Start September off right. Declutter your room before the new school year brings in more stuff to add to the chaos! We understand the job of cleaning up, throwing out, and getting organized seems too overwhelming for words, but the gift of immediately locating that photo or CD, that letter or favorite sweater, makes getting organized worthwhile. That's why we're here to help with some tips guaranteed to save both time and your sanity! What is clutter, anyway? Some people think that all clutter is junk. But since one girl's trash is another girl's treasure, we need to expand that definition. A half-finished knitting project may be clutter, so are two-year-old book reports. What about boots that don't fit and the ticket stubs from a concert last spring? Clutter happens when things are not where they are supposed to be. An item becomes clutter when it jumbles your brain, when it's something you neither want nor need. How do I decide what I should keep? It's hard for most of us to part with things. We think about how much we paid for them or the special memories they hold. We are afraid that someday we might need them. The problem with getting organized is if everything truly was important enough to keep, we'd need a warehouse to hold all our stuff. When you can't decide, try this getting organized tip: divide your stuff into three piles: Keep/Maybe/Pitch. Do what's easiest first. Get a big garbage bag and fill it with everything in the Pitch pile. Where should I put the things that I want? Compartmentalize! Imagine shopping for groceries if all the items were somewhere in the store but not separated into aisles. That's what it's like if you don't know whether to look in your desk drawer, your closet, your night table or under your bed for something you need. Tips for organizing: Group similar things together; hang all your jeans, then the rest of your pants; arrange your jewelry by color; use small plastic containers to store tiny items. Don't give in to that lazy voice that says, "Here's an empty spot. I'll stash it here for now." When you keep things in their designated home, it's faster to both put things away and find them later because there is only one place to look. Where do I begin getting organized? Choose one small area at a time to begin getting organized, maybe the closet floor or the top of your desk. Breaking down the task of getting organized into manageable pieces makes it less daunting. Then promise yourself you will work for just an hour. Giving yourself a reasonable time limit should help keep you motivated and on track. Focus on the task at hand. Turn off your cell phone, close your IM, and shut your door. This is hard enough without any distractions! Promise yourself a small reward (read the latest magazine, make plans to catch a movie) when you're done. You've earned it! How do I stay organized? Although it sometimes might seem like too much trouble, if getting organized takes just a minute, do it! Hang up that jacket. Put away those earrings. Put that DVD back in its case. You will never be sorry you did! Start getting organized with tips and advice from teen girls like you at BeingGirl.com.