3 Reasons Getting Organized Will Instantly Boost Your Well-Being
When we're busy juggling schedules and a never-ending list of to-do's, an organized space can seem like a "nice-to-have" rather than a priority. Our big plans to declutter and organize are usually the first to go when our cup is overflowing. But in those moments, a more organized living space might be just what we need.
As it turns out, decluttering can actually be as important to our well-being as practices like exercise, healthy eating, and meditation. In fact, organization can help other aspects of our lives to function more optimally1. That's why The Container Store has become our happy place. With a vast array of sustainable organizing solutions and in-home services, it's a one-stop shop for all things clean and tidy. But let's dive into the benefits of organization a little further…
Organization *is* wellness.
Think about the last time you really immersed yourself in a home organization project. How did you feel afterward? Our guess is you probably felt good—perhaps lighter, more clear-headed, accomplished. Science shows there's a reason we feel this way after tidying up: It benefits our health. Let's look at the research, though… Here are three ways that organizing helps to improve well-being—along with a few protips for getting started.
It increases the ability to focus.
When you spend all day in your home office, the last thing you want to do is hang around to tidy up. But trust us, you'll be happy you did. Research2 shows that disorganization and clutter have a cumulative effect on our brains, draining our cognitive resources and reducing our ability to focus. Whether you realize it or not, your messy desk may be impairing your productivity. With less clutter in your environment, you're more likely to zero in on the tasks at hand.
Pro tip: Try keeping your desktop as clear as possible, filing any important paperwork in a neatly labeled compartment. Toss any unneeded papers or notes at the end of each day and store away notebooks, folders, and knickknacks. The rule of thumb is to simplify your workspace and keep loose items out of sight. For organizational inspo, check out the Marie Kondo line carried at The Container Store. Made up of a variety of helpful home organization tools, this collection will be your go-to for things like desktop organizers, filing collaters, drawer organizers, and more.
It improves mental health.
Organizing may seem stressful, but living in a disorganized environment literally causes stress. Clutter has been shown to raise the stress hormone, cortisol, which has been linked to depression, anxiety, and stress-related diseases3 at elevated or chronic levels. Additionally, a 2018 study4 revealed that clutter can significantly decrease one's satisfaction with life.
Pro tip: To avoid overcrowding surfaces, consider keeping extra notebooks, clean linens, beauty products, and other miscellaneous items within labeled bins—such as The Container Store's Nordic Storage Baskets—stored in closets or drawers. There's nothing wrong with placing a *few* baskets on shelves or inside cubbies, but keep it simple. For the ones kept in sight, we're big fans of the Water Hyacinth Bins.
It promotes better physical health.
Messy spaces can also affect physical health. According to a study conducted at Cornell University, stress triggered by clutter can lead to coping strategies like overeating. Specifically, when participants were placed in a chaotic kitchen environment, they ate twice as many cookies as those in a standard, non-chaotic kitchen. People with neater homes are also more likely to be active.
Pro tip: Kitchens are one area of the home that tend to get messy quickly—particularly the pantry. First things first: Do a big cleanout, tossing any expired or stale items. When placing items back onto shelves, group similar foods together in organized containers. We love The Container Store's Home Edit by iDesign Wooden Bins because they're super lightweight, sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing—plus they're made with responsibly sourced Paulownia hardwood. When it comes to home organization, the more sustainable, the better! Luckily The Container Store has over 1,600 sustainable products to choose from, making it easy to go green.
Treat yourself to tidiness.
If you find yourself constantly putting off cleanout day, you're not alone. In fact, procrastination and clutter have actually been closely linked4. But it's not a cycle you want to fall into because clearly it can have deleterious effects on our well-being. Organizing should be thought of as a regular wellness practice, and it can even become something you look forward to. Try putting on some music and letting yourself get into the zone. Don't be surprised if it starts to feel like a meditation—you'll certainly notice similar benefits.
We don't know about you, but we're already giddy about our next trip to The Container Store… It's time to prioritize cleanliness in the name of wellness—and no, today is not too soon to start!
Ryan Brady is a Content Freelancer at mindbodygreen. She received her B.A. in Visual Arts from Yale University and is currently finishing her M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology, with concentration in Spirituality and Mind-Body Practice, at Columbia University.
Ryan is passionate about holistic health, fitness, and spiritually-centered living. She loves using her knowledge and personal experience to help others improve their well-being. When she’s not working or studying, Ryan can be found traveling to new places, snuggling her dog, or experimenting with gluten free, vegan baking.