Hello spring! Gone are the days of cold and frost, and all around you things are starting to come back to life.
If you’re like some, this time of year means doing some serious cleaning and decluttering.
You have a whole list of things you want to reorganize, but soon it all seems to be too much. Overwhelm sets in. You’re tempted to forget it altogether and just keep living life as you have been.
But you’re not happy with how things are. Did you know those who live in cluttered environments tend to be overweight, stressed, and depressed? (1).
Simplifying your life can help. Not only will your house, office, or car look nicer, it will help create a peaceful environment, which is very beneficial to your health.
Benefits of Organization
You don’t have to be a neat freak to enjoy the benefits of being organized. Some of the ways being organized can make your life better are:
- Better sleep: When things are tidy and neat, it can make sleep that much sweeter. Studies show that disorganization can lead to anxiety, which can prevent you from getting quality sleep (7).
- Less stress: Living in a cluttered environment has been shown to elevate stress levels (3). By organizing and decluttering your house, you can actually reduce the time it takes to clean your house by up to 40% (2). Talk about stress relief!
- Healthier diet: Because working or living in a disorderly environment causes stress, your brain is likely to resort to coping mechanisms. This makes you more susceptible to choose comfort food over healthy food, as one study showed (6). Staying organized reduces these feelings of stress, which enables you to think clearly and choose healthier food options.
- Better relationships: Everyone has their own degrees of cleanliness, but having a messy house has been shown to cause tension and conflict between couples, according to Dr. Selhub (5).
- More productivity: Having piles of this and stacks of that all over your workplace can overload your visual cortex and interfere with your brain’s ability to process information (4). Organizing your work space can help you focus on what needs to get done, increasing productivity.
So how do you get to that place? Below are 9 tips you can start today to begin your journey towards simplicity.
1. Consider Meal Planning
Taking an hour on a Sunday evening to plan out your meals for the week can make a huge difference. This allows you to make healthier choices, control portion sizes, and shop more efficiently.
Crockpot recipes can also make eating healthy less daunting and more doable. There are plenty of recipes where you simply add all the ingredients in the morning, turn on the crockpot, and have a delicious meal by dinnertime.
2. Plan for Exercise
Most things won’t happen unless you plan for it. Getting into shape is no exception.
Setting aside increments of time throughout the week to exercise can take the pressure off of trying to fit it in wherever you can.
3. Set Weekly Goals
It might seem ambitious to make goals for the year, or next 5 years, but this can quickly get overwhelming.
If you’re just starting out on the journey to simpler living, try setting weekly goals. This breaks big projects into more attainable parts, making them more achievable. You may also find yourself able to do things you weren’t able to before.
4. Follow the 50/30/20 Rule
When it comes to finances, having things organized can keep life simple and you out of trouble.
A great way to simplify your budgeting is to follow the 50/30/20 rule: 50% of your income goes to living expenses, 30% towards your lifestyle, and 20% goes into savings (if you tithe, you can adjust the ratio accordingly).
Using these numbers can help you know where your money goes every month, so there’s no guesswork, and less stress.
5. Go through Your Closet
Even if you aren’t big on shopping, you may have a few articles of clothing that you rarely wear. Maybe it’s a sweater your grandma bought you for Christmas, or those pants that aren’t really your style.
Going through clothes and donating ones you haven’t worn in 6 months (rotating seasonally, of course) is a wonderful way to simplify your life while giving back to your community.
6. Unsubscribe from emails
At some point or another, you stumbled across an ad that promised to solve a particular problem. You signed up for the free pdf, worksheet or eBook, and not long after you start receiving emails on a regular basis.
Going through your inbox and unsubscribing from emails that are no longer relevant to you can alleviate overwhelm and keep things streamlined.
7. Keep Vinegar On Hand
Why have multiple cleaning products when one will do the trick? Vinegar could be called a “jack of all trades” because it works wonders for so many things.
You can use vinegar to take out stains, lift candle wax, remove bumper stickers, clean your jewelry and countertops with it, and more!
8. Quit Having Multiple Tabs Open
Are you guilty of having a million tabs open on your computer? While you may feel like you’re multitasking, having multiple tabs open actually slows down productivity.
If you can, try to work with only one tab open. If that’s not possible, keep things simple by only opening the bare minimum.
9. Utilize Your Calendar
Such a dandy invention, your calendar can be a visual aid in helping you keep things simple and organized.
Whether you prefer old school calendars or the mobile version, using your calendar to keep track of important meetings, events, and reminders takes the stress off of having to remember it all.
Life has its hectic moments, but it doesn’t have to be a lifestyle.
If you find yourself stressed out and have all this “extra stuff” lying around your house, chances are that’s to blame.
The good news is, there’s hope. Learning to organize things can lead to a simpler, happier life. Whether it’s your finances, your pantry, or your closet, doing some spring cleaning can benefit both you and those around you.
Don’t forget to start small, and celebrate wins along the way. Having nice things isn’t wrong, but if you find yourself needing to simplify, hopefully these tips will help.
Do you know someone who could benefit from a good spring cleaning? Help relieve the burden by sharing these tips with them!
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author