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We all know someone that we envy for their refined organizational skills. Becoming an effectively "good" organizer may seem light-years away if your house is a cluttered wreck. However, an organized home that is easy to maintain may be within your reach if you just change the way that you think about things.

Cleaning the entire house in one day, reorganizing everything that you own, is not often the solution to clutter and home mismanagement. There are reasons that your home became dysfunctional to begin with. Changing your habits and your attitude about cleaning can help you to stay focused, long-term, and become the organized person that you want to be.

Don't get in a hurry, it doesn't often happen overnight. The first step to changing your habits is to let yourself feel rewarded for a job well done. It is in our nature to look for positive reinforcement, so if you constantly associate organizing and cleaning with a positive feeling of reward, then you're more likely to stick with it. It is very satisfying to accomplish even a small task. Give yourself a mental high-five when you finish something. Then revel in the positive consequence of having that one thing organized and clean.

As you work your way around your home, concentrate first on small things, so that you can train yourself to go for the satisfaction of reward. When you have time, tackle something big; that cluttered corner that houses backpacks, books, shoes, mail and even trash. Don't think negative thoughts. Concentrate on how you love doing things for yourself, not how tired you'll be afterward.

When you work on larger areas of the home that need to be organized, pick the ones that have the biggest effect on you. For example, your bathroom left unorganized can make it take longer to get ready for work in the mornings, costing you valuable time and possibly your job. Messy kitchen cabinets can make it hard to see what you already have, costing you extra money at the grocery store. A cluttered closet can make it impossible to find your clothes when you need them or even cause your clothes to become damaged and misshapen. Simply using better clothes hangers, like space saving hangers or wooden hangers, can help you to keep this area neat.

Place notes around the house if you need reminders to keep track of what you already did. I like to put a sticky note that simply says "organized" on shelves, drawers, and other areas that I've already worked on. The physical reminder of what I accomplished motivates me to keep the area organized as I use it over the next few weeks. When I've created a good, strong habit of keeping that area clean, I remove the note.

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for quality made clothing hangers. For more information, please visit