Get Organized: How Sorting Out the Clutter Streamlines Your Life

Being in a state of disorganization can feel overwhelming. Which came first, overwhelm or disorganization?It’s sometimes hard to tell. Nonetheless, being disorganized contributes to chaosin and out of the home. Streamlining not only clears the clutter from your home, it helps streamline other areas of life. People who feel tired and overwhelmed in life generally have low energy. The lack of energy makes it hard to do chores and tasks. Before long, there’s no food to make a complete meal, no one can find a clean pair of socks, and the bills are overdue. 

Disorganization can lead to: 

  • Depression
  • Health issues
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced property values
  • Lost productivity
  • And more

Generally, being disorganized bleeds from one area of life into another. As one area becomes affected, it spreads into another until a sense of overwhelm, hopelessness, and helplessness sets in. Before long there are messes everywhere –literal and figurative. 

Messiness and mild-to-moderate disorganization isn’t a prediction of doom. Some people are less organized than others. There’s nothing wrong with being messy or having a lifestyle that someone else might consider cluttered. Failure to make the bed doesn’t label a person unorganized. If the lack of organization is causing disharmony in your family or you are avoiding important tasks at home because you can’t seem to get “it” together, streamlining might be a solution. 

Sorting out the clutter can streamline life and make it easier day-to-day. It may require effort in the beginning, but the results are worth it. Once you have the resources in place to maximize your home and your mind, you can expect to feel things getting easier. You’ll discover more spare time and have less anxiety about chores and the expectations of your family. 

Here are some key ways to declutter and streamline your life:

  • Have a capsule wardrobe
  • Create spreadsheets of important dates and occasions
  • Get outside assistance 
  • Organize your pantry for easier meal prep and save money
  • Create chores for your family
  • Create routines for daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance 
  • And more 

Clearing the clutter can streamline your day-to-day living and make it possible for you to do more with ease. Having systems in place and using your energy wisely creates harmony in your home and beyond. The satisfaction and pride that comes from running an efficient home that is free from clutter and chaos is worth the efforts it takes to get there. 

The Psychological Effects of Clutter 

Being messy isn’t a disorder but there are psychological effects to living amidst chronic clutter. Overstimulation is a known cause for anxiety and other negative impacts. Overstimulation occurs when the senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch, and other senses – are maxed out. Too much stimulation can lead to anxious feelings and associated feelings like anger, depression, and more. 

Living in a cluttered or disorganized environment can add to the stress levels amongst the whole family. Here’s how: 

Kids thrive in structure- Disorganized homes tend to be highly unstructured. From running around looking for clean clothes to eating take-out because there is not enough food to make a meal, disorganization causes unnecessary stress.  

Order creates calm-Being at home should feel peaceful. Having a pleasant environment free of clutter and overstimulation helps families disengage from the world and re-charge for a new day. If the home is in chronic disarray, it is hard to recharge. Subconsciously your mind is assessing the dishes, laundry, unfinished projects, and other signs of clutter. The sense of things being undone can trigger anxious feelings of overwhelm. 

Families are a team-If one member of the family is expected to carry the lion’s share of responsibility, it can cause resentment and fatigue. Sometimes people check out when they feel unsupported. Families are a team, and everyone should be contributing to the welfare and care of the home. Even stay-at-home parents need support with home maintenance and responsibilities.   

Disorganization wastes time-Being disorganized robs families of time. Time to recharge and connect with one another. Spending time looking for lost items makes people late getting out of the door. The scramble to clean up for unexpected company or devoting an entire day to catch up on laundry can cause undue anxiety and cause you to miss out on fun activities that bring you joy. 

Disorganization causes embarrassment-Living in chaos or overwhelm can cause embarrassment. Missing appointments due to a disorganized schedule can cost time and money. A co-worker asking for a ride might result in an uncomfortable situation when your car is piled with food containers and tossed-aside clothing and sports equipment. Having company in your home when it doesn’t truly reflect who you are can make you feel uncomfortable and avoid hosting guests.   

Being disorganized costs money-Families who are not organized tend to eat out more often, spend more on clothing and other items, and fail to stay within their means. This stress can affect marriages and the tension can run over onto the children. Being organized makes it possible to manage a budget and keep track of important items. It prolongs the life of clothing and other frequently used items. 

Overstimulation is cause for anxiety. Sitting on your sofa after a long day, staring at yesterday’s dishes doesn’t promote relaxation. Scrambling to find your kids shoe when you are already late for work won’t get your day off to a fresh start. There are real psychological consequences to clutter and chaos. You can improve your mental health by becoming clutter free and organized. 

Being Organized is a Mindset

Organized people seem very… organized. They tend to have an orderly way of doing things and a solution for every storage problem. Their lists and spreadsheets may seem like overkill, but they really are helpful tools for living a streamlined life. Being organized might seem like a series of habits but honestly, it is more of a mindset than an activity. 

Being organized starts with your thinking and reveals itself in your actions. 

Here’s why: 

Our brains are designed to solve problems. Generally speaking, overwhelm happens when we simply can’t seem to solve a problem or aren’t taking action to do the things that solve a problem. These are mindset issues. However we set our mind, our actions usually follow. This is why people yo-yo with their behavior. Sometimes their minds are set towards success and sometimes they simply aren’t. 

Being organized starts in the mind long before it manifests in your closet or your pantry. The desire to be orderly or solve organization problems happens in your thoughts and culminates in sorting through your belongings and heading to The Container Store. 

So, how do you shift your mindset towards being more organized? 

Here’s how: 

Make the decision that being organized is a solution to many problems. Decide that being in command and control of your home, your family’s schedule, your business, or anything that is in disarray is solution-focused. It’s a good thing! Getting organized and staying that way is worth the effort and completely possible. 

Some of the results of being more organized are:

Making the decision to be more organized and sticking to it is the first step in the process. Committing to doing the work to streamline, declutter, and carry out the tasks needed to be organized and stay organized is key. Making the commitment in your mind to a lifestyle of cleanliness, order, and peace will help you take action when you may be too tired or want to let things go. 

Are Commitments Cluttering Your Life? 

Clutter isn’t only too many items on your countertops and piles of unsorted mail. Clutter comes in all forms, including too many commitments. Are commitments cluttering your life? 

Most families have two working parents and kids who participate in activities seven days per week. A typical family can easily expect to have multiple commitments pulling them every which way on a daily basis. Too many commitments make it hard or nearly impossible to be organized without intention.  

One of the first steps in being more organized is decluttering your calendar. Being able to prioritize your commitments and make cuts when needed can reduce stress, create opportunities to be more streamlined, and increase your personal happiness. You don’t have to be spread too thin. You have the ability and the responsibility to say no to some commitments. 

Here are some tips for streamlining commitments:

Tip #1: Just Say No.Consider noas an automatic response. If your weekends are busy, then simply say no. You don’t have to worry about other people’s feelings or FOMO if you know that there is no room in your schedule to make a commitment. Most people won’t be offended if you decline their offer. Be kind, have a blanket statement ready, and simply say no to the request. 

Tip #2:Have a Family Meeting. Decide as a family what sort of commitments are on or off the calendar. Making decisions together helps families work towards a common goal. If saying yes to too many activities means the lawn is never mowed and the laundry is never washed, there’s bound to be consequences down the line. Decide together what activities are scheduled and what actions need to be taken to maintain the status quo at home or in business. If the cost for saying yes is too high, then declining the commitment is the right thing to do. 

Tip #3: Evaluate Your Priorities.Look at the commitments you are making and ask yourself why you make them? Are you saying yes to anything out of guilt or coercion? Are you truly enjoying the commitments you have? If you aren’t a heck yesabout what you are doing, then consider stopping. Don’t allow guilt or a misguided sense of responsibility to overwhelm your schedule. 

Tip #4: Take a Commitment Fast. For one month, cut out all unnecessary commitments. Try fasting from commitments and see what you and your family think at the end of the month. Do you feel more refreshed and less harried? Did you realize you feel better having less to do outside the home? Was it easier to stay on top of chores, resting, and doing things you love? A Fast will show you if you’d like to consider limiting your commitments on a more permanent basis. 

Commitments seem like an unavoidable aspect of life. To some extent they are but often, they are part of a mindset and habit of behavior that feels normal. You can declutter your schedule and remove commitments, making way for more time and more peace in your life. Consider evaluating your calendar and making changes.

Best of luck! For even more decluttering tips, have a look at these guides

 
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