If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with cluttered spaces, the five organizing tips in today’s post will bring a bit of calm to your life. Use them as a guide to help you clear up your spaces and keep your mind stress-free.
5 Organizing Tips to Clear Clutter (And Reduce Stress)
There are many benefits to maintaining an organized home or office. Besides being more efficient (i.e., finding things more quickly) and more productive (i.e., completing tasks fully and on time), living in an organized home or office space can help keep your stress levels in check.
Sure, some stress can be helpful and motivate you to start (or finish) that important project. But there’s other stress — the kind that saps your energy and makes you feel awful and sends your blood pressure through the roof. Stress can also affect your critical thinking ability, how well you sleep, and can even make you more susceptible to illnesses. Yikes!
One simple way to keep it under control is to keep your spaces organized, especially the ones you use often. Keep reading to get my top organizing tips for bringing a bit of order and more happiness to your life.
1. Set organizing goals
Figure out what you want to accomplish and put those items in order of priority. Sometimes it feels like your whole house or office needs help — and that might be true. But trying to fix your entire home or office in one day isn’t realistic and will probably leave you more stressed than before you started!
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What specific areas bother you the most and make you want to pull your hair out?
- Which rooms or workspaces tend to unravel often?
- Which areas would contribute to your overall happiness if they were more orderly?
- Which rooms do you close door on because they give you a headache just looking at them?
Yeah, so start with one of those first. And, start small. Pick an easy corner of a room to begin with or simply look for everything that is obviously trash. These “easy starts” makes jumping in, well, easy plus you’ll get some instant gratification.[ctt title=”Stop stress by clearing up clutter with these 5 simple steps!” tweet=”Stop stress by clearing up clutter! Here are 5 ways to get started: http://bit.ly/Top5OrgTips via @DAllisonLee #organizing #homeoffice” coverup=”397cA”]
2. Figure out when you’re most productive
What’s your peak performance time? That’s the time when you get in the zone and can move mountains.
- Are you an early bird or morning person?
- Are you a night owl and feel most alert during the second have of the day?
- Do you have regular peaks and valleys of productivity throughout the day?
Knowing when you perform at your best will help plan to tackle specific projects when you can focus. And, you’ll love the feeling of accomplishment that will wash over you as you check off tasks from your to do list or tackle that unorganized room.
Just remember to stick with one thing at a time. Otherwise, you’ll feel busy but not really getting very much done.
3. Figure out your learning style
Many of us have a preferred way of learning that fits our brain. Finding out if you’re a visual, auditory, or tactile (or combination) learner will help you to understand why it may be more challenging (or, conversely, easier) for you to do certain things.
But, those aren’t the only learning styles that might apply to you and how you learn best. The video below describes the following learning styles:
*Update: Learning styles have been called into question recently. Still, understanding how you tend to best retrain information can be helpful. Check out Mind Tools for more information.
(this video is primarily for students but it can help you figure out your own style)
So, how does this help you with organizing your home or office? Well, if you find that you’re more of a visual person, you might organize your books by color or color code your files (e.g., green for money related folders, blue for education, red for to dos, etc.).
If you’re a sequential learner, you might want to come up with a detailed plan to follow before you even begin organizing. Check out this article from Apartment Therapy for other ways you can organize with your learning style in mind.
4. Schedule your organizing activities
If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done! So, put your organizing tasks on your calendar. Be realistic about how long it will take you to complete each one and then do a little bit each day.
If you spend just 10-15 minutes each day attacking a cluttered area of your home or office, you’ll move the needle forward and probably won’t feel overwhelmed.
After your 10 or 15 minutes are up, you can stop and go about your day as usual. Or, if you’re feeling motivated, try for another 15-minute session.
If you’ve devoted a whole day to organizing, be sure to take breaks and consider getting help from friends and family members. Think about working in 30-60-minute chunks of time and take a 10-minute break before jumping back in for another 30-60-minute organizing session.
Remember to add your tasks to your calendar!
Google Goals can help. Update: Google Goals has now been replaced by Google Tasks. (affiliate link)
Once you feel motivated to keep up with your organizing tasks, you may forget one very important thing – YOU! We all lead very busy lives and have families that need our attention, too. So, don’t get stuck in organizing mode.
Instead, take breaks, laugh, read, see a movie, get a facial, take your vitamins, go for walks, take a vacation, make a healthy meal, etc.
In other words, relax, have fun, and enjoy your life! When you’re having fun, there’s very little room for stress to take up your valuable time.
Build a routine around relaxing so that it becomes a regular part of your life. Need a bit of inspiration? Check out what YouTuber, Jordan Waddell, does to de-stress after work.
*This was my very first blog post! It was written 2008 and I refresh it from time to time The last update was done in
March 2018 October 2023. The original title was “Top 5 Organizing Tips” which morphed into “Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Home and Office Organized” and is now “Top 5 Organizing Tips to Clear Clutter (And Reduce Stress).” The original post was just around 500 words so I’ve added 500+ more! … along with several videos, too.