Are you embarrassed to invite people? Tired of living in a messy place? Well, stress no more. Help is here. See your home through the eyes of your visitors and take action. Tidy up and finally get on with these 5 quick, easy, acronym-forming steps: GO, as a well-known man and motivational speaker once said, “Now is the best time you’ll ever have to get ahead!” Zig Ziglar .

1) Attack your cleaning with a vengeance.

At a minimum, tackle this project a little at a time, like an hour or room/area a day. Even one closet or desk/dresser drawer a day can work well. The bottom line is this: do something. Loiterers are not allowed. Decide that you will continue until you finish each room, including the garage, basement, and outbuildings such as sheds. Also include the outside of your house, removing litter from your lawn, clearing flower beds of unused old mulch bags and old flower pots, etc.

Track your progress from the get-go. Use an online spreadsheet or a simple electronic or emailed document with a list of rooms and other areas to clean. Print out your list and use colored markers as you go, highlighting areas finished in green, for example.

2) Head to stores, online and offline, blogs, videos, social networking sites, and other places.

Visit local stores and online sites to check out the latest trade organization tools. See which one suits your needs and check your budget. Find them on Pinterest, Facebook and other social networking sites, blogs, videos and other content.

Save money by recycling the things you already have around the house to make organization tools. You can use old plastic milk jugs, cut off the tops and use the bottoms as storage bins for your family room remotes, pet toys, toddler blocks, etc.

3) Visualize plans with room for growth.

Take your tracker from no. #1 above and incorporate it into a journal or journal where you also add notes for each area that needs to be cleared. Start your own outline for that area or set up numbered spots like in this article where you list each room and then have subheadings for what you want to do there. For example, you could list “Family Room”, highlighting the word in yellow, with bullet points below that say things like:

  • Throw away old magazines or donate them to your local library.

  • Put the remote controls together in a small basket or bag on a small table.

  • Remove things from the room that belong somewhere else, like exercise, equipment (set up an area or another room just for this).

Use colored pencils, markers/highlighters, stickers, and other writing tools to make your plans stand out and mean something to you. Paste or paste cutout or printed images or insert digital images of the products you have in mind for each area, such as a magazine rack for the living room and a CD/DVD case for the teen’s bedroom.

4) Ask for feedback.

Take digital photos to share on Facebook, Pinterest and/or other social media sites to get feedback. Ask your friends and/or neighbors. They may even offer improvement suggestions and have organizational products to donate to your project.

5) Dig, split and defeat the messy beast!

Once you get some feedback, dig deeper and review/update your plan. As something new comes into each area, throw away something old, donate it, or recycle it. However, don’t let Clutter Monster take control again. Break that cycle of clutter once and for all.

As a wise man once said: “The secret to getting ahead is to start”, Mark Twain.

Now up to you. It’s time to move on and get ahead. Start!