It can make you happier, smarter and slimmer. Here's how your clutter's holding you back, and what to do about it. These tips are from Cindy Glovinsky, author of Making Peace With the Things in Your Life:
  • First, there's closet clutter. Studies show that hanging onto to sentimental stuff boosts emotions like sadness and guilt. So, put each item through the "feel-good" test. Ask yourself, "Do I feel good when I see this?" If it's a resounding "yes," hang onto it. But if your inner voice says, "Well, no--but I should keep it" - toss it. When you say "should," it means you're motivated to keep it because of guilt or other negative emotions.
  • Then there's floor clutter. Leaving piles of clothes and magazines everywhere creates an obstacle course when you wake up at night--It also reminds you of unfinished business. So, toss everything on your bedroom floor in a box, put it in another room, and sort it out later. And prevent future clutter by retraining your brain-- Each time you drop something, visualize it bursting into flames. Once the vision of your favorite jeans burning to a crisp is ingrained in your imagination, you'll be more likely to put them away instead of chucking them in the corner.
  • And finally, there's countertop clutter. Searching through poorly organized papers is stressful, and can lead to snack attacks, and weight gain. So, divide your countertops into 'zones'--And make sure the mail, bills and magazines end up where they belong. Then, use colored file folders to organize your documents-- It'll cut your search-time for important paperwork in half.
If you'd like to go further, the book is Making Peace With the Things in Your Life by Cindy Glovinsky.