When we turn on our televisions, the first thing we hear is how bad the economy is.

We hear about the trickle-down effect from the government to the people. Let's try a different approach. For lack of a better term, I am going to call it "trickle up."

In the book "Body Clutter," we told you we need to look back to see what has happened so that when we are faced with decisions, we will not make the same mistakes.

We have an acronym for STUFF: Something That Undermines Family Fun. We have allowed stuff to suck the life right out of us.

We have medicated with stuff. You know the saying: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. We would do anything to keep our minds from dealing with what needs to be done. We shop, shop, shop and bring it home.

Eventually our homes begin to close in on us. We start looking for a new home that will hold all of our stuff. The more storage the better; we may even rent a storage unit for the stuff that won't fit. We never get rid of anything.

This way of thinking has been shaped mostly by what we hear. Every magazine, newspaper, television news program and political candidate is filling our heads with gloom and doom. I say, let's quit listening to them. We have the ability to have a positive outlook on our lives by doing a few simple things.

Turn off your TV and radio. Choose programs that uplift your spirits. Listen to beautiful music and books on tape. Eliminate the negativity and commercials from the clutter in your heads. (Don't get me started on all those commercials telling us what we need.)

The government seems to think more spending is going to get us out of this rut. What does more spending do for your household budget? We spend it on clutter. That clutter needs a home, and it is going to take yours from your family. More spending jacks up credit-card debt and eventually makes us feel bad. When we feel bad about ourselves and our homes, we start that downward spiral. Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck because we have homes filled with stuff.

We can make a difference in the hopelessness portrayed in the news media. When you are FLYing, your outlook is happier. Those surveyors who call your home are wanting to hear how bad things are. Don't give them the fuel to pollute our minds. I think the New Hampshire voters had a little trick up their sleeves with all these news people and pollsters. I'd bet they all got together and decided to mislead them. After all, isn't it your right to keep your vote private?

Here is my list for feeling more hopeful:

Shine your sink! (Don't shake your head no till you have tried it.)

Plan your meals and cook what you planned.

Pick up after yourself and get out in the sunshine and move your body.

Get rid of clutter in your home and your head.

Live within your means, your income and the walls of your home.

Count your blessings and not your troubles.

Go to bed at a decent hour and turn off the TV.

Do it now! Do something today that will make tomorrow better.

Don't sweat the small stuff; what doesn't matter just doesn't matter.

Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself.

And last, love like there is no tomorrow because all we really have is today! Make the best of it.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS; check out: www.FlyLady.net or "Sink Reflections" published by Bantam and "Body Clutter" published by Fireside. Copyright 2007 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.