6. Create a dump zone
Find a space to corral all the stuff that you don't have time to put away the moment you step in the door, says Breininger. Once you're ready to get organized, you won't have to hunt all over the house for the dry cleaning or your child's field trip permission slip.
7. Ask for help
"The organized person is willing to expose herself to short-term embarrassment and call for backup," says Breininger. Which is to say, that elaborate four-course dinner you planned? Change it to a potluck
8. Separate emotions from possessions
It's healthy to be attached to certain items—a vase you picked up in Paris, your grandmother's pearls. But holey concert tees or cheap, scuffed earrings your husband gave you years ago? Just let them go.
9. Foresee (and avoid) problems
You wouldn't leave the house on a gray day without an umbrella, right? People who appear to sail through life unruffled apply this thinking to every scenario, says Breininger. Have a cabinet packed with leaning towers of Tupperware? Organized folks will take a few minutes to short-circuit an avalanche before it happens. (In other words, rearranging that cupboard now is easier than chasing after wayward lids as they scatter underneath the fridge.)
10. Know where to donate
It's easier to part with belongings if they're going to a good home. Identify a neighbor's son who fits into your child's outgrown clothes, or choose a favorite charity. "It will save you from searching for the perfect recipient every time you need to unload something," says Morgenstern.
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