My mother was extremely organized. Naturally, I was a rebellious kid who embraced disorganization…and I became an adult who married disorganization, figuratively and literally.

Together, my was-band (He WAS my husBAND) and I each managed our own businesses quite well down in the valleys of mountains of unopened mail. When we split up, I moved out of the “house that clutter built” and decided to take very little with me to my new place. All of the sudden I was enjoying the roominess of a new, uncluttered home. Where once my previous dining room had been converted into my home office, I now had a dining room I could dine in – and it was delicious.

Getting started is surprisingly easy, and costs nothing, with these baby steps into the world of efficiency:

Throw Out Your Junk Mail: You need to be merciless when freeing yourself from this unsolicited nuisance. That’s why I recommend opening your mail while standing over a shredder.

Keep a Clean Desk: I know first hand that keeping a clean desk allows you to get things done faster and better – which is why I have always subscribed to the old adage: “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.”

File it, Keep it, Toss it: When a new piece of paper comes into your office, you should deal with it immediately – whether you file, keep or toss it.

Use Online Statements: In our offices we do not retain bank statements or credit card statements because they are available online. In fact, we have been paperless since 2013.

Trash It: Holding onto things you don’t need is how clutter thrives and reproduces. Don’t be afraid to throw out unneeded or unwanted things.

Most people come to organizers with quite a backlog of information that needs to be sifted through. It can be quite daunting, but it is possible to get it all done if you set aside a modest amount of time every day to do it. And remember that when you hire a professional organizer, you’re really forming a partnership. Both parties have responsibilities, but the goal is to make them as quick and painless as possible for you.

Judith Heft, Principal, Judith Heft & Associates is a personal financial concierge with offices in Greenwich and Stamford. She can be contacted via email at or by phone 203-978-1858.