“Tidying may have brought you here, but organization just might change your life.”
The words “tidying” and “organizing” often summon images of a well-kept home with a spotless kitchen and neatly curated bookshelves. But committing to getting more organized isn’t just about tidying physical spaces — it can bring you a sense of wellbeing in every aspect of your life. Organization not only supports self-care, it is self-care.
“Organization is a form of untapped power.”
We all know that chaotic feeling when our lives have become too disorganized, whether because of a messy home, too much travel or one too many work meetings. Disorganization brings on feelings of irritation, anxiety and even panic. It hangs like a cloud over us, affecting everything from our mood to our ability to focus.
Worse still, disorganization wastes time we could spend living. When you waste 20 minutes finding a set of misplaced keys or redoing work because you’ve made a simple oversight, you’ve also spent some of your finite energy on tasks that don’t spark joy. What would you rather do with your time?
Each of us has an inner energy source that supports us as we work toward living our ideal lifestyle. It also helps us handle the unexpected with grace and ease. Like all energy, though, we need to keep it charged. Some self-care, such as a restful weekend after a busy social week, helps us recover from difficult periods. Organization as self-care, however, is both proactive and preventative. It keeps us grounded through all of life’s surprises, and it empowers us to live that life fully.
“Getting organized means supporting your future self — this is self-care.”
From a streamlined work life to a tidy home, research shows that getting organized can fundamentally improve people’s lives. Have you ever noticed that you actually feel better in a well-organized space? A 2016 study from the University of New Mexico found that people in cluttered homes found it more difficult to feel pleasure. Another study from 2009 found that cortisol levels rise when rooms feel cluttered and that organized homes reduce feelings of depression.
Organizing your home also makes space and time for activities that bring you joy. It’s much easier to spend an evening reading in a cozy, well-organized nook or embracing a bathing ritual in a clean bathroom. Likewise, organizing your digital files makes it easier to access the items you need to do your work well. And by better organizing your time, you make room for self-care rituals and rest.
Yes, getting organized requires some initial added effort, but it also lays the groundwork for a life filled with meaning, connection and creativity. Each step you take toward organizing your life honors your future self — and this is the ultimate self-care.
“True organization doesn’t mean doing it all perfectly.”
We can’t plan for everything that happens in our lives, but we can commit to the process of getting more organized.
Much like the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, or the acceptance of transcience and imperfection, approaching your life with an organization mindset simply means taking a more mindful approach to how you spend each day. It means letting go of what weighs you down and distracts you from what you value most. Organization is the foundation for a joy-sparking life.