Mental Health and Organizing: 5 Tips to Help You Get Started
Clutter in our home, work area, car, or any environment where we spend our time can impact our mental health in various ways. Experiencing clutter and disorganization in our personal spaces can increase feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, and can increase the stress hormone, cortisol. These feelings can also play a role in impacting our focus, sleep, and sense of self-worth. Ever have the thought “I need to accomplish this task,” “I can’t find anything in my house/office,” or “I should clean up this area”? These thoughts can induce feelings of guilt or shame... and good news, there are ways for us to resolve this.
Finding our path to declutter and get organized can relieve these uneasy feelings and allow for a more manageable life. When we find systems that work for our lifestyle, we can create a calm environment, we decrease decision making time, and we decrease frustrations of searching for items. Purging, organizing, and containing items can bring about a sense of clarity, peace, and control. That previous feeling of guilt for not having our desired clutter free space may be replaced with additional productivity and motivation.
Starting the process of getting organized or even maintaining an already organized space may be overwhelming in itself. A few things to keep in mind when we have a desire to get organized, stay organized, donate, or throw away items in our spaces:
Think about your why
You may feel stuck or unsure of where to start. Acknowledgment of these feelings and asking ourselves why we are stuck or procrastinating, and problem solving from there may be helpful in moving forward.
Give yourself time
We may have emotional ties to objects in our environment which may take time to process and let go.
Focus on one thing at a time
When starting the process of tidying or organizing a space, distractions may arise. Keeping the phrase in the back of your mind, “open task, close task,” prior to moving onto the next area, task, or project can be a simple reminder to keep our focus.
Give yourself grace
There may be seasons of our life, individuals in our home, or simply not enough available time to keep organization to our desired standards. Relinquishing control can be a process and finding balance between organizing, prioritizing, and letting go can allow for more ease and acceptance.
Let go of perfectionism
Organizing or decluttering doesn’t have to meet perfection standards. Instead, there are ways to keep organization simple. By taking steps over time to a more organized life, we can find enjoyment in the spaces we utilize and ultimately better our mental health.
Samantha Gremillion, LCSW-BACS is the owner of Gremillion Social Work Consulting, LLC, provides a space to adolescents and adults to find peace and meaningfulness in their lives. Offering in-person and Telehealth therapy, social work licensure exam preparation, and clinical supervision in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Visit www.samanthagremillionlcsw.com to learn more about her work.