Have you ever experienced this situation? Before heading out on vacation, you make sure everyone’s packed, everything is shut off, windows and doors are locked … and the house is straightened up. And you probably know where you stand on the “zero unread emails versus 30,000 unread emails” saga.
If you felt an emotional twinge reading either of those scenarios, you’re not alone. Organization, or lack thereof, can divide people as sharply as politics or religion. However, being organized can have a powerful impact on your day-to-day well-being, and if you understand the many positives that come from it, you might just find yourself prioritizing.
Being disorganized can result in several negative health outcomes. For example, in just one example of the disorganization-anxiety tie, a study correlated home clutter with increased depression in spouses. Another study in the journal Sleep concluded that decluttering before bedtime can help improve one’s sleep.
It stands to reason, then, that you can experience many health benefits by being organized.
Research shows that you’ll get better shut-eye in a tidy room. The reason is believed to be connected to your brain: if it senses an overload of stimuli in the form of, say, things lying around the bedroom, it will have a harder time shutting down. And if your sleep gets disrupted, your overall focus and productivity will suffer.
Sometimes, the simplest of organizational efforts can make the biggest difference. Admiral William McRaven gave a viral speech in 2014, noting how Navy SEALs make their beds every morning to start their day with a sense of accomplishment. Similarly, keeping your home environment neat can increase the satisfaction of your everyday life.
Less Stress, More Control
We’ve all been stressed out in our lives, and we know what the outcome can be—coping mechanisms such as eating junk food, excess alcohol consumption, and binge-watching TV, all of which are detrimental to our physical health.
In contrast, people who are more organized have a better sense of control and tend to make healthier choices. For example, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people may choose healthier foods in an organized space. Also, being organized about your workouts is essential to exercising regularly. (There’s a reason why it’s called a workout routine.)
You’ve likely experienced the paradox that everything moves at the speed of light nowadays, yet we’re busier than ever. For some, this leaves no room for prioritizing organization—or so it seems.
It’s generally agreed that consistently staying organized takes far less time than doing a massive organizing overhaul, leading to better overall productivity. For example, consider your desk. If you keep it organized as you work, you’ll know where everything is at all times. So instead of taking fifteen minutes to find a report you need, you’ll have it in seconds, leaving you time to focus your attention on more pressing matters.
Multiply this process by the number of things on your agenda, and it’s clear why organization is a great time-saving habit—both at home and at your workplace. In a very real sense, time is money if you’re well-organized.
How To Optimize Organization
Now that you understand the many potential benefits of being more organized, here are some tips that can help you become—and stay—organized.
Take one step at a time.
If you try to tackle a huge pile of clutter all at once, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and retreat back to what you know. Instead, divide and conquer your disorganization: go room by room, and then, if need be, take on one part of each room at a time. Small victories such as this will be motivational, spurring you to continue your organizing efforts.
Decide what to store away and what to remove.
As you go room by room, determine what you’ll keep and what you’ll get rid of. Then store away what you want to keep; you may realize that it’s too much for the space you have. If so, consider whether you really want it; if not, try to sell it or put it with the rest of your “donate” pile.
Make it a team effort.
If you are a hoarder and your roommate or spouse isn’t, they’ll probably be happy to help you get organized if you ask for help—and it can become a bonding experience that promotes mutual respect through a shared goal.
Think of the greater good.
Sure, you’re going to make things better between you and your housemates by doing this. But you will also make a big impact on people when you donate items that other people actually need versus what you want.
Remember your why.
As discussed earlier, being organized isn’t necessarily the ultimate goal—organization is a tool that can help you achieve a much greater purpose. Do you want to be happier? Improve your relationships with the rest of your family? Sleep better? Feel better about yourself? Always keep in mind how you’ll be improving your own well-being on this journey.
So make sure to smile the next time you see your spouse carefully rearranging the dishwasher, notice your friend’s books alphabetized on his bookshelf, or find yourself making sure your home is impeccable on the morning before you leave for vacation, knowing that they’re just some examples of how organization can easily help you take control of both your home and your life.
This article was prepared by ReminderMedia.
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