Last week was National Get Organized Week. I challenged my team to come up with at least three things they wanted to organize. It could be personal, professional, digital, etc. Here was my list:
- Organize my Google Drive folders
- Organize my iPhone apps
- Organize my box of chargers and cords
- Organize my file cabinet
- Organize under the bathroom sinks at the office (both)
My list could literally go on for days because I LOVE ORGANIZING. (Before you ask, yes, I’ve seen all the Tidying Up and Home Edit episodes on Netflix that my little organized heart can desire.) I’m a believer that a disorganized workspace or home can really have an impact on your physical health, leading to things like fire hazards, dust on dust on dust, and even mold. A cluttered desk could make you misplace important paperwork. An unorganized pantry could cause you to make poor or unhealthy food choices … the list goes on.
You don’t have to look too far to see how disorganization can affect your mental health as well. Unfinished project lists and piles of to-dos could contribute to stress, anxiety, or even depression. Organizing aspects of your workspace and home space can make it easier for you to live a happier life.
First, let’s tackle a few things … like your excuses.
- I’ve never organized before.
- I don’t know where to start.
- I have too much stuff.
- I don’t have the time.
Heard them. Said them. Over them. The benefits of organizing FAR outweigh the excuses. Some of those benefits include:
- Reducing anxiety and stress levels
- Making healthier life choices (food, workout)
- Improving sleep
- Increasing productivity
- Freeing up more time and energy to focus on the important things in life (this is my favorite)
Now that I’ve called you out on your excuses and told you all the great things that organizing can do for you, here are just a few tips to help you find your inner Marie Kondo.
- Remove it. Take it all out. Remove everything from the closet, the pantry, the shelves, the file cabinet, the desktop, all the things. Out.
- Clean it. Clorox wipes, Windex, duster, etc. Wipe it down and clean it off
- Categorize it. Make piles for donate, trash, recycle, sell, keep, and undecided.*
*Some hints on this one. If you love it or use it, keep it. If you’re selling it instead of donating it, make sure it’s something you can price to make it worth your time and effort. If you’re undecided, I err on the side of keeping it, but make note of it and revisit it again in a few months. If you haven’t used it, it’s probably best to donate it and let someone else benefit from it.
The same concept applies to digital organization as well. Organizing my Google Drive was at the top of my list. I use it frequently, and it was so disorganized that every time I opened it I got stressed. I started organizing and trashing.
First, I created a “Personal” and “ReThinc” folder as my two parent folders. Everything I need to keep falls into one of those two categories. Then, I went through each file and moved it into the appropriate folder. From there, I started looking at common documents. For my personal folder, I created subfolders for photos, recipes, etc. For the ReThinc folder, I had proposals, contracts, blogs, etc.
Now that everything is labeled, I save time and eliminate stress by utilizing these two organized folders to help me find what I need quickly. It will also help me stay organized in the future because I took a little time out of my day to set up this system.
Organizing doesn’t have to be incredibly time consuming. Identify areas that could be improved and spend a little effort working on them. The time you waste looking for an item or being stressed about the clutter could be energy you put toward changing your situation. As you focus on being more organized, you’ll notice other aspects of your life improving as well.
If you have any questions or need more tips about organizing a particular project, reach out to me. As I mentioned before, I LOVE ORGANIZING.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Stephanie Olsen is agency principal for ReThinc Advertising. Her primary responsibilities at ReThinc can be summed up by the word “everything.” This includes but is not limited to: account executive duties, commercial printing, promotional items, accounting, and of course, HR.