The holidays are approaching, which means that our minds, bodies, and wallets are about to go into overdrive. Whether or not you’re hosting your family and friends, there are plenty of stressors to go around, from buying gifts to making travel arrangements. How can we promote wellness during such a hectic time?
There’s a reason that Marie Kondo’s tidying message, made popular by her 2014 book that sold over four million copies worldwide in its first year of publication, involves sparking joy. Several studies have found that having an organized home makes us, amongst other things, happier!
This may seem like a vague notion that is difficult to translate to real life, especially for those of us who find cleaning to be a drag.
If you’re not yet sold on the benefits of being organized, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to discuss the ways that organization can boost the wellness of the mind and, in turn, of the body. Read on for more information as well as some quick and easy organization tips that will keep your holiday season (and the rest of the year) running smoothly!
How do we react to messy spaces?
Before we discuss the positive effects of an organized home, we’re going to talk a bit about the negative effects of a messy one.
Imagine walking into your living room in the morning to find a coffee table covered in junk mail and a floor covered in shoes and toys. You avert your eyes and continue to the kitchen, where dirty dishes fill the sink, leftovers from last night are sitting on the counter, and there’s a strange smell in the air. How does this make you feel?
If your answer is, “Stressed, irritable, and inclined to walk away from it all,” there’s a chance that a messy home causes you sensory overload. In other words, your senses (like sight and smell) are overwhelmed by the amount they have to process. Your mind can only focus on so many things at once, and when your senses are overloaded it becomes distracting from the more important things you need to think about in the morning.
Plus, getting ready for your day in a messy space may make you feel like you need to add cleaning to your already lengthy to-do list. The messier the space, the more daunting the task of cleaning becomes. We start to feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to finish everything on our to-do list, which strengthens our anxiety and irritability.
So how can we address the mess without adding to the stress? And how will a clean, organized home really improve upon our mental health?
A day in the life of an organized home
As we mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to comprehend how organization can affect our mental health. We’ve decided to take it step by step, room by room, to show you how to get (and stay) organized and how home organization can contribute to mental organization! Sometimes, all it takes is having the right organizational tools and products to keep us on top of our cleaning.
Let’s begin in the morning, shall we?
A clean bathroom for better self-care
Lately, self-care has been a hot topic, and for good reason. A good self-care routine has many benefits, from preventing chronic stress to making ourselves better equipped to nurture others.
But let’s face it. We can’t get professional massages every day or take a trip to the beach every weekend. Fortunately, self-care can start right in your bathroom–as long as you create a routine and stick to it. Organize your bathroom so that your morning self-care routine is seamless and simple!
Begin by going through your bathroom products, like lotions and soaps. Toss the ones that have been tucked away for ages or the ones you took from your stay at a hotel only to discover you hate the smell. Invest in a few products that you and your skin love, and commit to using them regularly.
Sticking with a self-care routine will be much easier when you know where everything is. Digging through a cluttered cabinet is never appealing, especially when you don’t know what weird, expired products you might find!
Optimize your bathroom space by stepping up your storage game. Line your drawers and cabinets with organizers that keep all of your lotions and polishes from rolling around. Add more storage space with suction cup wall storage and clear off the floors with adhesive hooks and laundry hampers.
A clean dressing room for confident dressing
Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase, “Dress for success.” As it turns out, this is more than a silly catchphrase to bolster clothing sales. Studies have found that on a cognitive level, we adopt some of the qualities we associate with our clothing when we put them on.
In other words, how we dress can determine the way we feel for the day, for better or for worse. The problem is that many of us, whether we’re getting ready for work or getting the kids ready for school, don’t have a ton of time to spend putting together the perfect outfit.
Organizing our clothes by style or color can shave off some of the time we spend debating what to wear. That way, you won’t spend twenty minutes rooting through your closet for something clean and unwrinkled just to give up and throw on whatever’s within reach.
Once again, begin by emptying your closet and dressers of clothing you haven’t touched in several seasons or no longer fits. Leave yourself with pieces for every occasion that make you feel comfortable and confident. Finally, pick out a few organizational products to make your dressing room organization a breeze.
Try drawer organizers to keep smaller pieces, like socks or ties, neat and orderly. Give yourself more room to sift through your hanging clothes with 4-in-1 hangers. Make it easy to match shirts and blouses with your favorite denims and trousers with trouser hanging racks.
The goal with an organized dressing room is to make everything easy to find, easy to put away, and easy to mix and match to create great outfits every day!
A clean kitchen for healthier eating
Did you know that eating a balanced diet actually improves your mental health from the inside? Your digestive system is filled with hundreds of neurons that report back to your brain, and what you eat can actually change what’s being reported (and, in turn, how your mind feels).
Changing our diet is never easy, but it’s a lot harder if we don’t like spending time in the space where we prepare food. Imagine that your dishes are dirty, your knives are nowhere to be found, and your counter space is buried beneath clutter. Is that a kitchen in which you’d want to cut veggies and roast chicken, or is that a kitchen in which you’d want to reach for the microwave meal?
To organize your kitchen, begin by getting rid of old and expired foods. Organize your appliances and tools by type and how frequently you use them. Before putting things away, decide how to use your cupboard space based on the food, appliances, and tools you want out of sight.
Then, decide which spaces are lacking and need a little organizational help. Add levels to your cupboards with wire shelving and avoid the piles with storage baskets and racks that allow you to store pans and lids vertically. Free up drawer space with self-adhesive hanging racks for your cooking tools and dish rags.
Make cooking more appealing by developing a system that makes the most sense for your routine. Store everyday items in easy-to-reach places, put the rare-use appliances in the cupboards you don’t open as often, and optimize your drawers to avoid daunting clutter.
A clean bedroom for better sleep
If sensory overload makes it difficult to focus, it will also make it difficult to calm the mind and drift off to sleep. Turning your bedroom into a peaceful oasis will make bedtime more inviting and sound sleep more achievable.
The good news? This part is pretty easy! Studies have shown that simply making your bed will make you 19% more likely to sleep through the night.
We would also advise taking a minimalist approach to your bedroom decor. Reserve your nightstands for books and an alarm clock. Pick neutral, soothing colors that won’t overwhelm you at night or distress you in the morning.
Getting quality sleep will vastly improve your day! A well-rested mind is less likely to feel bogged down or stressed as the day progresses.
Organize your mind by organizing your home
Having an organized home doesn’t require you to develop a perfectionist attitude or a passion for cleaning. You simply need the right tools to get organized in the first place. After that, you just need to put things back where they belong after you use them!
Organization doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Check in with us frequently to find good deals on storage and other organizational products that will help you to keep your house in tiptop shape!