How to declutter and get organized

Jul 27, 2010 at 4:03 p.m. ET

If you're up to your eyeballs in clutter, it's time to get organized! SheKnows shows you how to de-clutter and de-stress with these timple organizing tips.

How to de-clutter and de-stress

Time to get organized

Make a list of all the areas that you need to sort through and get organized, such as your car, closets, garage, etc.

Make a commitment

Make a commitment each week to focus on one area of your home and carve out some time to get it cleaned up . Some areas may take longer than a week, so enlist the rest of the family to do this with you. As you complete each one, cross it out or check it off your list. Celebrate your accomplishments!

If you haven't worn a piece of clothing in over a year or two, toss it. If you don't like the way it fits, get rid of it. If it is worn or torn, fix it or toss it. Start making better decisions about your stuff and what you allow in your space. Postponing so much decision-making is holding you back from living peacefully! What is it about making decisions that you have trouble with? Whatever it is, face it and decide how you want to live from this point forward.

Stop tolerating the collecting of stuff! What makes you think that if you hold onto a piece of clothing for a couple of years, it will look better on you -- or that you'll like it any better? If you're thinking that you'll wear it when you lose weight, get real -- when you lose weight, you're going to want to purchase new clothes!

What to do with the clutter?

You may decide to make donations to a friend, a shelter, the Salvation Army or other non-profit organization. Many of these places will give you a receipt so you may deduct the donation from your income taxes. Or if money is an issue, take your items to a consignment shop. They often accept items other than clothing, too. (If stress relief is your goal, don't plan a garage sale of your own -- that will only delay getting rid of everything while you attempt to organize such an exhausting event.)

Be a packrat no more!

As you go through your home, ask yourself whether the item brings you joy, whether you need it, want it or will ever use it. And stop buying more stuff! Raise your standards and respect your money -- don't purchase things that aren't absolutely fabulous.

When you're able to go into any closet or room in your home and everything is functioning properly and you are enjoying it, then you are in good shape. (Don't forget about other areas, like your bathroom cabinets as well as your car and garage.)

Then, each night before you go to bed, spend five minutes or so just walking around the house and straightening up. In the morning, you'll be grateful for having done it.

Don't stress about it

The point of decluttering and organizing is to help eliminate stress -- not cause it. So realize that this is a huge shift of a mindset and it will take time to evolve, so go easy on yourself. Over time it will become second nature -- effortless.

Why? Because having an environment that is neat and organized will bring you a sense of peace and fulfillment. And as you clear away the old stuff, you create the space for new, more enjoyable things to be introduced -- including a more relaxed way of life.

More organizing tips and tricks

Nine secrets of successful organizers
How to organize your closet
52 ideas to organize your home: An organizing tip a week