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As seen in the Dayton Daily News on April 7, 2018.

I came across a saying the other day that rings so true for many of my clients. “It’s the start that stops most people.”

Even people with very good intentions to get their home organized are often paralyzed because they don’t know where to start. I’ll run through some typical scenarios of what I have heard and how we go about getting started anyway.

Some people they think they have to see everything before they can make a decision on anything. For example, the person knows they have too many office supplies in their home, but they don’t want to get rid of anything until everything is sorted and they see how much they have in each category.

When a house is so cluttered that it’s difficult to walk through it, waiting until everything is sorted before making decisions is very difficult. There is limited space to spread things out and the items are often scattered throughout the home.

If this situation is all too familiar, follow these steps to help you get started.

~Let go of the notion that you have to see everything before being able to make decisions. In an overly cluttered home, that’s not always possible.

~Choose a room or an area to work in. If you’re not sure where to start, walk through the rooms of your home and get a feel for which one bothers you the most. You can also choose based on which one will be the easiest to start with or where you can get rid of the most stuff.

~Once you choose the space, don’t panic. Take some deep breaths, calm your mind and give yourself a pep talk, “I am going to get this space organized and nothing is going to stop me!”

~Start a list of guidelines. Deciding up front how many items you need will help you make decisions later. For example, let’s say you want to keep a pair of scissors on every floor of your home. If you have a two story home with a basement, this would mean you need to keep a total of three pairs of scissors.

Armed with this guideline, you find a pair of scissors as you’re organizing. Keep this pair and the next two you find. When you find a fourth pair, decide which of the four you like the least and put it in your donate pile. Continue comparing all of the scissors you find as you work through your home and keep the three you like the best.

By following a guideline in this manner, you don’t have to see all the scissors you own all at once to keep your favorite three. You will discover using this guideline method will be a very big breakthrough in accomplishing your organizing goals.

~Don’t let fear stop you. You’re going to make a lot of good decisions and a few bad ones. You will survive the bad ones. Worrying about making a few bad mistakes has not been serving you, it’s been paralyzing you.

When I am unable work with someone one-on-one, I tell them this, “If you don’t know where to start, walk to any part of your home and reach your arms outward. Start there.”