You may not realize it, but a chaotic home can wreck havoc on our mental state and physical well being. A well organized and functional home is proven to increase your focus AND boost your mood. A happy, healthy mom is a happy healthy family, right?
Mental Health pros are touting organizing as a form of self care. I know personally, I used to live in complete chaos. I learned that I don't want to be wasting time moving useless items from one location to another... every. single. day... so I got to the root cause and decided that we simply have too much crap. I know that my time is way better spent doing something creative, because that's how my brain thrives. You may have a different idea of what you'd like to do with all your newfound time, but the bottom line is, no one should be wasting so much time picking up and moving items that don't do anything for you. Your house exists to SERVE YOU! You are not a slave to your home. Let's make it functional (and beautiful), so that YOU can spend time doing something you love.
If you want some science and sources... check out this study that found women who think their spaces are disorganized tend to have higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone... no good).
Quote from the study: "having a messy or cluttered environment can leave your brain feeling that your overall life is messy or disorganized, which can increase your feelings of depression and/or anxiety.
Women who felt their homes are restful and restorative have less depressive feelings.
It probably goes without saying this, but obviously, if your chaotic home stresses you out, then removing those triggers will ease the stressful emotions. Let's do that, shall we?
On a personal note, as a recovering control freak, organizing your stuff also gives you a sense of control over your environment (and by default, your emotions). This is why people that tend to feel a lack of control in their lives overall, are prone to rage cleaning when they feel stressed. Something as simple as arranging your books in an aesthetic manner will give you a control over your environment and help you feel empowered. Empowered people are not anxious.
As moms, we tend to have an ever present to-do list. So if you see a pile of clothes or toys or whatever laying on the floor, it's automatically going to release cortisol in your system because it's ONE MORE THING to do. Root cause again.... if everything has a specific place, piles on the floor don't exist, and we eliminate that entire trigger (in theory of course, I realize this isn't always feasible).
If you work from home or do any kind of project at home that requires focus, your excess clutter and piles are going to hinder your productivity. Having a constant visual reminder that you "should be" cleaning that stuff up (i.e. moving it from one location to another location), does not serve you AT ALL when you need to get something done.
Spending some time cleaning and organized can also be a form of low impact cardio... and obviously, any type of extra physical activity is good for your health. You can read about how people with clean homes tend to be healthier than those with messy spaces in this study by Indiana University.
There are a ton of different strategies and companies and websites dedicated to help you declutter and organize your spaces. I would suggest doing a little bit every day for a month, and repeating every 6 months or so, especially if you have kids. It's easy to let this mentality slack off (it happens to me!), so dedicating time to get through all the crap twice a year is what works at my house. These little humans tend to accumulate SO. MUCH. STUFF.
On that note, I've created a FREE 30 Day Decluttering Challenge that you can join and get some guidance, plus a comprehensive calendar and checklists that will give you small assignments each day, as to not overwhelm the already busy mom. You can register for this challenge HERE and we repeat it in November and May each year, with updates each time to improve efficiencies.
Here's to less stress! - Emily