Everyone talks about clutter these days. A whole industry has sprung up around it. There are TV shows, magazines, books and professionals like me to help you deal with all of the stuff that you have in your homes, offices and cars. Here are 4 tips you can use IMMEDIATELY to help you stop the clutter before it stops you.

Many of the people I speak with complain about having more things then they know what to do with. Laura has 35 brand new rolls of wrapping paper. However, she generally "wraps" gifts in gift bags because it's easier. Mike has 5 boxes of file folders because he never knows when he'll get the urge to file. Sandy has enough pairs of "old gardening sneakers" for every day she'll be in the garden this summer. Ellen has enough sweaters to last her through the entire winter without wearing the same sweater twice. Steve loves to cook and has 4 food processors because the old ones may come in handy some day.

Does this sound familiar? What's going on here? What is driving people to accumulate all of this stuff?

The world we live in is a marketing machine. Advertisements are everywhere - we get ads in our mail, we see them in newspapers and magazines, on billboards, television, radio and on the internet. These ads tell us that in order for us to be happy we MUST HAVE the "Newest", "Biggest", "Latest" and "Best One Ever". We are constantly bombarded with messages to buy.

It's a vicious cycle. Marketers encourage us to buy and tell us that what we have is no longer any good. But the old one still works so we feel that we must keep it "just in case". We don't let go of the old and we keep feeding the clutter beast by bringing more and more stuff into our already cluttered homes.

In order to declutter you need a two prong attack. Prong 1: Stop the clutter from getting into your homes and offices; and Prong 2: Go through the things you have in your space and decide what you want and what you don't want.

To help you stop the clutter from getting in, ask yourself these 4 questions before you purchase anything.

1. What is prompting me to buy this?

2. What exactly am I going to do with this?

3. Do I really need this?

4. What would I do if I didn't get this?

Using these questions will help you to keep more stuff from coming in. What about the clutter that has already made it past the gate? For tips about how to handle the clutter that's already on the inside read the article "Organizing Getting In Gear" under resources www.CarrieThru.com.

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a Coach and Professional Organizer.

Work with Carrie to get places and get things done on time, figure out your priorities and get the projects that you start done. Cross things off your to-do list, stay focused, get organized, stop procrastinating and keep the motivation and momentum going for the long run.

Break the hopelessness cycle! Work with Carrie to carry through on the steps it takes to reach your goals.

For free resources, including Carrie's 4-part ecourse to help you get organized, and get out from under, please visit www.CarrieThru.com