Wondering why you’re stressed? Take a look around you.

Is your desk full of random items and papers that leave you practically no room to work? It’s hard being productive when, well, you physically can’t work there.

Or are you working more slowly because you have to take the time to find something that’s buried under piles of miscellaneous papers?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we may have just found hidden sources of stress in your life that’s keeping you from working at your max potential (or even just being completely satisfied).

You may not realize it, but having an organized space is essential to your well-being.

And, logically, that means clutter is bad for your well-being. 

In an article by WebMD, organizational expert Lynne Gilberg explains how damaging clutter can be. “A lot of people express that they are overwhelmed,” she observes. “They become nonfunctional and nonproductive.”

Similarly, a UCLA study found that, in their study of 32 Los Angeles families, “all of the mothers’ stress hormones increased when they had to deal with belongings.”

Yup. Yet another thing mothers have to stress about.

So how can you eliminate all the clutter — and therefore, all the stress? We can all learn from this pup and drag the mess out of our lives. Read on to learn 7 easy ways to do so!

  • Find a place for everything. You should know exactly where everything is, or at least have a general sense of where it is. If you find yourself trying to cram things into spaces, you should re-evaluate whether you actually need it.
  • Think before you buy (or take a freebie). I’m so guilty of this: sometimes when something is free or on sale, I’ll take it, because why not? It’s such a good deal! Unfortunately this is a habit we have to get rid of. Eventually all these items pile up, and we find ourselves with things we didn’t even need in the first place.
  • Check out the common places in your living/work space where things tend to clutter. Ask yourself: why does this happen? What can I do to change this? The answer could be as simple as buying a desktop organizer, or forming a habit to put your dishes away every night.
  • Organize everything and then buy the containers you need, not the other way around! You should eliminate the unnecessary items before finding a container to put them in. If you buy your containers first, you won’t truly be eliminating clutter – you’re just rearranging it.
  • Dump the duplicates. Do you really need 5 pairs of tongs when maybe 1 or 2 would work just fine?
  • Don’t attach nostalgia to everything. It’s so easy to give something a reason for it not to be thrown out. If you have a special reason, then please do keep it! But in some cases, the reasoning just isn’t good enough.
  • Keep an eye on your closet. There’s this one saying that people like to throw around: you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Keep all the special or functional pieces that you wear over and over again, but ditch the clothes that don’t fit or are too worn out.

How do you keep yourself organized? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to share in the comments.

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