I don’t know about you, but I am certifiably one of the world’s biggest pack racks. Given, I do magically always have on hand that superglue/lemon zester/papershredder/pizzacoupon that everyone always wishes they had, but the time has come for me to let go of that cat calender from three years ago and move on to 2012. 
 
 
Okay, so maybe my room will never look THAT clean, but in the spirit of a new year and a fresh start, I decided I was going to declutter my life! I mean, I think the 39,000 emails in my inbox are starting to get a little dusty. Now, I have had this inspiration before, but it was all too overwhelming and I ended up sitting in the middle of my floor playing with my old Barbies. This time, however, I have rounded up some tips that are SURE to help me (and any of you wanting to declutter, too!) make a zen start to this year.
 
1. Start small: spend five minutes a day cleaning something . . . anything. 
 
It doesn’t matter what you decide to tackle; five minutes of cleaning is going to make something in your house much cleaner. In fact, you’d be surprised to see that 5 minutes can pretty much clean an entire bathroom.
 
 
2. Buy an 8 pack of cute file folders.
 
Label them with the names of papers that pile up in your car, desk, and counters. Examples could be receipts, coupons, electric bill, etc. That way, you’ll have everything together and can deal with each thing one at a time without having to dig through the trash to find that shopping list or water bill. To be even more organized, buy one of those expandable folders that comes with dividers in between; that way all your papers are together yet separate.
 
 
3. Buy cheap baskets or organizers in the same color.
 
I actually really like this idea for two reasons. 1. The same-colorness brings a matching continuity to a room, 2. it gives me a specific spot to put things, and 3. it makes things that always look messy look not messy (think odd-shaped items or bags, etc.). Okay and secretly 4. it gives me a place to stash things when I don’t want to fold.
 
 
4. Organize a cleaning game with your roommate/husband/cat
 
I love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens:  Get a bunch of pingpong balls, write tasks on them like “vacuum the living room” and “clean out hall closet.” Whoever accomplishes the most amount of tasks by the end of a set amount of time gets a prize (think pedicure, massage, catnip ball).
 
 
5. Make up your own kind of list that makes sense for your living arrangement.
 
I love this one from Little Lucy Lu.
 
 
6. Clean out your computer while you’re watching TV.
 
When you’re just sitting there watching marathon episodes of How I Met Your Mother (cough, what?), multitask by deleting old emails, files, and programs that are slowing down your computer and cluttering up your life. Pick a cool desktop background and make sure your desktop is organized and doesn’t have too many icons – mental clutter is just as distracting.
 

 
  “Three Rules of Work:  Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” 
 
- Albert Einstein