Lifestyle Mental Health

8 Tips to Get Organized to Improve Your Mental Health

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We all lead busy lives. And sometimes, that means prioritizing our jobs and extracurricular activities over our chores at home. But when that happens often, you can go from feeling like you’re giving yourself a short reprieve to feeling like you’ve reached the point of no return.

Clutter impacts our emotional health and mental well-being — and one of the best ways to restore control is decluttering the space around you. That’s why our experts are here to explain how getting organized can improve your overall wellness and to share tips to help you declutter.

How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health

There’s no disputing that living in clutter can cause significant issues, from keeping you from getting a good night’s rest and hindering our ability to focus to leaving you feeling depressed. Even so, most of us would admit to having more “stuff” than we need. It’s time to take action if your space is stressing you out or impacting your relationships.

Remove Clutter to Find Stress Relief

Organizing the physical things around you will help you regain a sense of control. In fact, studies suggest that living and working in an organized environment will calm your mind, generate positive emotions, improve your mood and reduce overall stress.

Why? First, just being able to see or know exactly where to find what you need helps you avoid wasting time looking for it. It also prevents you from buying something you don’t truly need simply because you couldn’t find it.

Next, decluttering is physical activity. It’s always good for you to keep your body moving.

And finally, letting go of certain items can free you from emotional burdens you didn’t realize you were carrying. Not sure what to do with grandma’s tablecloths you never use or all the kids’ artwork stacking up? Keep a few favorites and let the rest go. For items without sentimental value, if you haven’t used it in more than a year, it may be time to let it go.

8 Tips on How to Get Organized

  1. Tackle the most visible places first. What we see in our everyday lives can cause the biggest mental distractions. Save the overflow closets and storage spaces for another day, but don’t forget them. Make a list of the areas you want to organize, and then feel a sense of satisfaction as you check off each one.
  2. Organize your piles. Make piles for what to keep, what to donate and what to sell —throw the rest directly into trash bags. And if possible, take action with each pile the same day before you can change your mind.
  3. Take everything out. It’s easier to make decisions about what you need to keep if you can see it all at once. When reorganizing a drawer or closet, get it completely empty before putting anything back. If organizing clothes, try them on as you go if needed so you don’t keep items that no longer fit.
  4. Find a happy medium. If you use shelves, baskets or bins to stay organized, be sure they are large enough to hold what’s truly needed, but not so large the space gets filled with unnecessary items over time. Make the most of each available space.
  5. Keep paperwork organized. Creating a system that allows you to know exactly where to look helps you avoid feeling rushed or frustrated because you can’t find a piece of paper you need. Or transfer as much as you can to digital.
  6. Don’t forget the computer. Stop wasting time looking for a particular file on the computer — or picture on your phone. Taking the time to set up an organized system now will save you lots of time later.
  7. Get help. A family member or friend may be your voice of reason to help you decide what to keep and what to purge, and they can help you stay on task. They also can assist with any heavy lifting or trips to drop donations at a thrift store.
  8. Set yourself up for future success. If you remove clutter and put new organization systems in place, be sure they’re manageable. Explain your new plans and get everyone in your household or office on board for maintaining the new system.

We’re Here for Your Body, Mind and Spirit

If you feel too overwhelmed to get started or aren’t sure where to begin, our behavioral health counselors can offer other tips and make sure a mental health disease isn’t getting in your way. Let us help you stay on a path to living well. Learn more.

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