More often than not, what keeps us from starting big projects isn’t that we just can’t do it—it’s that they are so intimidating! Follow these steps to get your morale up and keep “avoidance mode” at bay. That next big project will be done before you know it, and you’ll feel great, too!

  1. Mark a date on the calendar! Maybe a day when the kids are at school, or if weekdays are too hectic, choose a Saturday morning to get started. Getting started is the hardest part, but if you make room in your schedule any project will feel less daunting.
  1. Before you touch anything or make any decisions, just spend 5 to 10 minutes looking at the situation. Familiarizing yourself with what is there and envisioning how you want the space to look when you are done can help desensitize you to an overwhelming situation. Take some pictures of the project before your start—you’ll want them later!
  1. Start with a 15 minute de-cluttering spree. Set a timer and grab two boxes or bags: one for trash, and the other for donations. Look for items you no longer use or need. You know better than anyone what’s just taking up space and what needs to stay!
  1. Working in 15 minute cycles helps compartmentalize the process. Commit to spending 15 minutes a day on this de-cluttering phase until you are done. Focus on small areas at a time to keep from feeling overwhelmed or pressured.
  1. Once the de-cluttering is done and you have successfully sorted into piles of trash and donations, create a task list. Write down a check-list of everything you think needs to get accomplished in order to complete the project. Don’t stress! This list is just an outline and doesn’t need to be detailed and perfect.
  1. Work step by step and bite-size your tasks. Bring out your timer again and keep to those 15 minute intervals! Turn bigger steps into smaller ones. Rather than tackling a whole closet, work shelf by shelf to keep things simple.
  1. Once you finish your task list, your project should be done. Now’s the time to pull out those original photos and congratulate yourself on a job well done!


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