Most of us spend the majority of our days in our homes. Whether it’s sleeping, working from home or relaxing at the end of the evening, where you live is an important space. Yet, with a busy life, it can be easy to neglect your home, apartment or condo to the point where it feels overrun and disorganized.
Since you spend so much time there, a cluttered space can have a real impact on your mental health. Here are some of the mental health benefits of an organized home, plus some easy ways to get started on creating a peaceful space.
Mental health benefits of an organized home
A sense of calm
We live in a chaotic world. If you come home to a chaotic space, you may not feel a sense of true calm and relaxation.1 Instead, think of your home as a retreat from the outside world. Organize your space and fill it with comforting items to help bring a sense of peace when you step through the door.
Less stress and frustration
When you’re in a cluttered space, you may experience a consistent low-level stress because of your environment. Organizing your space can help to reduce this stress.2 Plus, when you know where everything goes and everything has a place, you’ll be able to find things easier. This can reduce the typical, “where did I put that?” frustrations.
Having less clutter in your home can help to de-clutter your mind. This allows you to reduce distractions and increase your focus on the activities that are important to you.
Being able to focus more in your space can naturally help you get more things done. With that comes a renewed sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
Time and money savings
When you know where to find what you’re looking for, you shave minutes off your daily routine. You also don’t buy unnecessary replacements. Over time, this can add up to more time for the things you love and more money in your pocket.
Tips to start organizing your home
Everyone organizes a bit differently, so it’s ultimately up to you on how you want to get started. There’s no right way or specific formula. Use these expert tips to come up with an organizing plan that works for you and your space.
Set intentions or goals
How do you want your home to feel? What do you want it to look like? How do you and your family use specific areas in your home? Taking a bird’s-eye view of your home in its current state can help you figure out how you want the end result to look, feel and function. Jotting down or drawing out your thoughts can help you create a plan.
Start with storage spaces
It’s helpful to start with storage areas: drawers, shelves, cabinets or closets. That way, you will have organized and dedicated spaces for items to go once you begin organizing other areas of your home.
Just like any other goal, start with one that feels reasonable and achievable. A great way to get started is just by choosing one drawer, like your go-to junk drawer. Once you can keep it organized for a set period of time, like a week, then try moving on to the next small space.
Or start with the biggest bang for your buck
Is there a small space that is really bothering you? Or if an area of your home was less cluttered, would you immediately feel a sense of relief? That spot could be the place to start as long as it feels doable. And remember, you don’t have to do it all in one day!
Focus on one thing at a time
You get started organizing one drawer, and before you know it, the entire room is in a state of chaos. Try to stay focused on one small area at a time. Otherwise, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and give up altogether.
Sort, sort, sort
Have a few boxes labeled “donate,” “trash” and “relocate” to help you sort items quickly. To help your decision process, think about the function the item serves in your life, how often you use it and if you like it.
Once you’ve sorted your items, it’s time to organize what’s left. Use containers, labels and other tools to help you create a system that will work for the long haul.
Enlist a friend or family member to help
Two is better than one. You don’t have to organize alone. Enlist a friend or family member to help, especially if you live with others. Getting the people you share your space with involved helps everyone buy in to a tidy home.
Get help from a pro
If all of this feels overwhelming, and you have the means to do so, enlist a professional organizer to help you get started. The American Society of Professional Organizers and the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals have online directories to help you find a professional in your area. Many organizers will first come to your home for a free consult, when they’ll get to know you, your space and your goals. You’ll then work together to create a plan and get to work.
Keep it up
Perhaps the most important part, once you’ve organized a space, you have to keep it organized! Try taking five minutes each day to put items in their place so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and get the most mental health benefits from your organized home.
Find mental clarity with Teladoc
While an organized home can do wonders for your mental health, it’s always helpful to talk to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist for more support. Teladoc offers online therapy services on your schedule. Talk with experts by phone or video at a time that works best for you. Get support for a wide range of mental health needs like anxiety, stress, depression or just not feeling like yourself.
Take our short quiz to find out if therapy is right for you.
Published March 31, 2022