"How to keep tidy?" "How can we know what accumulated stuff to give away?" "How can you give up beloved belongings? These are just some of the questions that I am asked during my everyday work.

The key is self-control and being assertive with our self!

If it's not in use – out it goes!

There should be a real and justified reason rather than an emotional one for keeping stuff.

It is easier said than done, that is why we should ask ourselves: “what is the alternative?”

Or in 'economic' phrasing “what are the opportunity costs? Which final state I want to be in? Or in other words, in which decision that we will take the profit (or loss) will be greater?

We should choose whether to continue to 'be buried' under piles of stuff and suffer every day, year round, from congestion, chaos, and loss of time searching for our stuff or that we should be assertive and "liberate" our home?

Our home is not a warehouse. It is a residential habitat – our haven.

or as the English would say it: "a man's home is his castle". In order to enjoy it we must respect it and not to burden it with unnecessarily junk.

Clothes that we do not wear for more than two years – maximum three, go out! The popular saying “it will fit when I will loose weight" doesn't work!

This is not because people do not lose weight, they do, but afterwords the first thing that they will do is to go on a shopping spree! Meanwhile, the clothes pile up, remind us of bad times and will depress us.

Instead of looking at the house as a whole (it will discourage and frustrate you), individual corners can be treated easily. The bigger the mess, deal with smaller corners.

No such thing, "nothing to tidy up here, everything is perfect”

We should be rational – no need to keep 3 – 4, 50 of each item. Saving a bunch of plastic bags is positive, but you don't have to fill your entire balcony!

The same goes for rubber bands, electric wires, paper wrappings, plastic boxes, jars….

Habitual efficient house chores will ease the mess and reduce mounting piles.

Laundry – collect and right away put into the washing machine. No need to overload the basket. Fold laundry immediately when taking of the rope. This can almost always be done. For example: towels. Easily fill a machine load, fold easily and go back into the cabinet.

Shopping – At supermarket, when packing the products, try to sort according to topics. Dairy products, vegetables, etc… When we reach home, it will be easier to unpack. Don't shove the products into the refrigerator and cupboards indiscriminately just to get rid of the task. Unpacking the products is our chance to re-organize and tidy up the refrigerator. This will also contribute to sanitation and savings in room and expenses.

Paper mail – Do not stack piles of closed envelopes. More than 90% of the paperwork will be immediately processed in this manner. (By the way, most of it will be trashed without any problem).

Generally speaking, the more current tasks we will perform, the easier it will get to stay organized. Stuff will not stack and require daunting “special projects”.

We all receive all sorts of presents and gifts, from our customers or boss, souvenirs such as luxury pens, key chains perhaps an elegantly covered notepad. Somehow, we tend to "save" them. Leave them in their beautiful wrapping because "it is a pity to through away". But actually, we will never use them. Therefore, the question that should be asked is 'Why'? Put them to use! Spoil yourself and enjoy the goods. They are yours and intended for your use! It is not a pity to use them, that's what their meant for. Boxes and wrappings can and desirably should be through out.

Do not be tempted to accept things that other people have no real need for. If they don't need them, most probably you will also not. Your home is not a warehouse or the Salvation Army store.

Pay attention that we tend to initiate all sorts of "projects": Add a decorative accessory to our skirt, frame that old picture, paint the crumbling trunk … The news is: If you haven't done it by now, you will never do!

Sentimental objects: Here we should be rational and beware of generalizing. The verdict for grandma's silverware will differ from the fate of two week old newspapers.

First we should get rid of the clearly not useful personal belongings, and only then proceed objects with a sentimental load. It is allowed and even desirable to keep souvenirs. But once again… rationally.

Knowing that there are people out there, who need our unused stuff, can ease our letting go.

A concluding helpful “wise person quote”:

What matters is not what we have, but who we really are.

Good luck!

Ayelet Greenberg

Professional house organizer www.nobalagan.com