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02/07/2013 03:38 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2013

'Clean And Scentsible' Blogger Suggests A Kitchen Command Center For A Stress-Free Routine

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Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, no one expects you to conquer your home's clutter and problem areas all at once. That's exactly why we've been reaching out to the savviest cleaning and organizing experts to learn where to begin with these tasks and get a fresh start at home.

The best way to stay on track with cleaning and organizing projects is to start with an area that you can get in order in one sitting. This way when you're done, you'll feel accomplished and motivated to tackle another mess later on. Jenn Lifford, expert blogger behind Clean & Scentsible, suggests beginning with your home's unique hot spots. For many, she told us, the kitchen counters and work surfaces tend to be the most troublesome areas, as this room is usually the heart of the home and abuzz with activity. That's why Lifford recommends designing what she calls a "kitchen command center."

This zone could be situated at a desk, a pull-up cart or even a small corner of the countertop, as long as you have space to organize incoming and outgoing mail, family paperwork, bills and coupons. Lifford likes to use wall-mounted file organizers and and storage with shallow drawers for paper that she labels accordingly.

She then suggests spending about fifteen minutes each week going through accumulated papers and putting them in the proper receptacle -- either in your file storage, a nearby trash bin or recycling. Also, it's best to keep a paper shredder at hand for documents with personal information. Lifford says spending a designated amount of time cleaning up regularly, whether it's fifteen minutes or thirty, will surprisingly make these tasks become routine very quickly.

kitchen command center

Illustration by Raydene Salinas

Lifford's other tips for getting organized at home:

Create a "dumping area:" Sounds messy, but having a spot to stash your keys, change and purse right near your home's main entrance will save you time and energy.

Cut back on junk-mail: Opting out of unsolicited mail by visiting the Direct Marketing Association's website will cut down on unnecessary paper clutter.

Make sure to visit our Fresh Start board on Pinterest where we'll be sharing all of these expert ideas. Have a great tip or trick to add to our list? Let us know!

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Get A Fresh Start On Cleaning And Organizing

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