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Getting motivated to conquer clutter in the home or office can be difficult, especially when the clutter has built up over several years. The first step in attempting to conquer clutter is the hardest: you must determine what you really need and want and what you don't really need or want. Much of the clutter is comprised of things you never actually use, so identifying those items is important. Once you determine what you can safely get rid of, the next hardest step on the path to conquer clutter comes: convincing yourself to simply get rid of it.
Take comfort in knowing you don't have to simply throw everything away: much of the clutter, if it is useful, can be given to friends, charities, local non-profits, and so on. To start, identify one section of the home or office that you would like to take the first steps to conquer clutter. By doing so, the job becomes smaller and less daunting. If, for example, you want to conquer clutter in the garage, choose one set of shelves to clear off completely. Lay out the items from the shelf on the ground and split it into three piles or sections: items that are frequently used, items that are sometimes used, and items that are never used. The items that are never used can be thrown away, donated, or given away.
It is important to be ruthless when attempting to conquer clutter. It is easy to get attached to items that hold sentimental value — and it's even easier to attach sentimentality to items that otherwise would not have held such feelings before you began cleaning. Remember: the clutter is just stuff, not memories, or people, or relationships. Keep only the most important things. Once you have rid yourself of the excess stuff in the garage, you can begin to reorganize and reassemble the shelf. The sense of relief you will have when you see the finished product will only reinforce your decision to get rid of clutter. Once the shelf is complete, choose another area of the garage to conquer. The more quickly you move, the less sentimentality you will feel about the belongings you are getting rid of.
For larger problems, it may be wise to hire an organizing professional. Interior decorators and other specialists can help you determine how to most effectively use the space you have in your home or office. They may also be useful in determining what is really useful and necessary, and what is simply clutter. They can help you organize your belongings into labeled boxes or bins so you will be able to find important items later on.