Getting Your Home Organized is a Form of Self-Care

'Chaotic surroundings ... triggers the stress response'

By Jenny Dietsch, CEO of Getting it Done Organizing October 2, 2020

Self-care is a huge buzzword now. As moms, though, self-care is especially difficult right now because of the pandemic. Most of us are juggling even more responsibilities than usual as we navigate realities like online schooling, lost income, and the anxiety of what's ahead.

For me, organizing counts as self-care. Being organized makes me less stressed, makes it easier to find what we need, and allows kids to take responsibility for things like cleaning up their play spaces and finding snacks by themselves.

Every task becomes quicker, simpler, and less drawn-out — which, in turn, means mama is less stressed. That's self-care in my book.

"When we have chaotic surroundings or a fragmented mindset, the brain can perceive this as a sign that there is more demand for energy than our current capacity, which triggers the stress response," says Heidi Hanna, Ph.D. and CEO of Synergy. She is also the author of Stressaholic and The SHARP Solution.

5 tips for getting organized to practice self-care:

1. Get ahead

Be proactive by organizing and creating systems in your home before there is a mess, so you are more prepared when the messes do happen. Understand your triggers and start there. Do you have anxiety dreams about stepping on plastic bricks? Start in the playroom! Do you avoid those piles of laundry because they just stress you out? Work on your laundry room. Get ahead of potential stressors before they hit!

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2. Don't over-organize

Your organizational systems should create more free time and less stress in your life. Keep categories broad when creating systems. Creating micro-categories makes cleaning up more of a hassle. When organizing costumes, for instance, don't bother hanging and separating by character. Instead, simply put all the costumes in one bin and accessories in another. This makes it easy for kids to access and clean up on their own, along with encouraging creative play by mixing and matching.

3. Space it out

Don't try to tackle organizing your whole house in one day. This will take too long, you will burn out, and you will be more stressed by the mess you have created and the unfinished task. Sorting and purging can be an emotional and mentally challenging task. Start one project and work on it until completion. Don't start another project until the first one is done. It might take a few days to complete one space, and that's OK. Do a little each day, then mentally reset and prepare for the next project.

4. Donate

Doing good makes us feel good! When cleaning out your possessions can help others, it's always a win-win. As you're deciding what to keep, donate, or toss, think about all of the people you can help through donating your gently used clothing or household items. 

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5. Consider hiring a professional

If tackling your home's organization on your own makes you feel anxious, consider hiring a professional to help. A professional organizer can come to your house and work side-by-side with you. Or, if you prefer, you can walk away and let the organizer just do it all. You can often even set up virtual organizing appointments — an organizer can analyze your space from photos and video calls to create an easy-to-follow plan for you to execute.

Jenny Dietsch, the owner of Getting it Done Organizing, is a Certified Professional Organizer who believes order and beauty in the home bring peace and contentment. She and her team are committed to creating functional and aesthetically pleasing systems for their clients and their families. Follow her on social media for daily inspiration: 


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