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I’ll admit it. I live with clutter. I have a pile of papers that lives next to my computer. It goes with me to every home in which I’ve lived. It never goes away. EVER. The “pile” shows up in other areas of my home. It is in the junk drawer where the pile goes when guests arrive, in my closet with the pile of jeans I don’t wear, and on my pantry shelves where nothing gets organized without the help of my patient mother.

When in doubt, I call on professionals. A quick internet search led me to Jessica Bair with Mas Movement Professional Organizing in Colorado Springs. She told me being organized is about self-care. She also said the less cluttered things are the more joyful people are about their lives.

“Too much stuff weighs you down,” Bair said.

So where do you begin? Bair said you first need to recognize that you have too much stuff. She told me keeping things is just like many other addictive behaviors. The psychology major in me gets this!

“People keep things to insulate themselves and make them feel safe,” said Bair.

When choosing which rooms to organize first, Bair said the bedroom and the kitchen should be the priorities.

“The bedroom is a place where you should wake up and look at beautiful things you love, not piles of laundry,” said Bair. “That way you begin and end your day in a good place.”

When you tackle the closet in your bedroom, Bair said organize it by season and throw away or donate clothing if it doesn’t fit anymore.

“If you’re keeping clothing that is several sizes too small, it is time to have a wake-up call,” said Bair.

She said tackle the kitchen next because that’s where we all spend most of our time in our homes. She emphasized countertops need to be clear of anything you do not use every day.

“Does the KitchenAid mixer you use every six months really need to be on the counter?” asked Bair. “Consider how many of those specialized items are taking up space.”

She added clutter in the kitchen can be a breeding ground for germs.

“If clutter collects there it is not sanitary,” said Bair. “It can also lead to weight gain because you don’t have the space to eat healthy. No counter space causes stress, and then you eat.”

When all else fails, Bair said consider this:

“If you can let the excess go, what other awesome things could come into your life? If you are clutching something so tightly, when the next thing comes along your hand is not open to receive.”

Now excuse me while I tackle that pile.

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