Dear Peter Walsh,

My husband and I have two beautiful children. Our youngest, Tyler, has cerebral palsy, and with all of his medical needs, special education and medical supplies comes a lot of papers, paperwork and other stuff.

I feel like I can never get out from under all my paper piles. I can get them cleaned up and organized for about a week, and then I am right back under the piles. I don't feel I have a good enough system or the space to keep everything organized. I hope you can help.

— Diane

Diane, you need to get a good filing system in place today! Try a color-coded system like FileSolutions that will enable you to quickly and efficiently file and retrieve what you need.

No file system will work, however, without you committing to maintain it. I notice in the photos that there are a lot of things not put away (the cans of paint on the kitchen counter for example). It might be an old-fashioned saying, but "a place for everything and everything in its place" holds true here.

Stop buying anything but the essentials for three months. Implement the Trash Bag Tango  immediately (everyone in the house takes 10 minutes a day to fill two trash bags—one with trash and one with things for Goodwill). If you feel you have too much stuff, it's time to declutter what you no longer need.

This is tough to say, but you also need to do this for both of your children. You refer to the fact that this is difficult on your daughter, "who has to suffer the most." That line alone is motivation enough to get systems in place today to turn the clutter around.

— Peter


Next Story