One of my goals in life was never to quilt. All of that changed one beautiful rainy day at Cape Mears Lighthouse in Oregon. I bought a package with 12 lighthouse quilt blocks in their lovely tincy- tiny gift shop. I love lighthouses so these called out to me. I planned on asking my friend who was a master quilter if she would help me make these into a quilt. This was going to be my one and only quilt.

When I got home I asked Barbara for instructions to make these blocks into a quilt. Over the next few weeks she showed me step by step, always going slowly and not jumping ahead to the next process until I had finished the one I was working on. When I would start talking about binding the quilt and I had just started sewing the blocks she would sagely say, "We will talk about that when you get that far". By doing a little at a time and charting my progress I never became discouraged or frustrated.

Never would I have dreamed those 12 blocks would lead me down a path where I would eventually make over 180 quilts and counting. At first I only saw the one quilt I was making. But soon other opportunities opened up to me. I went to quilt groups and enlarged my circle of friends.

Another surprise of quilting is the history I have learned. My first quilt has lighthouses and ships. For the binding I did a tight cording that looks like a cable and I hand quilted a cable pattern on it. The cable pattern in quilting became prominent in the mid 1800s because of the laying of the transatlantic telegraph cable. Communication between Europe and the Americas could only happen by ship, but the transatlantic cable made it possible for a response to be received the same day.

As a professional organizer I see many parallels between quilting and getting rid of clutter.
a. It is very important to set goals when getting rid of clutter. Goals can be things like:
b. Make more space, have homes for things so they can be found when needed,
c. Make room for other more important things or,
d. By getting rid of clutter having peace and happiness in life and in your home.

2. If knowing where to start is a stumbling block or not knowing how to get rid of clutter then hire a professional organizer or ask a friend or family member to help. Some people feel embarrassed because they have clutter. We all have different skills and talents and we do not need to be embarrassed to ask for help with organizing.

3. Go slow--take tortoise steps. Going slow is the best way to approach getting rid of clutter for many reasons.
a. It gives you time to plan where to make homes for things so they can live there when not being used.
b. It will help avoid burnout. Many people get excited about a project (like sorting photos) but they try to do too much all at one time and get burnt out.
c. It is more fun--enjoy the journey.
d. Enjoy the process. It is good to keep the goal in mind but do each step one at a time so it is done right.

Sometimes what we think will work does not work for us like we thought it would. If it does not work right for you the first time you can change it then rather than doing an entire project and then realize things need to be changed.

5. Discover what benefits happen when you get rid of clutter--besides just organizing clutter. Things like:
a. You feel better about yourself.
b. You can donate to charity to help someone else.
c. You learn new techniques to keep organized.

Getting rid of clutter is a journey and it can be enjoyed when it is done slowly, with help from someone else if you need it, and when you see the end result when you have reached your goal.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Bohn is the owner of Get it Together Organizing, a business dedicated to developing practical organizing solutions that help individuals and business professionals live clutter-free and productive lives. She is the author of "Go Organize! Conquer Clutter in 3 Simple Steps".

Marilyn takes the often stressful subject of organizing and breaks it down into a simple, easy to understand system. Her methods are both eye-opening and encouraging! Visit her website and sign up for her free organizing tips at