The Psychology of Organizing: Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind
If you are anything like me, you have probably gotten sucked into the recent trend of home organization that seems to have taken over the universe lately. From popular Netflix series, to books promising to help you whip your space into shape, to storage products that look nice but cost way too much, this information is everywhere… and maybe you feel overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of where to start or even if you should bother tackling your overflowing hall closet or garage project while the world around you is literally and figuratively on fire.
I get it! Who can think about organizing when there is a global pandemic, a national financial emergency, an ever-worsening mental health crisis, an unprecedented racial justice movement, and the most important election of our time, all occurring at once? And, at the same time, what if shifting some of your focus to what you CAN control helps you to reduce your stress about all of these issues, and provides you with an opportunity to create a sense of peace and calm in your home as well?
Psychological science tells us that people who experience adverse or traumatic experiences fare better and are more resilient when they can create a sense of control and autonomy over their lives. If we cannot control our external circumstances, but we can control our internal circumstances (our homes, our spaces) we will have better outcomes with regards to controlling our thoughts and emotions as well.
The thing about organization is, it is not just about where things go, or the system you use to organize your space, it’s about the WHY. Understanding why you want to organize your home is just as important as understanding how to do it. Here are some of my whys:
- Organizing saves time- you can spend less time figuring out where to put things when you already have a system in place.
- Organizing saves money- you can spend less money buying items that you do not need because you can see whether you already have it.
- Organizing saves your sanity- you can do less emotional labor if your family can access their things easily, participate in putting away their things, and help maintain your organizational methods.
- Organizing allows you to clear your space emotionally- you can experience closure by purging items that you no longer need, or that are weighing you down.
- Organizing allows you to experience feeling more grounded in your space- you can feel more at ease and less stressed in a home that is clutter free.
- Organizing allows you to feel more in control of your environment- you create your organizational system, so that your space can achieve its’ maximum potential
You have everything you need within you to gain control of your home, your office, your garage, your storage unit. You can declutter your space to declutter your mind! If nothing else, organizing your home could be the perfect winter quarantine activity to keep you distracted from the dumpster fire that is 2020. Happy organizing, y’all!