Being organized isn't just for you

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Most people have a love/hate relationship with organizing. We get why it’s important, but can’t quite bring ourselves to actually get it done. But beyond the understandable “it helps me find things faster”, organizing really doesn’t just benefit you. It’s for everyone around you. The disorganized stressed-out you isn’t as good at relationships, doesn’t have as much free time, and is tired. You being organized sets everyone around you up to enjoy the present …and future.

Clutter hurts

This organizing kick everyone is on is no joke. The benefits don’t lie. 84% of American men and women who were stressed recently said it was in part due to their home not being organized enough. In fact, home organization ranked just about equally with stress levels that come from unexpected expenses, not having time for loved ones, and not having enough time for yourself. Whoa! This is a serious problem! Clutter is an overwhelming and constant struggle—especially with lots of kids running around. And while it might seem like it’s the only way, maybe you should re-think that. Why’s that? All clutter does is raise your cortisol levels and decrease your productivity. In fact, 70% of people who were stressed out about their home organization were more stressed out in general. Unfortunately, disorganized excess affects every facet of life. It contributes to depression, fatigue levels, cortisol levels, and more. It doesn’t create the dream you once had of a relaxing home. Is your home where the stress is? Or where the heart is?

 

That’s why it’s trending

People are starting to realize this and that’s why people are in high pursuit of these decluttering trends. Who hasn’t heard of Marie Kondo and her KonMari method by this point? Her approach to decluttering helps people get rid of things that don’t “spark joy.” Then there’s the organizing porn pictures that we can’t get enough of, and everything that comes with the minimalist trend (eg. tiny homes and capsule wardrobes).

 

Clutter free. Pain free.

Once you’re on the organizing bandwagon (and this is not the bandwagon to miss), you’ll start seeing great side effects. Clutter is so distracting it makes it difficult to focus on a task. With less clutter, suddenly your productivity will skyrocket. Clutter also creates shame and embarrassment, which then causes you to put up walls. It goes without saying that walls can’t co-exist with strong relationships. Clutter doesn’t just build relational walls, the stress can cause direct or indirect tension and conflict. The good thing is that once you’ve taken care of all that clutter you have more time to build into your relationships that matter because you are spending less time looking for things!

 

Help! I don’t know where to start!

Whether you’ve latched on to one of these trends and gone full force ahead, or are sitting on the sidelines thinking about how you should really start thinking about organizing, there are a bazillion different things that can be organized. And organizing one thing really just leads to another. It’s that kind of addictive. There’s the kitchen, the bedroom, the living room, and then you could break organizing down into types of objects, such as clothes, utensils, odds and ends, and papers. Are you like me and have papers coming out your ears?

Papers are one of the easiest things to hide. Straight into the filing cabinet they go. Doesn’t even matter if it’s not quite the right folder. It’s not like we’ll ever need them again, right? Wrong. Sometimes it feels like each kid is bringing home 10 important papers every week. Then there’s also the really important stuff like immunization records, contracts, warranties, passports, etc. With life moving at record pace you really need to be able to find your papers at record pace. No one has time to replace lost documents. The more happening in your life means the more catastrophic things can go if something were to happen to you—the family manager. That’s why taking note and organizing all the important life information is so essential for people who love their families. Organizing important information ensures life will go smoothly even if you’re not available to make that happen because of unforeseen illness, injury, or death.

 

Do it for the fam

Don’t ever think that organizing just benefits you. Time you spend organizing isn’t selfish because it ultimately helps your family—the people you love. Organizing important information ensures life will go smoothly even if you’re not available to make that happen because of unforeseen illness, injury, or death. This way they won’t end up cursing your existence. If you are super clear about how you are running life now, it’ll be easy for them to wrap it up if ever necessary, or keep it running until you are out of the woods. It’s just a little way to show courtesy and save them some time, stress, and money.

 

It doesn’t need to be daunting

Start small

 By starting small you can avoid burnout and not get overwhelmed. It’s going to look different for everyone, so choose what works best for you. By creating a small daily routine around organizing you can feel good about what you accomplish and not feel like you are constantly letting yourself down. Starting small also helps you see long-term results. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Have a system

There are likely some things you can organize on your own. When you get that done don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back and get that ice cream cone you’ve been drooling over. If you live in a family, all the information is likely not on you solely so assign tasks to the right person. Phew! What a load off your shoulders.

A Life’s Inventory

Ready to ditch papers and make the last little bit of your house digital? A Life’s Inventory has you covered. This app has a wizard that walks you through which of your papers and information you need to be thinking about. Maybe some of it isn’t any place besides your head! ALI helps you get it done in small bits at a time so you never feel overwhelmed, but that’s not to say you may fall in love with it so much that you end up speeding up ;)

Taking small steps, over time, to organize how your family’s life is run pays off. Relationships become stronger, you love life more, finding things becomes easier, and you get that peace of mind knowing you are ready if a worst-case scenario ends up happening to you.

Megan Tuvlin