Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out and Organizing from the Inside Out, suggests getting at the root of your mess to break the clutter cycle.
Created by Julie Morgenstern
Julie's Organizing Advice
Analyze your mess before you attack! Organizing isn't about how a space looks; it's about how a space functions. Create a strategy that works with your lifestyle.
Your goal should be to rearrange the room's furniture to create three to five distinct activity zones (e.g., entertainment, sleeping, computing and so on). Anything that doesn't fit into one of these zones should be sorted out of the room. Keep only what you use and what you love in the room.
Clean a messy linen closet by sorting every item.
In your bathroom, check expiration dates on medicine and throw away anything outdated.
Label transparent storage boxes and have a place for everything.
Think of your activity in each zone. Consider which items you use most frequently, and which materials correspond with different activities. Place them where they will be most accessible.
Make time management part of your daily routine. Schedule time for cleaning up and for organizing, just as you would schedule time to for exercising, or picking your children up from school. By making organizing a priority, you'll find it's much easier to keep up! You may even find extra time for yourself!