The Power Of Clean
Call me crazy, but I love to clean. Actually, beyond cleaning I really enjoy organizing my home. Whether it be drawers, closets, book shelves, the garage or the yard, I get a real sense of satisfaction from digging in deep and getting super organized.
Granted, I tend to be organized from day to day, but it’s amazing how much “stuff” collects over time.
Truth be told, I function better when things are organized. Yet, I’ve talked to men and women who claim they work better around clutter. If that’s true, more power to them, but from every study I’ve read, most individuals tend to function at a much higher level when their environment is clutter-free.
The Cold Weather Worked in My Favor
We’ve been dealing with unusually cold weather in my area. Yesterday, I organized my bedroom closet. It felt good but it wasn’t anything earth shattering as far as a huge sense of accomplishment. When I realized today was going to just as cold as yesterday, which meant no getting out and driving to church or the store due to ice storms, I decided to really dig in and get my entire kitchen and laundry room organized and cleaned from top to bottom.
Everything from the refrigerator, laundry room closet (which tends to be the catch all closet), every kitchen drawer, the pantry and the cabinet that holds my pots and pans was organized and cleaned. As if that wasn’t enough, I did a top to bottom in the living room too.
It seemed the more I cleaned, the more my endorphins kicked in. I can’t quite explain it, other than I got quite a sense of accomplishment from taking an otherwise “couch potato” day and turned it into one of the most productive I’ve had at home in quite some time.
Organized Is Good For the Brain
A group of neuroscientist did a study at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute. According to their findings, “ When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”
Paige Fowler wrote in her article featured on Shape.com, ”Piles of laundry and endless To Dos are exhausting, but they can actually mess with all aspects of your life—not just your daily schedule or orderly home.”
According to Eva Selhub, M.D. “At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life,” Dr. Selhub is the author of Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer. “Clearing away the clutter can help you make healthier choices, improve your relationships, and even boost your workout.”
- The best way to get organized is to stay organized
- Clean up on a regular basis. Before leaving your office clear off your desk, empty the trash and clean out your coffee cup
- Write a to do list before you leave your office
- Delegate to others in the home. Teach children from an early age to pick up after themselves, make their beds and put their toys away.
- Put seasonal items away as soon as the holiday is over. Whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween or any such holiday, give yourself a time frame for when you will pack the decorations away.
- Invest in storage containers for items small and large
- Organize frequently
- Shred key documents you are not going to keep yet they have confidential information on them
- Use storage boxes to box up paperwork you must keep. Store in a safe location
- Stay on top of cleaning and organizing. It’s easier to create a regular process that is part of “business as usual” rather than letting tasks go for extended periods which creates stress, overwhelm and bad time management.
- Create routines that are simply routines.
- Keep the necessary supplies handy. Whether it be trash bags, vacuum cleaner, cleaning products, paper towels, dust pan and broom or whatever it is you use, it’s easier to jump right in when you have everything available at your fingertips.
The bottom line is this, if you want to be more productive, minimize stress and accomplish more on a daily basis, do what you can to stay organized. Obviously, there are extenuating circumstances that allow some people to be more organized than others. It’s really about working within the constraints you do have in order to get more out of your day.
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