“Help! I can’t stand it anymore! My office is a disaster. Papers are piled everywhere. I don’t know where things are. I don’t know what supplies I have until I run out. My bulletin boards have announcements for events that happened two years ago attached to them. I’m behind on my work and I hate being in my office. My life is a mess!”

“Was this a phone call I received from a potential client?” you may ask. No. This is what I said two weeks ago when I felt like I was drowning in paperwork and my life was a mess. “But wait” you exclaim. “You’re a Professional Organizer. You know how to organize stuff. Why can’t you just organize your office?” The answer is that even we, who are experienced and proficient organizing other people’s things, sometimes cannot do it for ourselves.

Every morning I would walk into my office with incredible determination. “This will be the day that I finally and completely organize my office and my life!” But when I walked into my office, something happened. I looked at the piles of paper and the disorganization and I became paralyzed with dread.

It doesn’t matter whether the area that is disorganized is an office or a kitchen, a bedroom or play room. Sometimes it just feels as though as much as you really, really want to get organized, you just having a hard time doing it. So I asked myself what I would tell a prospective client if they called me with a similar situation it.

1. Just because your insert name of area here that is disorganized, it doesn’t mean your entire life is a mess. Remember, you can gain control over that disorganized area.

2. Set aside a time that you want to do some organizing. Find a timer (a kitchen timer or one on your cell phone works well). Set the timer for five minutes. Yes, I realize that’s not a whole lot of time and that you won’t get a whole lot of organizing done but it is a manageable period of time to start the process.

3. Choose a very small section to work in. Remember, you only have five minutes.

4. Get rid of the easy stuff first. You know, the stuff that is out of date, moldy, torn or the thing you just never really liked anyway. Take these items and either recycle or trash them.

5. By now the timer has probably got off. If you are on a roll and you don’t mind going further, set the timer for another five minutes. This may seem like an arbitrary amount of time, and it is; but I have found that five minutes of doing almost anything seems easy.

But what do you do if you can’t even get yourself to commit to tackling that cluttered area for even five minutes? Take a tip from a professional who has been-there-done-that. Either call a friend who is nonjudgmental and willing to help or call a professional; which is what I did. I figured that if I call a doctor when I’m sick, go to the dentist when I have a toothache, I should call a professional organizer when it feels like my insert name of area here needs organizing. What about you? Take just 5 minutes and call for help. Now? Yes! If not now, when?