelming.  Instead choose to organize a single closet.  Be bold and honest.  If you haven’t worn that pink top in two years, it’s very likely you won’t wear it this year either.  Put it in the donation pile.  Continue through your closet weeding out all the miscellaneous items that you have been storing and when you put your closet back together, put all your favorite items that you wear most often, within easy reach.  Once you have completed your closet, you will feel good about having accomplished this task.  Then gather up all the discarded items to donate to your favorite local charity (www.wepickup.org).  This will make you feel rewarded again.  Recycling unused and unwanted items is good for the environment and a benefit to members of your community.    Now you are well on your way to winning the war against clutter.

Set Goals and allow yourself a block of time:  20 minutes to clean out a jewelry box, 30 minutes to reorganize a pantry, an hour to go through a stack of papers.  You will be surprised at how easy it becomes once you get started.

Encourage family members to get involved.  Even young children can look through a toy box and find a few toys that they no longer play with to donate.  It will reduce the amount of toys that need to be cleaned up on a daily basis and you will be teaching your child a valuable lesson in philanthropy.

Reward yourself for a job well done.  Enjoy your favorite treat with a cup of tea, go out for a massage or relax by the fireplace with a good book.  You are on your way to building new habits that will help you to reduce stress in your life.