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Sometimes it can feel like we end the day with just as much mess and clutter as we had when we began! That can be discouraging if we really want to make progress! I don’t know about you, but feeling overwhelmed makes me want to hide under a blanket with a bowl of ice cream. And while that might make me feel better in the short term, it won’t solve any of my problems in the long run.

So how can we break the cycle of disorganization and chaos and start to get our homes and daily lives in order in the new year?

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Are you ready to get your home organized in 2013? One of the best ways to start is with some simple, daily routines. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we look around our homes, taking in all we have to do! There are growing piles of paper in the kitchen, crazy amounts of laundry to be washed, dried and folded, too many miscellaneous boxes of junk to sort through, daily meals to prepare, dirty dishes crowding the sink, overdue bills to pay, and a mounting fear of the possible avalanche in our front closets. Not to mention, many of us are working to earn a living and don’t have enough hours in the day to keep up on housework.

Sometimes it can feel like we end the day with just as much mess and clutter as we had when we began! That can be discouraging if we really want to make progress! I don’t know about you, but feeling overwhelmed makes me want to hide under a blanket with a bowl of ice cream. And while that might make me feel better in the short term, it won’t solve any of my problems in the long run.

So how can we break the cycle of disorganization and chaos and start to get our homes and daily lives in order in the new year?

The answer is simple: commit to taking specific action, one step at a time.

When I feel overwhelmed, I have to isolate every task, separating each one into a few manageable steps that I can tackle in a day or a week. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the impossibility of what I want to accomplish—and likely giving up before I even start—this helps me feel empowered to create tangible goals that I can manage right away. Even one feeling of accomplishment energizes me to accomplish more!

Many years ago, I established a few daily routines that help me feel in control of my day and capable of keeping my home in order, one step at a time. It is still a life-long endeavor to keep my house organized, but discovering the power of daily routines changed my perspective and gave me more confidence.

Every day, I keep up with four basic, daily routines. These routines don’t solve all my clutter problems, obviously, but they do keep my home from spiraling too far out of control. They are simple and feasible, and they give me the satisfaction of being on track with my day!

The best part about committing to a month of daily routines is that doing those routines will soon become a habit. And once they are a habit, the day-to-day upkeep of a house will be much more practical. Big sigh of relief! Now we are getting somewhere!

Once we have our daily routines, we can identify specific goals for organizing and decluttering our homes. This is how we can realistically tackle the most problematic areas of our homes!

To simplify this step, I like to identify a home’s clutter hot spots. I tend to have four or five spaces in my home that always seem to get out of control. (I think we all do!) You can check out the new clutter heat map tool at “The Decluttered Home” to see where clutter tends to accumulate and to find tips for dealing with those areas!

READ ALSO:  Ten Steps to a Clean & Organized Closet

Conquer clutter hot spots
Before I add those problem spaces to my daily routines, I like to start with a clean slate. A tidy room inspires and motivates me, so I set aside a couple of days to tackle the key hot spots one at a time. This is not the time to declutter the entire house; this is an opportunity to deal with a few of the key hot spots. Perhaps I’ll choose to tackle my desk, my bathroom counter and maybe my closet floor! I don’t overthink it or try to color code my entire closet or clean out every single drawer in my desk or repaint the whole room. I just focus on decluttering the closet floor or the desktop or the counter.

Once those key areas are clean and free of clutter, the whole room looks better! Now I’m more motivated to keep it that way. I can add those specific clutter hot spots to my daily routine to make sure they stay orderly. So if my closet floor starts to pile up again, I deal with it right away before it gets out of control! Again, I’ve created a manageable task I can handle in a day or throughout the week. Another big sigh of relief!

Establishing manageable daily routines and dealing regularly with clutter hot spots will help get your year of decluttering and organizing off to a great start! You’ll feel more empowered by your accomplishments and energized to continue with of your home.

Let’s get going! Let me know what routines you decide to establish and where your clutter hot spots are!

About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as HGTV.com, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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