Divide and conquer (your clutter, that is) - Metro US

Divide and conquer (your clutter, that is)

Papers scattered, dishes stacked high in the sink and clothes unfolded all over can dictate your mood and affect your productivity. We get advice from experts on how to tackle the mess.

Where to start?

“The first thing you have to do is give yourself a break and say, ‘I’m not after perfection, but I am after some kind of order in the court,’” encourages Marni Jameson, author of “House of Havoc.” “The problem isn’t that things get out of place, it’s that they don’t have a place. So you have to make sure that everything in your house has a place.” In order to do that, Mary Lambert, author of “The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter,” suggests looking around and making a list of the piles of clutter surrounding you. Once you’ve identified the problematic areas, you can slowly start your cleaning venture.

Messy desk

If your desk is buried, Jameson says minimize the paper mess by paying bills online and removing your name from mailings with Optoutprescreen.com.

Overflowing closet

“We wear 20 percent of all the clothes we have,” says Lambert. To make some breathing room in your closet, she suggests asking a friend to play arbitrator as you decide what can go.

Kitchen clutter

Place cooking utensils, supplies or dishes that serve a similar function together, says Jameson. If you’re a coffee drinker, keep the cups, coffee maker and filters in one cafe-centric spot.

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