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Tis’ the Season to set goals and challenge ourselves. We strive to work harder, be more disciplined, more organized–better versions of “last year’s self.”

But we certainly cannot move forward until we have adequately put the past – including all of our junk from the past – behind us. That’s right, I’m talking about cleaning out.

What better way to greet this new year than by shredding the past so that you can really get that fresh start?

I understand. It’s much easier to let your home or office become cluttered and messy than it is to keep on top of papers, throw out old magazines or otherwise dispose of the things that you no longer need, want or use.

It’s no wonder then that people rarely bother with this type of routine maintenance. But this clutter – at work and at home – is doing more to your psyche than you may even realize. Here are a few examples.

It makes you feel tired. A cluttered home is a visual and psychic drain. All that stuff makes you fatigued.

It makes you feel hopeless. Simply put, too much stuff is overwhelming and we can’t handle it all, so we throw our psychological hands in the air in frustration. This leads to that hopeless, it’s-all-inevitable feeling.

It makes you feel out of control in your life. That’s because the stuff is in control and you’re not. Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life and take control of all THAT STUFF by donating it, throwing it away, or organizing it — and get everyone in your home (or office) in on the act.

Start off 2013 by cleaning out your clutter. You may just find that you are newly energized and ready for the New Year.