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Mistake #1: Waiting until you can devote an entire weekend to decluttering.
Dedicating an entire day to sorting through your home may not fit into your schedule—and Sharon Lowenheim, a certified professional organizer and the owner of Organizing Goddess, an organization service in NYC, says that's just fine. She's seen clients make great headway by taking a small-zone approach. If you're unsure what qualifies as "small," Lowenheim says to take an empty paper towel roll, look through it and identify one messy area. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and only work on the space you saw through the tube until the timer goes off. It could be a spice rack, a basket of magazines or a cluttered corner of your desk—she says you can even do some tasks while watching TV or waiting for a load of laundry to finish. Do this for a few days, refocusing your paper towel roll on a new spot each time and clearing it in a 15-minute segment and you'll make significant progress.