Organization. The word often has a negative connotation, especially to students. It can call to mind memories of scolding teachers snapping at you to get organized. Or it can make you feel like you can’t express yourself.
But at its heart, organization isn’t a ball and chain that forces you to color inside the metaphoric lines. It’s a tool that helps bring clarity, peace, and ease to your daily life. The mental health benefits of organizing your life are proof of that.
Less Clutter, Less Chaos
As creative and unpredictable as humans are, we naturally look for order. That’s why we look at a sky full of stars and trace out constellations or walk in a backyard and feel the need to mow it.
When we’re in a cluttered place, it increases our stress and anxiety levels and makes it difficult to focus. Tasks take longer, leading to frustration. Objects of sentimental value become lost. When our environments feel less chaotic, we do, too.
Taking Control with Organizing
Those coping with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues often note that they feel out of control of their circumstances. Normal tasks feel overwhelming. Organization itself may not completely resolve these issues, but it can help break down the big tasks into manageable steps and aid memory to give you a greater sense of self-sufficiency.
The Calm of Cleaning
There’s something to be said about performing simple, repetitive activities when you feel overwhelmed. That’s why many turn to activities like knitting or crossword puzzles when they’re stressed. Organizing your entire life may be too much to consider if you’re overwhelmed, but there are plenty of mental health benefits in organizing one thing. For instance, you might:
- Fold or sort your laundry
- Get rid of old clothes
- Alphabetize your books or movies
- Wipe down surfaces
- Wash or put away dishes
- Separate your writing implements by a pencil, pen, highlighter, etc.
- Recycle old papers
Remember, the idea of cleaning an entire room can scare us away from doing it. But if you tell yourself you’re “just going to put away the clean cutlery” or “just going to throw out three things,” you’ll often find you’ve completed the whole task before you know it.