Constantly under pressure to catch up, running late with errands, forgetting appointments, working late, bringing work home for the weekend, not being able to digitally disconnect all links back to organisation or lack thereof. If you’re feeling over-worked, returning to a home that you feel you can’t keep on top of, and have an overall feeling of lethargy, it’s going to be difficult to stay motivated and make long term change for our health.
Which is where getting organised can come in. Disorganisation goes beyond a messy bedroom. It can affect our time, work, home life and over all wellbeing. When you think about it, everything we do successfully depends on our ability to organise ourselves.
In 2011, a survey from Rubbermaid revealed that 91% of respondents feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin with home organisation.
A disorganised home can often make for a disorganised mind. Daily battles with clutter and disorganisation whether in the home or in the workplace can cause anxiety, worry, feeling out of control and like you’re always trying to catch up. These feelings lead to high levels of stress and constant self blame that “we should be more organised”!
Give yourself a break from the criticism and just follow some of these steps to incorporate a little more organisation into your daily life.
‘Organised’ is Something you Become
Being more organised is something you ‘become’, not something you ‘get’. If you start to look at it like a new life skill that you are learning rather than something you “should” know and do already, then you have a greater chance of success and a greater chance of actually enjoying the process! You wouldn’t expect to be a great cook, or fluent in French after a day…and it’s the same with learning how to organise. Do a little bit every day and it will become more habitual and easier.
Relinquish the Need for Perfection
Get rid of these beliefs:
1. “I’ll get started when (insert whatever set of perfect circumstances you feel you need to get started)” – just START.
2. It’s not organised until everything is alphabetised, or pointing in the same direction or….(insert whatever image you have of a ‘perfect’ home)
Life is busy, hectic and there is a thousand and one demands on your time every day. Most of us, myself included, do not have the time to get our home organised to the standard you see in those beautiful interior magazines or blogs. It would be lovely if we did, but let’s get real here, we just don’t have TIME.
There’s no point waiting for a perfect set of circumstances to get started. They don’t exist.
You DO have time to do a little organising every day. Whether it’s clearing off the table after dinner, putting on a load of washing, putting away some paper, getting the kids to pick up their toys before bed, getting the kids to pack their school bag the night before…this is small household organisation that can be done every day.
Keeping the house in some sort of shape whereby it’s easy to find things and it’s easy to put things away if it gets messy (which it will, because this is life!)….then that’s good enough! You do not need it to be perfect. If you’re organising, just start and get some order on it. Don’t get bogged down separating out the different coloured legos in the toy room. It will NEVER stay that way. Finish up the job there and move on to the next room.
Remember, ‘aim for easy retrieval’ should be the only organising rule you need!
Get Comfortable with the Discomfort
Dr Brene Brown, a research professor on ‘Vulnerability’ says we must “accept discomfort as part of growth”.
Becoming more organised involves changing a lifestyle and changing habits. Initially this can take a while to achieve and it can be difficult. Especially if you don’t like letting go of things.
None of us like saying goodbye. It’s change isn’t it? And life seems easier just staying the same. But in fact, change is good. And necessary. I think one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life is how to be comfortable with change.
Part of organising is de-cluttering. Which is reducing what you own. This can be very hard for some. The memories – good and bad – associated with what we own can be overwhelming.
If you struggle with this, try some of the following:
1. Only do small jobs and only focus on it for an hour or two
2. Have a nice reward set up for afterwards – a walk, your favourite TV show, a cup of tea!
3. Ask someone to help you
4. Write about your feelings
5. Take a photograph of the item as a memory.
And remember, that just because you let the item go, doesn’t mean you let the memory go.
Living with the clutter and disorganisation isn’t much fun. It causes stress and anxiety. It causes embarrassment and shame and we feel we can’t invite friends over to visit. This is all extremely isolating. And so on Mental Health day, perhaps making some changes is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean it will be like that forever.
My Five Top Organising Tips to Implement
1. Make your bed, open curtains every morning
2. Pick clothes up off the floor and put away every day – even if you are just putting them into a disorganised wardrobe – it’s better to keep them off the floor – which leads to the next tip…
3. Keep flat surfaces clear – from counter tops, windowsills, but most especially your floor!
4. Keep all paper (bills, statements, passports, school notes, gift vouchers etc) in one area
5. Do as much preparation the night before an event/ activity as you can.
The Benefits to Getting Organised
I think the biggest benefit to becoming more organised is the freedom it can give.
A weight – literally – is lifted once you de-clutter and re-organise. Space emerges around you,. physically and within you, mentally.
The ease at being able to find things you need when you need them brings a nice calmness in an otherwise hectic life.
For me, organising allows me to put things away very quickly. I’m often asked is my house perfect? And my reply is that it can get just as messy as everyone else’s, but I know I can clean it up really quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, life is not without its stresses and strains at all. However, smaller stresses such as searching for lost items, running late etc. are all eliminated when you’re organised. This in itself gives you more freedom and time to focus on bigger stresses and worries you may have in your life. You have more mental space to deal with bigger stuff.
With organisation, there is more time to devote to things we enjoy and to spend time with our friends and family. This is extremely beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing.
A decision and commitment to doing a little organising every day, and perhaps a bigger organising project once a month, will help you make that change. And who knows, you might even end up enjoying it!
Why not talk to us about getting organised? Avail of a free phone consultation and we can discuss how to clear your clutter and create more space. Book a time in just two clicks right here!
Wishing you the best to your health and wellbeing!