When you’re surrounded by clutter and disorganization, your whole world can start to feel like chaos. Your environment has a big effect on your mind and your emotional state. If you organize your spaces, you’ll find that your mind is clearer and sharper. You’ll feel calmer and you’ll be in a better headspace. The trouble is, getting organized is much easier said than done.
Create a Daily Routine
Get into the habit of doing some everyday straightening up around the house. Put particular emphasis on areas where things tend to pile up: the place where you put the daily mail, for example, or that pile of shoes next to the bed. Identify your problem areas and decide what you can do every day for 15 to 20 minutes a day to keep your spaces neater.
Attack your daily straightening-up tasks in an energetic way. Think of it as a way to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping at least once a day. You can even burn some extra calories doing this. You can accomplish a lot in just 15 or 20 minutes a day. Your daily routine can include anything that needs doing. Sweeping, putting the laundry away — you know where your spaces are disorganized, so you’ll know what needs to be done.
Tackle Bigger Projects
Often, it’s not the little daily organization that gets overwhelming. It’s those big tasks that can cast a shadow over you. That closet that you’re secretly afraid to open. That area under the bed that has so much stuff under it, you forgot what’s there. Everyone has places that are overflowing with stuff. Once a week, pick just one big project to work on. Clean out that drawer, that closet, that one spot. Keep doing this every week, and you can have every drawer, cabinet and closet in your home well-organized before you know it.
Throw Stuff Away
Most people have trouble staying organized because they have too much stuff. There’s just nowhere to put anything else. Learning how to throw things away is truly one of the most important things you can learn. Seriously, you don’t need to keep everything. Go through that stack of boxes with an objective eye. Ask yourself if you really need two dozen pairs of socks with holes in them. Think about the last time you used the cleaning rags at the bottom of the pile or that bottle of perfume that so-and-so gave you all those Christmases ago.
Have a garage sale or throw it away. Keep the things that really mean something to you. Keep the paperwork you must have. And then take a serious moment to think about throwing everything else away. If you haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, if you’re hanging onto it because it’s a gift or think you might read it one day — throw it out. You know what you use, what you need and what you love. If everything you own does not fall into one of these categories, you know what to do.
Once your spaces are more organized, you’re going to be in a better place mentally. It can take time, but you can get organized with a little more weekly effort.