Throw “top 2023 New Year’s resolutions” into your favorite search engine, and you’ll find that getting more organized is in the top five of most lists. There’s a good reason. But first, what causes disorganization?
For most of us, it’s clutter. Clutter is a collection of items we accumulate in our homes, offices, and even our minds. We don’t use what accumulates in clutter, but hold on to it, anyway. And let’s not forget digital clutter. When was the last time you cleared out your email inbox or organized the documents on your laptop? Just looking at the number of files you have on your computer might overwhelm you.
A mental toll
It’s easy to understand the impact of clutter and disorganization from the physical stuff. Where did you put that roll of masking tape? Clutter has negative mental health effects, too.
Being disorganized because of too much clutter causes stress, which increases the levels of unhealthy hormones such as cortisol. And because our brains can only focus on limited amounts of stimuli at a time, being surrounded by clutter can make it harder for you to think clearly.
If one of your resolutions for the coming year is to cut down on procrastination, start with organizing clutter. Research shows that people with cluttered homes or workspaces procrastinate on important tasks.
Disorganization caused by clutter is often a cause of relationship problems. Does your significant other gripe about your things taking up too much space? Let’s put aside the social distancing caused by COVID-19. If you’re not inviting friends over because of your disorganized home, you might feel a sense of social isolation or even shame.
Looking for answers?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to think that laziness is the cause of all that clutter and disorganization. There’s more to it.
We keep clothes that don’t fit anymore because we hope to lose weight (another top resolution). We hang on to old brochures for cruises because we really want to get out and travel. But it’s a Catch-22 situation because keeping objects that remind you of your goals won’t get you any closer to achieving what you want.
Another cause — and obstacle — is our fear of letting things go. Throwing things away can make us feel guilty. Often, possessions have sentimental value. The things that add to clutter and the resulting disorganization can bring a sense of safety and security that can be painful to let go of.
Embracing organization (and banishing clutter)
Decluttering Queen Marie Kondo makes it look easy. She explains that the cause of clutter and disorganization is not a lack of skills but rather a lack of awareness and the inability to make organization a regular habit. She seems to do it in the space of a 30-minute TV show. For the rest of us, there’s a better timeframe.
It’s fine to go slowly. You didn’t accumulate all of your stuff in one day, so you’re probably not going to declutter everything in one day, either.
Perhaps more importantly, start with organizing before you decide to throw things away. Sort items based on what you use most often. You’ll want this to be easily accessible. Take small steps. Sorting and organizing can help you feel more in control of your environment and promote a sense of calmness.
You can keep this resolution! January is the perfect time to kick off your new organizational habits, and we can help. Our custom vinyl bin labels are the perfect solution for keeping your life organized at home or at work. And we can make any size.
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