Ken's home after he took Peter Walsh's pledge

In the months since the launch of Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour, decluttering expert Peter Walsh says the worsening economy has made getting your house in order more important than ever. "People are nervous, and people feel that the country's out of control," he says. "One place you can control is your home. [Make] a place of harmony and peace and tranquility by decluttering and organizing it."

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After the call to action, Ken from California says he called a family meeting. Everyone signed Peter's anti-clutter pledge and tackled their living room as a team. "Before, our living room was cluttered with my cycling gear, my wife's knitting, paperwork, our kids' artwork," he says. "Now, it's just used for family meals, homework, bills and story time."
Dorothy divided her family room into zones.

Dorothy says she used to hate spending time in her chaotic family room. "But in just five hours, I cleared out the clutter. And I used a blanket to separate the kids' play area from my office," she says. "Now it's the most popular room in the house."
Leslie found $1,463 in her messy home.

After Leslie cleaned up the master bedroom in her Atlanta home in just a few hours, she moved on to her office.

"I still have a long way to go," she says. "But within the first hour, I found $1,463 worth of insurance reimbursements that had never been cashed and were about to expire."

Peter says this kind of discovery happens all the time. "It's way more common than people realize," he says. "Clutter costs you emotionally, but financially it costs you too. You spend money on things you don't need, and you also spend money ... buying things that you can't find in your house."

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Trisha cleaned up her kitchen.

Trisha signed Peter's clutter pledge and immediately set upon cleaning her kitchen. "Sorting my papers, my dishes, giving [back] stuff that belonged to other family members," she says. "It took about two or three days, but it was really worth it because the difference was huge."

Like Leslie, Trisha found cash in her clutter. "We found lots of items we had doubles of or items we didn't use, such as kitchen appliances, electronics, baby items," she says. "We sold them for about $300, which helped us pay off some bills."

More than saving cash, Trisha says living in a clean, organized space has freed her mind. "It makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off. I'm able to not only spend time now with my family and eat in that area and prep in that area, but it's also made life a lot easier and a lot happier."
Melissa and James have run into a problem decluttering their home.

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."

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