Keeping your spaces tidy might be lower on your list of priorities when your schedule gets busy; with a long list of tasks to complete, it may feel impossible to find the time to declutter and organize.
Whether it be your office space, your car, your closet or your cupboards, taking the time to declutter and organize these spaces you encounter every day will have the effect of improving the quality of your everyday life.
While the task of getting organized may seem daunting, consider that it could benefit you in the following ways:
1. Saves Time
Being unorganized could actually be costing you time. Whether you are spending time each morning rummaging through a messy closet to find something to wear, or spending time at work looking for a lost document, this wasted time is taking away your ability to focus on more important tasks. Taking the time to organize your spaces now can give you more time to enjoy your favorite hobbies and spend time with loved ones. Consider organization as an investment: it requires spending time up front in order to enjoy the benefits of it later on. Once a system has been established, you can enjoy the ongoing advantages that come with being organized.
2. Reduces Stress
Disorganization can lead to stress. When your space is cluttered, so is your mind. Without a system of organization in place, our brains are required to be the glue holding everything together. Imagine if we didn’t have calendars and we had to commit all our commitments to memory – we would struggle to focus because we would often be preoccupied with worries about forgetting something important. In a similar way, when our spaces are cluttered, our brains are left with the task of keeping track of what is or is not important, as well as where to find the important things. By creating a system of organization, you are offloading the burden from your brain and onto something external. When your mind is liberated from the task of keeping track of your things, it is available to focus on more important things.
3. Increases Energy
It might be difficult to imagine how being organized can translate to increased energy. Try organizing your office before starting a big project; you might find that you have a boost of productivity that will help you complete the project. This is because the state of feeling energized is not purely physical. In fact, our mindset has a major impact on how motivated and energized we feel. If you constantly feel behind, this can create a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein your behavior and the decisions you make perpetuate the subjective experience of feeling “behind”. On the contrary, when you take the time to organize your space, make to-do lists, and organize your calendar, the subjective experience of feeling “caught up” is likely to translate to making decisions and behaving in ways that fall in line with this. These efforts will allow you to continue to feel motivated, energized, and caught up on tasks.
4. Improves Health
When you are organized, you are more likely to prioritize your health. With an organized schedule, you are better able to make intentional decisions ahead of time in regard to how you choose to spend your time, which could include physical activities that improve your physical and mental health. Additionally, an organized schedule could mean having more time to plan, shop for and cook healthy meals. Finally, organizing your kitchen might inspire you to make healthy choices. In fact, studies show that spending time in an organized environment can actually encourage you to eat healthier.
5. Improves Sleep
Poor sleep quality can negatively impact many areas of your life including your career, your relationships, and your physical and mental health. Disorganization can disrupt sleep in a similar way that it contributes to stress: when your brain is tasked with keeping track of what is important, is it not able to rest peacefully. Do you often lay awake at night running through your to-do list, in fear of forgetting something important? With an external system of organization in place, you can rest easy and wake refreshed and ready to tackle important tasks in the morning.
If you often feel unmotivated, behind, and unorganized, finding balance may require more than tidying up your spaces and your schedule. Difficulty completing tasks and feeling overwhelmed can sometimes be indicative of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health issues. Working with a licensed therapist could help you determine specific ways to cultivate a more balanced and productive life.