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Are you frustrated at your seeming lack of ability to declutter/get organized? Here are some tips that can help you overcome some of the stumbling blocks.

1. DON’T tackle it all in one day. DO work realistically within your schedule. Plan time each day/every other day to begin the decluttering/organizing process.

2. DON’T try to organize clutter. You will only be moving the clutter from one place to another. DO spend the time decluttering first. Keep only what you love and use, and that add value to your life. Let somebody else enjoy the rest, either by donating or selling it.

3. DON’T work without a plan. You'll waste lots of time. DO map out a strategy. You need to define what you want to accomplish. You need a scheduled time. And you need several labeled boxes -- one for donations, one for recycling, one for giving to friends/relatives, one for "maybe" if you can't make a decision on the spot, one for distribution (things that go to other places in the apartment/house), and one for cleaning/repairs (shoes, tailor, dry cleaning).

4. DON’T get discouraged. I always tell clients that it will look worse before it gets better. DO deal with the box contents sooner rather than later. It will indicate progress.

5. DON’T try to do the whole room at once. DO divide the room up into sections and work one section at a time. This makes the decluttering/organizing much more manageable.

6. DON’T rush out to buy organizing products before you do the organizing because you won't know what you need. Also, you may already have organizing products in your home that you can repurpose. DO buy items that match and stack nicely.

7. DON’T go it alone. DO enlist the family. Children are often eager to help, especially if there is a reward. Hold a family meeting and explain what you would like to accomplish and how they can help.

8. DON’T declutter your spouse/partner's belongings. The less you try to force them into decluttering, the better. DO concentrate on your own items first and be a role model. They will then see the benefits and probably come around on their own.

9. DON’T add clutter back once you've decluttered/organized. DO check your newly consolidated inventory of food, toiletries, cleaning/office/school supplies, clothing et al before shopping. You might have the item already.

10. DON’T let the clutter get away from you again. It can happen faster than you know. DO understand that organizing is a process. Once the big job is done, you must keep at it but on a much smaller scale, of course. Make a one in - one out rule for you and your family. For every one item you bring into the house, at least one item goes into a charity or sale box, or to the landfill.

Maintain constantly and avoid the accumulation and resultant stress.

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