Get organaized -follow a few simple rules.
Just because you can buy a cashmere sweater for $20 or three bottles of ketchup for the price of one doesn’t mean you should. “Ask, ‘Do I have something similar?’ and ‘Where am I going to store it?’ before making a purchase,” advises New York City professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, author of Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.
2. Make peace with imperfection
Efficient people give “A-level effort” to the most important projects (say, work assignments or a kitchen redesign), and for the rest they do just enough to get the job done, says Renae Reinardy, PsyD, a psychologist who specializes in hoarding disorders. Maybe you give yourself permission to bring store-bought cookies to a school bake sale or donate a bag of stuff—unsorted!—to Goodwill. “Trying to do every task perfectly is the easiest way to get bogged down,” says Reinardy.
3. Never label anything “miscellaneous”
You put a bunch of things into a file or box and write this catchall across the front. “But within a week you’ve forgotten what’s in there,” says Morgenstern. Instead, sort items into specific groups—”electric bills,” “lightbulbs,” and so on.
4. Schedule regular decluttering sessions
Rather than wait until an industrious mood strikes (we all know where that leads), have a decluttering routine in place—whether it’s spending 15 minutes sorting mail after work or tackling a new project every Sunday afternoon.
5. Stick with what works
“I have clients who will try every line of makeup, every cell phone—it’s exhausting,” says Dorothy Breininger, president of the Delphi Center for Organization. Don’t waste time (and money) obsessively seeking out the best thing.