It is a familiar feeling. That slightly claustrophobic and panicky feeling when every surface in your home is covered in stuff, you can’t find anything that you need, and you are late for the school pick up run again. Every time you tell yourself it is time to get organised because the way you are living now makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed pretty much all of the time. If this is the case, and clutter, chaos and general disorganisation are having an impact on your mental health, what can you do about it?
Think about what is stopping you from getting organised
Even if you know that your disorganised environment and life is making you feel stressed, it does not make it easy to sort. There is likely a multitude of things contributing to your lack of organisation, and pinpointing these will allow you to make changes. Common obstacles to organisation include:
- You do not know how it feels to be organised – it is hard to achieve a feeling if you do not know how it feels.
- You have too much stuff
- It takes time, which can be of a premium when you have a family, career and other obligations.
Here, we are going to look at a few simple ways to start getting you and your family on the road to organisation and to make your mental health better.
Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License
Preparation is king
Without preparation, you cannot be organised. It really is as basic as that. The two of them go hand in hand with each other. One of the first steps you can take towards getting you and your family organised is planning out your meals. Sit down one night a week-preferably before your grocery shop-and write down a list of seven meals for you and your family to eat that week. Look at your schedule for the week and plan around it-after school clubs, sporting events, meetings and other appointments, so that you do not find yourself standing in front of the open refrigerator at 8 p.m. trying to figure out what to have for dinner that night! You may also find that as well as saving you in stress; it saves you in money as well.
Another way that you can be more prepared and therefore more organised is by being your future friend. Keep a stockpile of birthday cards and stamps in your house ready to pop in the post. If you have regular medication, use a Simple Online Pharmacy to make sure you keep on top of ordering and having new prescriptions delivered, so you are not going back and forth to the chemist to pick them up.
Following on from the point we made above on meal preparation, if you have time and space for batch cooking, do it! If you are cooking a pan of ground beef in marinara sauce for a bolognaise, make it double and pop it in the freezer. It can be used as a base for other meals such as lasagne and chilli when you are running short of time. Not only does this save you time, but it can also save you money.
Put everything into your diary
We all have such busy lives these days that it can be too easy to forget where we are supposed to be and when – meetings at work, medical appointments, birthdays, social occasions, etc. The best way to keep up with this is to put everything in your diary -whether it is in a physical diary or a digital diary. As soon as the appointment comes in, put it in the diary or a wall calendar, so you do not forget about it.
Find a strategy that works for you
Following on from the point that we made previously, -find a method that works for you and adhere to it. A diary and a pen work best for some people. For others, a physical diary is mostly forgotten and lost in a couple of weeks, so something like Google Calendar is the best way to keep track of appointments. If colour coding or bullet journaling is something that works for you, then use it. If it does not work for you, try something else. The path to organisation is different for everyone.
Make the most of your productive periods
Nobody – not even the most organised people – are productive all of the time Everyone has days when they can work better than others. Some people find that they are at their most productive first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Find out when your hot spot is and use that time wisely.
However unpredictable and disorganised you may be in all other aspects of your life, have a goal to have at least one tidy place to retreat to in your home. This might be your bedroom, so you have somewhere lovely to relax or your home office so you can work efficiently and productively.
Tidy the kitchen before you go to bed. When you have come in from a long day at work, spent time cooking and eating, the last thing you want to do is start cleaning up, and it can be hard to resist leaving the washing up of the pots and pans and dishes until the next morning. But think about how you are going to feel when you stumble into the kitchen bleary-eyed the next day ready to grab a cup of coffee and see all of them piled up. Spend a few minutes of cleaning before you go to bed- you will thank yourself for it in the morning when you don’t have to do them before your coffee!
Sort and store
One of the best ways to organise yourself is to have a big clear out, but even then, we all still have a lot of things that need a home. Invest in some quality storage to keep everything tidy and in its rightful place. Whether it is cute baskets for all your toiletries or drawer organisers for all your phone chargers and cables, having a place to put everything will make life a whole lot easier.
Have a digital tidy up
Much like our old physical inboxes, our email inboxes can be clogged up very quickly, usually with email newsletters that we no longer need. When one shows up in your inbox that you no longer read, click the unsubscribe button. It takes just a few seconds. Do them as and when they come in, and eventually, you will have fewer emails cluttering your inbox so that you can actually find the ones that you do want to read.
Create a command centre
There are thousands of examples of command centres if you look at Pinterest. Keep a family diary or wall calendar there, a key and charger tray, an incoming or outgoing letter holder, and try to get into the habit of placing your purse or wallet there when you come in. By having everything you need in one place, mornings will be a lot calmer and make for an excellent start to the day.
Being organised is not supposed to be yet another thing to add to your mental load and increase the strain on your mental health. By putting some of these tips into practice, you will soon become more organised, which will help your mental health.