Stop the madness!

"The act of keeping stuff is self-reinforcing behavior" says Joshua Klapow, "it's not a matter of willing yourself to change, you need skills." 

1. Set goals.  Be specific; it's too vague to say, "I will stop buying stuff".  Instead, set a specific and realistic goal, like "By the end of the weekend, I'll gather up all unused toys for donation."  The more specific, the more attainable.

2. Monitor your actions.  List your goals, then cross out each one as you complete it.  Visual cues boost your sense of accomplishment.

3. Arrange your environment for success.  If you've just cleared out the junk drawer, put in some cool new drawer dividers.  If you've gotten all the stuff from an unfinished project off the dining room table, place a beautiful vase of flowers there.  "Filling the space with something other than clutter is a visual reminder of your success," says Dr. Kapow.

4. Recruit support.  "Having social support as you're making a behavioral change is the biggest predictor of success," says Dr. Klapow.  Get your family in on the act; have them gently remind you not to clutter, and you remind them.

5. Treat yourself.  The satisfaction of a clutter-free room isn't enough.  Promise yourself small treats, like a movie or a manicure.

These excerpts are from a great article at Womansday.  

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