In recent years, there has been a lot of focus on the benefits of getting organized on mental health. There are even whole television shows dedicated to the topic. At the same time, the conversation around mental health is bigger than ever, especially as we’ve all experienced a lot of stress over the past couple of years.
Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. Organization and mental health are directly related, so it makes sense that people are taking a closer look at how they organize their lives.
How Does Poor Organization Hold You Back?
A cluttered, dirty space is linked to adverse effects on mental health. This may seem obvious, but clutter and its effect on the brain is the subject of many scientific studies.
Here’s what clutter can do:
- It may contribute to depression and fatigue. Some studies link clutter to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Clutter can reduce focus and increase confusion. Since things are more challenging to find and there is more visual stimulation, people who find it hard to focus should try cleaning up.
- It can affect other areas of your life, such as leading to a poor diet or putting strain on personal relationships.
What are the Effects of Staying Organized on Mental Health?
While we all know that one person who seems to thrive amidst the chaos of their living or working space, most of us benefit from staying clean and organized.
There are so many advantages to having a well-organized space. Not only does it create a more positive atmosphere, but it also quiets that nagging voice in your head reminding you of all the little tasks you need to finish.
Here are some ways that staying organized positively affects your mental health.
- Better focus
Studies show that a clean and clutter-free home or workplace allows you to focus better on the jobs that should really be taking up most of your time.
- Reduces stress
Without the constant stress of cleaning up, organization helps improve your mood and leaves you with a positive space to enjoy.
- Boosts physical health
Cleaning and organizing forces you to get up and move around. Physical exercise is a proven stress buster and boosts your immunity.
- Improves sleep
Most people sleep better when they don’t feel like they’ve left a bunch of tasks unfinished.
- Increases productivity
Studies point to a positive relationship between a clean and organized workspace and greater productivity.
- Frees up time
While many people put off organization because they think it will take them too much time, it can help you save time in the long run if you continue to maintain the same level of organization. Use this extra time to do things you love.
- Relieves strain on relationships
A large percentage of household arguments revolve around chores. Staying organized is one way to maintain the peace. At work, if you share an office or are asked to find a document an organized workspace has advantages in mitigating stress. A bonus is you may find the more organized habits pleasing to the eye while enabling you to quickly retrieve things without wasting time or irritating your colleague or boss.
Tips On Getting Organized
It’s never easy to change old habits, especially if you’ve always struggled with keeping your things organized. But it’s not impossible, and by following the helpful tips below, you may find it easier to de-clutter than you think.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to organization. You know what will work best for you, so take the following advice and customize it according to your personal situation.
Start small. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you think about everything you need to organize. Instead of tackling everything at once, break down your goal into smaller, more manageable tasks. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll find that the momentum carries you forward.
Forget about perfection. A pursuit of perfection can often just lead to more stress. Instead, focus on gratitude and allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish a task, no matter how small it is. Take time to celebrate.
Let go of things. We often hold on to things that we never use. Learn to let go of things that don’t add value to your life. Consider donating items to someone who can use them.
Cut out distractions. Give organization your full attention. Otherwise, you’re likely to get side-tracked.
Set a deadline. This is especially helpful for chronic procrastinators. Successfully hitting a deadline helps create a positive feedback loop centered around good organization habits.
Enlist help. If you find it too much of a challenge to take on organization alone, ask a friend or family member for assistance.
Visualize. Picture the end product before you get started. Then, work backward from there.
Getting organized is something that everyone can do to benefit their mental health. It’s an actionable first step that kickstarts the journey towards better self-acceptance, self-awareness, and well-being.
But the positive effects go beyond our individual lives as well. Much of my work is centered around helping teams organize themselves in a way that strengthens their culture and builds a mindset focused on continuous growth.
If you’d like to learn more about how better organization can help your team achieve its goals, please reach out.