De-Clutter Your Home, De-Stress Your Mind

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoC83JhkCAw?rel=0]

Author: Sheilah Overman, MS., Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, IMF #71336

What does organization have to do with mental health? Well, a lot, actually.

Have you ever had a tough day and all you wanted to do was go home, plop on the couch and disengage from it all? I’m sure that is what most people have on their minds at the end of their work day. Sadly, when we walk in our front door we are often welcomed home by dishes in the sink, laundry to fold, mail to sort through, the desk needs to be organized, and oh, you have yet to find a home for those birthday presents you just received.

Home is suppose to be a tranquil environment, yet all of our disorganized junk makes it a cluttered storage unit of things that we intend on getting to “next week“. Organization does not happen over night. It takes effort to create a spot for every little thing. Yes, EVERY little thing.

Here are tips to start organizing your home:

  • Sit down and make a grand list of all the areas of your home that need to be de-cluttered (i.e: closet, garage, bathroom cabinet, junk drawer in the kitchen, etc.)
  • Set a date and time to commit to tackling one room/ area at a time. And write your commitment somewhere-in a planner, journal, calendar, or white board. (studies prove that if your goal is written down, you are more likely to follow through with it).
  • Label makers and containers will be your new best friends. Make sure you have plenty on hand.
  • When organizing your area, make 3 piles: “Save”, “Donate”, “Trash”. In the process of doing this, you will get reintroduced to items you forgot you had, and also get rid of unused things.
  • Group like-items together, therefore you know that all the staplers and hole punchers are in a bin marked “Office Supplies”.
  • When figuring out where to store each item, imagine yourself using the item. I apply my sunscreen right before doing my makeup, so I put it in my makeup bin, not in the medicine cabinet.
  • Go for utility, not perfection when organizing your spaces.

Note: In order to honor all your hard work, make sure to remind yourself to put things back once you’ve used them. After all, it will only take a second to do!

Once every single item in your home has it’s own home, you may realize that you will become more efficient in your daily task because things are easier to find. Hopefully, your mind will be at ease as well.

Helpful links: The Container Store, Ikea, California Closets

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