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The Mental Health Benefits of Organizing


As a therapist and coach, I often work with people who are looking to make changes in order to live a more fulfilling life. Many people I work with struggle with maintaining positive mental health due to their busy lives, work schedules, and the demands of taking care of others. One way to take control of your mental health and find a sense of peace and calm in your life is to create a more organized space.


Organization and order can provide numerous mental health benefits. Whether your goal is to stay sane in a packed house, or feel a sense of control over the chaos in your life, consider how having an organized space could help you improve your mental health.



Organization supports you in making healthier choices


Research indicates that physical order is strongly linked with healthier choices. When your space is organized and things are easily accessible, you are more likely to stick to your goals. For example, if you want to start eating healthier and cooking at home more, you will be more likely to achieve this goal if your kitchen is organized in such a way that makes cooking easier. However, if you have to spend 15 minutes finding all of your pots, utensils, and ingredients just to start the process of cooking, you might become overwhelmed and give up.



Organization gives you a sense of control


Order and organization helps you feel more grounded in your own space. The act of organizing allows you to feel more in control of your surroundings. Whether it's your work space, home environment, or even the documents on your computer, when things are in their place, you feel a sense of peace knowing that everything is right where it belongs and you don’t have to worry about where to find it.



Organization helps you focus


Have you heard “a cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind”? Consider this: have you ever pulled out your laptop and sat down to get some work done at your kitchen table only to find that all you can focus on are your countertops that are covered in junk mail and snacks that need to be put away? I know I have. By organizing your space and making sure everything can be easily put away out of sight, you can eliminate the visual noise that can be distracting and take your attention away from the task at hand.



Here are a few ways you can start your journey to a more organized life and improved mental health:


Make your bed every day


In his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin, Naval Admiral William McRaven, explained that “[i]f you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day…[i]t will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.” Those small feelings of accomplishment help get you through the day and allow you to move through life with more ease.


Start small


If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning and organizing your entire house, start small. It can be as easy as starting with one area that you can tackle that will give you a sense of accomplishment, such as your office desk or bathroom vanity.


Live by the 5-minute rule


If it takes less than 5 minutes to clean it or put it away, do it right away. This will help maintain a clean and clutter-free space, and will make weekly cleaning and organizing much easier.

Hire professionals to get you organized

It’s easy to maintain an organized home once you’ve had professionals come in and help you sort, purge, and put away everything in your home. South Coast Organizers is a great resource! Hire them to help create the organized space of your dreams.



​Racheal Hebert, LCSW-BACS is the owner of Radical Changes, LLC, a counseling, coaching, and consulting business in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Visit www.radicalchanges.org to learn more about her work.



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