You're going to need more than a broom.

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In the late 1940s, Homer and Langley Collyer made headlines when their bodies were discovered buried in clutter in their New York City brownstone. The well-educated brothers lived for years as recluses in a home without heat or running water, surrounded by things they had hoarded over decades. Authorities were called to the Collyer brothers' house because of a foul odor; and after gaining entry, they immediately discovered the body of the recently deceased Homer. Langley was believed to have fled. However, nine days later as they were sifting through the piles of clutter, they unearthed the body of Langley, buried under piles of newspapers and magazines that collapsed on him as he made his way around the house [source: New York Press].

The Collyer Brothers are an extreme case, but they're not alone. Chronic disorganization is a problem for many people, though it may mean different things, depending on who you ask. For one person clutter may mean being unable to manage the piles of papers that accumulate on the kitchen table. For another, clutter means not being able to find the table at all.

But whether you're someone who's collected so many objects over the years you can't walk through the door, or someone who just needs a good system to organize your bills or paperwork, it's possible to get the clutter under control. You just have to want to do it. While the definition of clutter differs from person to person, clutter control methods can be applied to any situation with positive results. Keep reading to learn effective tools for controlling clutter.