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Getting Organized: Where Do I Start?

The following is an article submitted on staying organized from reader Seana Turner , a professional organizer. This is the first in a series of articles on the subject.

Around this time of the year, many of us find ourselves looking around our homes and thinking, "What a mess!" Indoor living has left an accumulation of clothing, paperwork, books and general clutter in every nook and cranny of our homes. Rather than a place of peace and sanctuary, home has become an overwhelming "to do" list. As a professional organizer in town, I'm here to tell you that winter is a great time to get your space in order. All it takes is a little planning and a willing heart.

The first step in calming the chaos is to identify where the problem is coming from. Almost everyone experiences a household mess at one time or another, so this is not the time for self-recrimination! Rather, it is helpful to define specific triggers so the right plan can be put in place to address them. Typically, one of three challenges is at play:

1. You are organized, but your space is suboptimal, or you've been through a tumultuous life experience (move, death in the family, illness) and things have gotten out of control.

2. You are organized, but the other people in your life (spouse, children, etc.) are not. Those you live with are undermining your attempts to manage the situation.

3. YOU are the problem. The thought of organizing closets makes your stomach turn.

The good news is that all three of these challenges can be addressed if you commit yourself to making a change. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing tips on how to address common organizational hurdles, such as:

• The paperwork pileup

• The forgotten lunch/homework/passport/etc.

• The bottomless pit of photos and memory cards

• The clash of the calendars

• The "blob" – everyone's stuff is everywhere

As you follow this series, bear in mind that all new habits take practice! Often the first step is the hardest. But the benefits of a few small changes will give you the encouragement to stick with it, and before you know it, you'll have the time and space you long for!

Seana Turner

Professional Organizer

The Seana Method

Freedom Through Organization


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