There's no one way that works for everyone. Getting started is far more important than how you get started. Figure out where to start. Begin by taking the first step.
Here are three ways to approach getting started, plus a tip on how much time to put in:
1. Path of Least Resistance. Start with the easy stuff to get into the act of letting go with little pain. Get a bag and walk through your space. Throw out anything that is clearly trash: expired medicine, outdated coupons, old sunscreen, odd socks. Menus from restaurants you don't order from. Broken items not worth repairing. You get the picture.
2. Work on one area at a time and don't switch to another until you're done. Seeing progress will motivate you to keep up the great work.
3. Start with a single shelf or drawer. You don't have to do your entire closet, desk or room at once. If you organize one small area during each session, you'll advance toward your goal and it won't seem as overwhelming.
4. Spend no more than one hour each day. Or maybe two, if you're on a roll. Don't burn yourself out. But commit to spending at least 30 minutes a day. If you have to miss a day, hey, sometimes it happens. Just make sure you aren't procrastinating.
5. If you aren't getting anywhere and frustration is mounting, hire a professional. Contact Organizing Matters.