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By Bigg Success Staff

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The average American loses 55 minutes every day searching for things they can’t find. This stunning statistic was printed in the June 7, 2004 edition of Newsweek.

So if you’d like to add an hour to every day of your life – get organized!

Clutter can be costly in other ways as well. If bills don’t get paid on time, there may be additional late fees. If appointments are missed, relationships can be damaged. In some places, clutter is so pervasive that people have been injured when they tripped over it!

There is hope. Here are some tips to get rid of clutter:

  • Use it or lose it
  • If in doubt, throw it out! Many people approach their de-cluttering project from the opposite mindset. They keep it unless they know they won’t use it. You’ll never eliminate clutter until you get past that thought process.

    Apply the six-month rule. Have you used it in the last six months? Do you KNOW that you’ll use it in the next six months? If the answer is “no”, then lose it!

  • A place for everything, everything in its place
  • You should have a lot less to put away now. But that’s the thing – you have to put it away. Find a place for everything you keep.

    Then keep it there. It’s the old “put it back” rule. When you use something, put it back immediately after you’re done with it. Make it a habit.

  • Call on a pro
  • You may not be the “do-it-yourself” type. Or maybe you just want some professional help. Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers

    At their site, you can search for organizers in your area. You’ll also find some great tips on hiring a specialist.

  • Daily delights
  • You’ve de-cluttered. The key now is to make sure you don’t re-clutter. Daily maintenance is the best way to insure against that.

    Create a system for handling incoming items like your mail, newspapers, and periodicals. For example, you may open your mail over your shredder. Sort any mail you save by action date and file it appropriately. When today’s newspaper is here, yesterday’s is gone. Same with magazines.

We wrote about Ben Franklin’s thirteen virtues not long ago. He confessed that he found order to be his biggest struggle. Isn’t it nice to know that even Ben had trouble staying organized?

Help us all out – leave your tips for getting organized.

Oh … and what will you do with that extra hour a day?

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(Image of cluttered office by sin design, CC 2.0)