Try these tips for easing burdensome projects

Are your drawers full of half-knitted sweaters, recipes stuffed in envelopes, and snapshots waiting to be sorted, labeled, and put into albums? Is your garage or basement in need of a cleanup? Here are some tips that might help you finish some of those unfinished projects:

* Ask yourself, Does it still need finishing? Sometimes, after a while, the reason for starting a project no longer exists. If that's the case, scrap it.

* Give yourself a deadline. Without a deadline you're liable to put off finishing the project again. If you can't meet the deadline, negotiate an extension of time with yourself.

* Make use of waiting time. Whenever you anticipate spending time waiting (for children at school, or for a meeting to begin), use the time finishing handwork projects, or reading that book you never quite finished.

* Break up big jobs. A project such as cleaning the garage can look so big that you don't know where to begin. Try breaking the job into several smaller jobs and tackle only what you can handle in a limited time. You might break up such a job into the following segments:

1. Assemble all yard tools in one place. Hang as many as possible on garage walls for easy access.

2. Round up all children's toys - bikes, wagons, sleds - into one place.

3. Organize and straighten the tool bench.

4. Straighten the area where you keep recyclable items such as newspapers, bottles, and cans.

5. Store automotive equipment where it is readily accessible.

6. If you sweep each area as you straighten it, the last job can be sweeping the center of the garage, where the car is kept.

* Sorting is necessary in any cleanup job. While going through piles of belongings, it's helpful sometimes to sort them into three piles labeled: KEEP, RECYCLE, and DISCARD. Recyclable items could be given to friends or the Salvation Army.

On your mark, get set, finish it! There will never be a better time to finish that unfinished project.

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