Carol's home office
PAGE 2
My husband and I moved into our home about 14 years ago. I used to work at home and had lots of time for cleaning, and since it was our first house, we didn't have a lot of belongings.

Fast-forward 14 years later, and we now have so much "stuff." Everywhere you look, there's clutter. I don't know where or how to begin to declutter our life. We figured the first step would be to "ask for help," as embarrassing as this situation is to us. Next step: Pick a room to declutter.

Our office is the smallest room in the house, so I am hoping it will be a good place to start the decluttering process. I hate living in this mess I used to call a home. It is a huge source of frustration to me. I just want to get rid of everything and get some calm back into my life. We haven't had friends or family over in years. The mere thought of someone showing up here sets me in a panic. I hate feeling this way and really miss having company over.

— Carol
It's amazing how clutter can take over—almost without us noticing. Don't
be embarrassed to ask for a little help—what you're experiencing is really common.

One of the biggest contributors to clutter is that we don't complete tasks. We put mail down in a different place every day, leave magazines all over the house, half-fold the laundry in the family room, then leave the rest for "later"…you get the idea! We don't regularly go through the house and get rid of things we no longer need, use or want.

If you want to make a dent in the clutter, you have to first of all stop buying new stuff today . Put a three-month ban on purchasing new things that you don't absolutely need.

Then, every day for a half hour or so, every member in your house needs to go through the house, finding things that you no longer need, use or want. These should be bundled up, put in the trunk of the car and donated to charity. Alternatively, they can be stored in the garage until you have enough for a great yard sale.

As far as the office is concerned, you and your husband should commit to a half hour every night. Slowly and methodically go through all of that
paperwork. I can guarantee that you don't need more than half of it. Keep only those things that are still relevant and essential—the rest should be
shredded.

Do this for just one month, and you'll notice a huge difference in your home, your clutter and your lives. You give time to what you think is important—give the clutter some serious time, because this is really important!

— Peter

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