Put procrastination and excuses aside. Make time, develop an action plan and sort your life out. Discover the orderly you. Living and working in an area which is cluttered is not only unsightly, but can add to daily stresses and poor time management. Want to counteract this? Read on. Turn your living space systematically into a calm space of order by: Starting conservatively You can easily become overwhelmed by a room that is disorderly. Pack only one shelf or drawer per session. You can decide the length of each session, anything from five minutes to an hour. Work systematically Take a definite decision to attend, for instance, to one cupboard or cabinet each weekend. Decide on an action plan The easiest way to achieve order is to sort stuff into different piles (refer below). Follow the GTD rule (GTD stands for getting things done) This rule suggests that any task which requires less than two minutes to complete, be done immediately. It takes, for instance less than two minutes to renew your library books, respond to an email, and take out the garbage. Like with like When you're re-packing it is advisable to place items into one of these four categories: Pack away everyday items that are misplaced. Give away things you haven't used or looked for in a year or more - give them away with a peaceful heart. Many non-profit organisations gratefully receive good, usable items and goods. Throw away things you have no use for, but be careful when the item is medication or personal documents. Take medication to your nearest pharmacist and ask that they dispose of it. Personal documents should be shredded. You never know where your personal documents could land and identity fraud is a real risk. Sell unwanted goods yourself or by means of a middle man such as a pawn shop. If you have only 10 minutes You don't have to spend hours to get everything into order: Re-pack your socks and underwear drawers and dispose of items that you no longer wear or that don't look good. Sort out old magazines, newspapers, catalogues and advertising pages and decide which you want to keep and which to throw away. Go through your text messages, and e-mails and other documents on your computer, deleting those you don't want and filing the 'keepers'. Tips to implement Keep a packet or bag at the bottom of your cupboard for clothes you no longer wear. These can be given to a charity at some point. Sort through your wardrobe at the end of each season and clothes that haven't been worn can go straight into the bag. Aim to recycle Cans, plastic and glass. Planning and routine are two golden rules when it comes to maintaining order. As soon as you've used the last of something, write it up on the family grocery list. Do this and you'll avoid crises and unnecessary stress.