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While Melissa and James signed Peter's pledge months ago, they have run into a problem—their Dallas home is still so cluttered they can't find the piece of paper the pledge was printed on!

These parents of four kids under age 6 say they're drowning in clutter. "We just haven't been able to find the time," Melissa says. "We were very energized at first when we first signed the pledge and were ready to go."

James says any time that could be spent decluttering tends to get lost in family time. "We want to get everything implemented, but we still haven't had the time really to do it because we are trying to spend time with them."

Peter says Melissa and James do not need to beat themselves up. "As long as the house is a safe and harmonious place for the kids, that is the most important point," he says. "Listen, I'm not inflexible. If there's a little bit of clutter, so be it."

What Melissa and James can do is start with small steps, like devoting 10 or 15 minutes a day to decluttering. They should start trying to develop good routines by putting things away right after using them. "Finally, start with the master bedroom," Peter says. "That has to be a haven and a sanctuary for the two of you to build your relationship."

Join Peter's Clutter Crew and get monthly cleaning projects e-mailed right to you.

Choose one of Peter Walsh's Clutter Crew assignments.
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FROM: Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour: Atlanta
Published on February 19, 2009

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