When you look around your home, or office, or car…how do you feel inside -




…  or Satisfied?


Does it seem that getting organized and clearing the clutter is an impossible dream, never to be? Take heart! You can get organized when you take it step by step and focus on a powerful and effective process.


Reality check


Your clutter didn't arrive last night by special messenger. It's been accumulating little by little for some time.

So… New strategies for getting rid of the clutter will take time to get in place. And de-cluttering will also occur one step at a time.


Don't rush it and don't beat up on yourself for not moving quickly enough. You only need to take small steps, one by one - but you need to take these small steps consistently!


If you do that, if you can commit to that, your clutter will eventually disappear, and it will not return! That a nice thing to look forward to, isn't it?


Self-awareness is power


The first step is to become more aware of your "clearing" and "cluttering" habits! You need to know which habits are keeping your space organized and know which habits are contributing to your disorganization.


Try this method of getting more in touch with your habits.


Pretend you are a star in a reality TV show! There's a camera over there in the corner filming everything you do. You can watch the action on a monitor in real time. What are you noticing about your habits?


Start with one kind of task at a time and "film" yourself doing that task. Maybe you watch yourself opening the mail, or maybe doing/not doing the dishes, or the laundry! Focus on one kind of task at a time.


What habits are helping you keep clutter at bay - YES you have some good habits like that! And what habits are weighing down your environment with objects that are like homeless orphans - unable to find a place to settle down comfortably for the night!


Spend some non-judgmental time getting to really know yourself. You can't change anything you don't understand. Look for patterns. The camera is rolling…


  • What thoughts go through your head?
  • What actions do you take automatically without thinking about them?
  • What actions that might make the situation better are being blocked?
  • What is the voice in your head telling you that prevents you from doing a task?


Prioritize where to start


As soon as you have gotten in touch with habits that are making a positive impact and those that are causing clutter, ask yourself if you're ready to start changing one habit. When you're ready, take it one step at a time.


The best way to decide where to get started is usually by focusing on one of these three approaches:


  • Something that has the highest urgency and need (such as a refrigerator with rotting food, a traffic ticket to pay, client files that support making a living)
  • The "low hanging fruit" aka, the easiest place to begin (these are usually spaces that can be de-cluttered in a short time and new clutter-free habits can be set up in a relatively short time)
  • Routines that will produce the greatest overall benefit (for example, clearing these spaces will ease your negative self-talk, improve your relationships, or feed your soul by connecting to your values)


Everything needs a home


In the space you've chosen to de-clutter, you'll need to create a home for everything that will live there. When you do, making a decision is much easier - if you are going to keep the thing in that space, you know where to put it.


If it doesn't have a home there, it needs to leave (yeah, I know, that's another kettle of fish, where does it go? But we have to start somewhere and get a toe hold. Trust the process - step by step organization will spread to other areas of your space).


Decide on your process


You know yourself better than anyone! What process will make the most sense? You need a long-term, sustainable, approach for getting control of your physical space that is in line with the way you want to show up in the world. Don't think about how you "should" do it - think about how you can do!


A few of the questions to ask yourself:


  • What will I do first, … and next, … and after that …
  • When will I do this - when I first come home from work, after dinner,…?
  • For how long each time will I engage in my process - each time I declutter will I put 10 things in their true home, or de-clutter for 10 mins, or start with the "lowest hanging fruit" and keep going until I decide to stop,…?


Connect to your values - why does this make sense in your life now?


There is a reason de-cluttering makes sense NOW! What benefits are calling to your heart by getting control of your spaces? What unwanted consequences do you want to eliminate or reduce?


Put these values front and center in your environment. Create a visual reminder of why de-cluttering matters to you now.


Humans are such social creatures - how does de-cluttering support your connection with your family, mate, or friends! Capitalize on this inspiration. Put symbols of why de-cluttering matters out where you can see them.


Set up reminders


A habit needs a jumpstart - a cue - to get going. What cues will you use? The cues that matter most to us connect to our values. When I want to start a new habit, I put out an object that signifies my reason for starting the new habit where I can easily see it.


And then I think about other ways to get my attention - post it notes, phone alarms, etc.


And I try to find a way to connect my new habit to a habit I already have in place. So one way I made washing dishes easier for me was to make a deal with myself. (Back story - I get up from the computer about every 60 to 90 minutes to move around so I can think more clearly - movement revitalizes the brain and cognitive functions.)


So here's my strategy - I walk (I'm getting to move!) to the kitchen and clear away any clutter that appeared since I was last in the kitchen. There are usually a few dishes that have accumulated in an hour or so, so I wash them. I wipe down the counters. Maybe I feed the cats while I'm at it.


It's win/win - I've gotten some movement, I've taken charge of my kitchen and it looks spectacular (ooh! a nice hit of dopamine as a reward - thank you very much!), and I spread out dish washing across the day in little mini-chunks so it doesn't feel so obnoxious!


Set up rewards


How are you going to acknowledge your efforts for taking charge of your clutter? Don't ignore this aspect of your planning. One big reward, of course, is knowing you're living in harmony with your values. Feeling empowered will reward you with pleasant hits of dopamine and serotonin which feel good and make it easier to complete tasks.


How can you incorporate social support?


Can you enlist a family member or friend as an inspiration buddy, body double or support buddy? Can you ask family members to help out by not contributing to the clutter? Can you make a deal with a friend to check in with them when your de-cluttering is done for the day? Will your dog sit beside you offering moral support!? What other ways can you think of?


What will you do if you get derailed?


Good plans need backup plans. But you don't need to come up with grandiose schemes. Your back up plan could be as simple as just starting fresh tomorrow after missing a day! Or you could change your reminder to one that might work better for you.


Focus on the process, not the result


Focus on your step by step actions, consistently accomplished and the result will ultimately take care of itself - because of YOU and your actions!


If you have passionate dreams and brilliant ideas, but you’re frustrated by procrastination, lack of focus and difficulty following through, it’s time to get in the driver’s seat once and for all! I help women take charge of their “out of control” lives … women who feel scattered, overwhelmed, and out of their depths trying to keep their heads above water in their careers and personal lives.


►  Get started right now!


Grab a copy of my FOCUS Strategies for Women with ADHD - A proven system to stay attentive, on target and in control. I share a few of my best tips for getting focused and I even show you how to combine them into a successful system so you can stop the cycle of overwhelm and blame, get control of your time, and feel good about how much you accomplish. 

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Kari Miller - ADHD & Productivity Coaching For Women and Students

Imagine finally feeling focused, confident and in control of your time and your tasks. What would it be like to release the frustration and shame and finally be able to skillfully manage your home, your career and your life! If you've tried all the "traditional" approaches to time and task management, but the pieces haven't come together for you yet, contact me - I can help!

To contact Dr. Miller
Email: klmiller555@sbcglobal.net
Website: ADHDclearandfocused.com