Clean Up Your Act!
You don’t need a study to tell you that life is stressful – you’re living it. But what may not be clear is exactly what’s causing your stress and what you can do about it. A recent Huffington Post study showed that the top five sources of stress include too little sleep, too much weight, money worries, guilt about not doing more and worries about your home not being clean or organized. 84% of Americans cited worrying about the state of their home as a frequent source of stress.
So How Do You Lessen Home Organization Stress?
Your home should be your refuge – a haven against the stresses of work and the outside world. But when disorganization at home is causing stress, that’s no good. One of the main sources of home-related stress is clutter. But the idea of facing your clutter can be stressful itself, especially if you get overwhelmed by the thought or attempt to tackle it all at once. Instead, reduce your disorder (and your stress) in increments.
Here are some tips to organize your home without driving yourself crazy:
#1 Start Small
What’s the one thing that aggravates you the most when it comes to organization and clutter? For many of us, it’s the junk/ “office” supply drawer in the kitchen or office – we all have one and some of us have more than one. Seemingly inconsequential, this is a great place to start because it’s small, but when organized can make a big difference. Pull out your drawer and set it on your kitchen table or office desk with the trashcan nearby. Toss the trash, pens that don’t work, dead batteries, broken rubberbnads and stuff you’ll never use. You don’t have to invest in costly containers – repurpose empty (but clean) yogurt tubs and short jars to store coins, clips and thumbtacks and other small supplies. Tackle projects based on your available time so you don’t get in over your head and lose momentum.
#2 Don’t Do It Alone
If someone does something for you, you’re less likely to value it than if you do it yourself. The same goes for home organization and your family. Instead of organizing your kids’ playroom and bedroom, press them into service. It may not be organized like you would have done it, but if it makes sense to them and they were engaged in the solutions, they’re more likely to buy in to the idea of maintaining the organizational systems. Younger kids will need more help, but bring in boxes, bins and containers and let them help sort, purge and contain their belongings! Add labels once they decide where they want everything to go to make future clean up and maintenance easy.
#3 Organize With Flow in Mind
What makes sense in some homes won’t make sense in others when it comes to organizing. Consider how your family does things, how your family uses space and rooms and what activities you all participate in. Add hooks where you come in and drop your jacket and purse, consider a rack or bin for shoes where your family likes to kick them off.
Hooks for backpacks near the homework area or door are great organizational tools. In other rooms, place items nearest where they will be used. Infrequently used items don’t need prime real estate and can be kept in slightly tougher to reach placed. Frequenly used items should be placed in easy to get to areas.
#4 Don’t Procrastinate
It is the easiest thing in the world to make excuses for why not to do something. If you think you need to wait until you have a day off to organize, you may never get to the task. Why waste an entire day off dealing with clutter? Tackle it in chunks instead. Devote 15-30 minutes a day or carve out an hour each weekend so you can get organized without eating up your precious time off work. Think you need to wait to organize until you can afford fancy bins and baskets? Nope.
Check out this great article on cheap DIY storage tools. Organization can be accomplished for free (or nearly free) so don’t let budgetary concerns keep you from reaching your goals.
#5 Once It’s Tidy, It’s Easier to Keep Tidy
Studies show that in the outdoors, litter attracts litter and this applies in your home as well. Malcom Gladwell wrote about the related “broken window theory” in his book, The Tipping Point as well. Adding one more piece of miscellanea to an already disorganized area is no big deal. But once an area is tidy and organized, you’ll be much less likely to add new clutter.
This means you can work your way through closet by closet, room by room, drawer by drawer with little fear that areas you’ve conquered will fall back into disarray. Just spend a little time each day keeping up with the new organization in these areas. Better to go slow and steady and do it right.
If you’re not sure where to start to get your home and life organized, consider consulting Simply Placed. We are experts at creating solutions that will free you up to live the life you want. Choose from a one-on-one consultation or get a group together to enjoy one of our workshops or seminars. Get started today with a free 15 minute needs assessment.