I could spend hours in a Container Store. I love perusing the endless rows of brightly colored bins, the pretty boxes covered in cheerful fabric, the hanging contraptions that look like they belong in a Cirque du Solei show. It’s all very soothing, isn’t it? It’s reassuring to know that every single item in your home, no matter how small or large, has a special place that is not under your feet, in your way, or blocking your path to the bathroom. If only life were like the Container Store. But we know differently. And we know that most home organization projects are overwhelming, time-consuming, resource depleting, and tedious. At the same time, we also know that organization or lack-there-of is a wonky factor in our wellness. It is a vicious cycle: stress builds in proportion to clutter, but facing clutter can be stressful. Better to just call it a day and watch American Idol instead.
The good news is that it doesn’t take The Container Store or even a six figure investment in California Closets to make a dent in the organization “issue” and get you feeling a little more in control over your space. Instead of trying to tackle the “Great Re-Organization” project, start smaller and more manageable: tidy. Chances are you spend some portion of your day tidying-up anyway: putting toys in bins, books on shelves, magazines in wracks or recycling buckets. But I bet you rarely saw it as anything other than the rote picking-up-and-putting-down of endless items. Isn’t that nearly the same as organizing, just with less labels and fewer pretty boxes? Here are three ways that keeping tidy keeps YOU tidy too!
- Instant Results in (Literally) No Extra Time: As I said, tidying up is most likely already a part of your day so it does not require setting extra time aside, unless, of course, the tide to tidy is mighty. You can even straighten up a pile of mail or neaten up a mudroom shoe pile while you’re on the phone. Also, you get to see instant results when you tidy. The scattered books neatly shelved, the expired coupons cleared from the bin, the dirty glasses hid away in the dishwasher. In a minute or two you make space, accomplish a task, and wrangle down the unruly items that can trip you up.
- Brain Candy: Ok, while tidying up might not deliver quite the same thrill as watching your favorite television show or movie, it is activity that helps to occupy the mind. When you set your sights on neatening up a drawer or room, you devote your energies and attentions to the task at hand, giving you a welcome mental respite from some of the more challenging or distressing thoughts that might follow you through the day.
- Time, Sanity, and Energy Regifted: How often do you waste precious time rummaging around in a closet for an item? Or how many times have you lost your cool because of items that constantly seem to be in your way? When you tidy, you save yourself time in the long run, being able to reach easily for that roll of stamps or at the very least know which drawer to pull open to find the scotch tape. Spending a little bit of energy tidying up your spaces will actually give energy back to you as you will not feel frazzled and stressed out over the clutter and chaos around you.
Remember: no tidy job is too small to tackle that won’t produce great benefits for you, your family, and the positive space you all share!