Need a little kick-start to put your house in order? The experts we consulted offered these coping mechanisms.

Have a candid friend walk through your home and give it to you straight about what is unacceptable.

Set realistic deadlines for starting and finishing clean-ups. Even conquering one room in a calendar year is balm for a guilty conscience.

Try working from the simplest tasks to the most challenging, to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Set a timer to make the task finite.

Organize your pantry like a supermarket - similar foods together.

Give each family member a compartmentalized laundry bag for easy sorting.

Be ruthless about discarding. You probably won't really lose those 10 pounds, so you can toss the old jeans you've been holding onto.

- Sally Friedman