Feeling overwhelmed? Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to daily life. However, stress doesn’t have to be harmful – it can also lead to productivity. Tidying up and putting things in order can help regain some feeling of control, and uncomplicated, repetitive actions like folding can be soothing. But keep in mind, some home organization projects can end up being more stress-inducing than calming (for instance, undertaking that major closet overhaul).
Not sure where to begin? Follow these four straightforward tips for how to successfully declutter your physical (and mental!) space.
When you’re stressed, start by organizing a small area, like a drawer, cabinet or pantry. It shouldn’t take too long, so it’s an easy way to feel a sense of accomplishment. Avoid sorting through anything too nostalgic or personal. By focusing on a space that doesn’t bring about an emotional connection, such as decluttering your Zoom room or sorting through kitchen utensils in a drawer, it should be relatively simple to group items and donate or toss any unwanted items or duplicates – making your straightening-up activity quick and productive.
Organizing your pantry can be a relaxing task. Use a door rack to give yourself more room to store and display items.
Be Mindful of Time
To avoid exhaustion, frustration and burnout, it’s important to keep each organizational task short and manageable. Don’t plan on dedicating an entire day organizing or be overly ambitious with your plans. Instead, pick one room or spot – such as organizing your bookcase – and spend 15 or 30 minutes on it. Set a timer if needed! Completing this task will give you a sense of satisfaction, as well as encourage you to continue organizing in small ways. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a brief period. Once you’ve completed the task, congratulate yourself for checking it off your list.
Rearrange your bookcase in under 30 minutes.
Make It Fun
Instead of focusing all your attention on the laborious task at hand, listen to music or a podcast in the background to make it more fun. Or enlist a close friend to keep you company. Getting started is always the hard part, so do whatever it takes to motivate yourself. Once you get going, it will become easier to continue as you build on your success.
Save for Later
Remember that projects involving anything nostalgic or sentimental will be much more difficult to tackle, as these items require significant time, focus and emotional labor to sort through. If you’re not in the right headspace, you may want to avoid going through old photos, journals or even clothes for now, as the process could ultimately leave you frustrated. We recommend saving any emotional-triggering tasks for a calmer time, preferably when you can make clear decisions. Having a close friend by your side for support can also help make those potentially stress-inducing projects more manageable.
There are many health and wellness benefits associated with organization. Setting realistic goals, knowing your limits and managing expectations when tackling projects is the key to a successful decluttering of space – and achieving peace of mind.
Ready to tackle a manageable decluttering project in your home? Shop for organizational products.