The popularity of the Netflix show Tidying Up points to something we all instinctively know:
It is easier to be happy and productive in an organized space.
But why is this? Believe it or not, it is a scientifically proven fact that disorderly spaces increase stress and lower production.
In fact, according to unclutterer.com, a 2011 study by Princeton University proved that:
“When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”
Okay, so maybe we don’t need an Ivy League university to tell us that. But if we know that a clean, organized space = a happy, productive one, why do so many of us remain surrounded by the messes we have created?
Knowing Is Half the Battle
The other half is knowing how.
That’s where this blog comes in. Here are some tips to help you lead the clutter-free life you’ve always dreamed of.
A Time For Everything
Most de-clutterers are defeated before they’ve even begun because they don’t leave themselves enough time to do the job right.
Underestimating the amount of time and work it will take to organize a space is a rookie mistake.
So give it your best guess. Then double (or even triple) it. The worst that can happen is you finish earlier than you thought you would.
Don’t even start your organization project unless you have enough time to complete it without being rushed. Otherwise you’ll end up halfway through the process (that point where it actually looks worse, not better) when time constraints force you to stop.
Don’t Try To Be A Hero
If you can’t set aside a large chunk of time to declutter and organize, use the divide and conquer method. In this case, you are dividing the work into short, achievable goals and then conquering a little bit of your office each day.
Don’t have hours for organization? Pick one drawer in your desk and go through it, getting rid of anything you don’t use and organizing the rest by category. Place each item for ease of access. The things you use most go toward the front and the rarely used (but still needed(!) - otherwise you need to bite the bullet and get rid of them) items toward the back.
Even if that is all you have time for, you will do a little happy dance every time you open that drawer and behold its organized glory.
And the next time you have a few moments, tackle another drawer or space. Before you know it, your whole office will look and feel more organized.
And you’ll feel the stress melting away.
A Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place
Okay, so you’ve heard that one before. But that’s because it’s true. If you only keep what you actually need, and you have an assigned place for each item you use, you’ve won the organizational battle.
But there’s no need to be utilitarian about it. Rather than using black plastic containers, why not add some class and aesthetic to the space you spend roughly half your day in? After all, there is no reason an organized soul can’t also be an artistic one.
Find a matching set of office supplies like these acrylic accessories in silver or gold and use them.
The bottom line is that, little by little or in one fell swoop, you can soon have an organized office that will decrease stress while increasing production.
And who wouldn’t want that?