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Getting Organized - Get Your Life Organized

Why You Should Get Organized and How You Can Do it

Disorganization can make us feel stressed and overwhelmed. On the other hand, getting organized can offer substantial benefits that are both tangible and psychological. Here's how organizing your space can improve the way you feel about yourself and life in general.

Major Psychological Benefits

It may not be that surprising to learn that organized people tend to feel less stressed. That said, organizational habits can also influence our lives in the following surprising ways:

  • Research shows that people with clean, organized homes tend to be healthier than people with messy houses.
  • A study published in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that subjects who described their living spaces as “cluttered” or filled with “unfinished projects” were more likely to be fatigued or depressed.
  • A Princeton study found that clutter can overwhelm the brain's visual cortex, making it more difficult to focus on one particular task.

In addition, our organizational habits can also influence our relationships, since clutter can create tension and conflict between partners. Disorganization can also cause us to be less social, since we may feel too embarrassed about our homes to let people in on short notice.

Getting More Organized

While some people are born with a talent for staying organized, many struggle with the concept. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to promote better organizational habits, including:

Organize for 15 minutes each day. It may not sound like much, but 15-minute efforts can really add up over time. You might use your 15 minutes to clean your fridge, straighten your desk, throw out old mail or organize your junk drawer.

Create homes for everything. Create a space for every single item in your home. Whether it's your keys, the remote control or your mail, make sure you have a designated area for the things that matter most. Life will get a lot less complicated if you always know where everything is.

Purge two things every day. Humans have an innate tendency to accumulate resources. In today's world, however, there's not as much need for this sort of hoarding. Try to toss out at least two non-necessities every day to simplify your surroundings.

Stack good days. Good organizational habits don't work unless they become real habits. While they disagree on exactly how long it takes for something to become a habit, researchers do agree that it takes at least a few weeks. Make sure you commit to your new organizational routine and try your very best not to skip even one day.

Focus on unseen areas. Most people dedicate the majority of their organizational efforts to areas that are exposed to the eye. This often leaves closets, drawers and basements as repositories for clutter. Contrary to the old saying, out of sight isn't always out of mind, at least when it comes to disorganization. When people eliminate unseen clutter, they tend to feel as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. If you are looking for a little more peace of mind, consider spending a few hours gutting your clutter repositories.

A Little Goes a Long Way

If you want to live a more organized life, it's important to make realistic, achievable goals. Instead of resolving to "become more organized" in the new year, focus instead on doing little daily tasks that promote a more orderly existence. Over time, these minor habits will add up to create a more organized life unencumbered by needless clutter.

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