Organizing: Life-Changing Benefits + Sanity-Saving Tips

woman sitting on floor with cardboard boxes for organizing.

My husband can hear the guttural scream of my annoyance from the living room. He already knows what it means – I can’t find something. Yet again, I’m reminded of the benefits of organizing.

Losing things is one of my largest pet peeves! It’s especially infuriating when I thought I knew exactly where it was. Being organized is essential to me, and critically important to maintaining peace and sanity in our family. 

Why is organizing so beneficial? Besides keeping you from pulling your hair out when you can’t find things. Let’s see!

What is the Purpose of Organizing?  

The purpose of organizing is to keep things tidy, give order to your belongings, and reduce excessive clutter.

These reasons create the added bonus of making things easy to find which also saves time in your daily life. I think we’re all looking for ways to do more with less time these days.

But that’s not all. There are also mental health benefits of an organized home.

Psychological Benefits of Organizing

The biggest psychological benefit to being organized is less stress. Losing important things, and ultimately having to replace them, adds unnecessary stress to your life. 

Plus, the start and stop of looking for stuff when you’re trying to get things done keeps you in a state of anxiety. Take it from a busy mom and wife, you need no more added anxiety.

This is especially true if you work outside the home as I do. Being organized is a trait that is beneficial at home and at work. Here’s a few reasons why.

Benefits of Organizing at Work

Like your home or anywhere else, being organized at work makes things easier to find which saves time. Using that time saved on other projects helps you be more productive at work. And being more productive at work decreases the feeling of being overwhelmed. This includes having an organized home office since so many people work from home now.

It reduces the mental load of not knowing where things are when you need them.

Plus, being organized helps create mental clarity so you can focus on accomplishing what matters. And you can do so in a more relaxed working environment.

But what about at home? Similar benefits of organizing play out in your home as well but for slightly different reasons.

Benefits of Organizing at Home

Being organized at home helps you to live an overall healthier lifestyle. It’s been proven that living in a cluttered space or with a lot of unfinished projects increases your anxiety level and stress levels. (I prove this to myself every day.)

When your home is organized, it helps you sleep better because you’re not going to bed thinking about the mess and all the things left to do. This is especially true for my fellow introverts who tend to have a hamster wheel of thoughts in their head already. 

Better sleep improves your physical health and prepares you for the next day. And after a day full of working, moming, and all the things, we deserve a good night’s sleep.

Clearing out all those unnecessary and distracting thoughts helps you to better focus on your priorities. It can also save you money!

True story: I ordered a boatload of baby bibs from Amazon (my sweet girl spit up like it was her job for months). I remembered having a bunch when she was born but, strangely, it seemed we no longer had enough for her daily needs. 

I thought maybe the dryer ate them (‘cause that happens) and proceeded to buy more. I then found a box of them in the back of the closet and frantically tried to cancel my Amazon order before being charged. Organization fail! 🤦🏾‍♀️

Needless to say, organizing is beneficial to your health and your pocket. 

I know what you’re thinking … what’s the best way to stay organized, Tiffany? I’m so glad you asked! I’m a fan of keeping it simple. Try these easy ways to stay organized.

Simple Tips to Stay Organized

Do a Little Each Day. Organizing everything all at once is an enormous task. Especially if you’re just getting started with organizing. But you don’t have to do everything all at once. 

A better approach is to do a little each day by picking a small area or a small pile of things. Focus on that only. Do a little bit on a daily basis and before you know it you’ll have your entire house organized.

Set a Timer. Another way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to set a timer. It doesn’t have to be much time – 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour. For whatever time you choose, focus on organizing. When the timer’s up, you stop. Simple but effective. 

Timing yourself helps you focus on organizing for a set amount of time instead of feeling defeated by how long the entire project will take. 

Trying to wait until you have a full day or several days of your valuable time to commit to organizing is unrealistic. On the other hand, several small sessions will get you to an organized home before you know it.

Focus on Specific Projects or Categories. This tip is especially helpful when you’re dealing with a lot of clutter. It works by identifying one area or category of items. For example, you could decide to organize the coat closet (area) or your kids’ shoes (category). 

Focus on that area or category of items only. Keep the area small. For instance, instead of organizing the garage (a massive project) organize one wall or corner of the garage. 

Focus on one category of items at a time, and don’t be afraid to throw things out if you no longer need them. Getting rid of stuff is just as important as organizing if you want a clutter-free home.

Make Sure Everything Has a Home. Not having a place for everything to belong is a great way to stay unorganized. If it doesn’t have a place where it goes, it goes everywhere. 

Along with this, you should make sure to put things back where they belong when you’re done with them. As simple as it sounds, putting things back when you’re done is one of the easiest ways to keep things tidy and organized.

Don’t Forget Documents. Nothing creates excess clutter like a bunch of paperwork all over the place. A home office desk is a likely culprit but, it’s often just the starting point of important documents ending up everywhere. Kitchen counters, coffee tables, the floor … you see where I’m going with this. 

Better organization means creating a filing system for your important paperwork.

Having a filing system for our paperwork has helped us improve our financial health, especially come tax time.

It also gives us extra time to include productive things in our daily schedule instead of sacrificing time to look for things and declutter. Work, business, and family give us a never-ending to-do list so time management is key.

Create a Drop Zone. I get it. There are going to be things that don’t have a place sometimes or, sometimes you’re rushing in the door and just don’t have time to put things away. For these instances, I recommend creating a drop zone. 

A drop zone is just as it sounds. It’s a place where you can put things down temporarily until you have time to go back and put them away. Or, until you can find a place for them to belong. The best place for a drop zone is usually next to the door you use to go in and out of your home most.

Pro tip: if you live in a multi-level home, try using a basket or bag to collect things downstairs that need to go upstairs. That way you can make one trip to put everything away versus going up and down the stairs all day. I use this method in my own home and it has definitely saved me time and steps.

Get Tools But Don’t Go Crazy. The last tip I’ll share is about tools. A good storage unit is important when it comes to organizing. Think bins, baskets, dividers, and other similar things. I definitely recommend getting tools whether you’re buying them or making them yourself. 

However, I caution against getting swept up in the organizing craze of buying every single tool there is. 

I actually love organizing and even briefly considered exploring starting a business as a professional organizer. Walking into a store like The Container Store is exciting for me. But organization tools can get pretty expensive, especially depending on where you’re buying them and if you don’t have much money. 

So if you’re buying organization tools, get what you need and that’s it. Try not to buy more until you actually have an identified need for them.

These tips will help you build good organizational skills as you start organizing your space at home or at work. But what if you share that space with someone else? Here are a few tips on staying organized when you live with someone else.

How to Stay Organized When You Live With Someone Else?

If you think staying organized when you live alone is hard, it’s exceptionally harder when you live with other people. It can be a roommate, a spouse, kids (probably the best at making organization difficult), or other family members. Other people introduce more factors to consider when organizing. 

Before you throw out your bins and labels, try these tips for staying organized when you live with other people.

Divide and Conquer. Divide the house into spaces and/or categories and assign a person to each. It becomes that person’s responsibility to keep that area of your home organized. 

Don’t be afraid to get kids in on this! Incorporate prizes or challenges if you want to make it fun.

Respect Their System. Everyone may not organize in the same way, and that’s ok. As long as it gets done, let people own their portion by organizing in the way that works for them.

Talk It Out. If someone starts neglecting their portion, try to avoid getting annoyed right away. Or worse, passive-aggressively doing it yourself. Instead, have a conversation with them. Maybe life has gotten in the way and they just need a little help this time.

Benefits and Tips for Being Organized

Did this get your organizing juices flowing? I hope so. Now that you know the benefits of organizing, you’re ready to get started. 

The topic of organizing can go deep, trust me. However, if you’re new to it, these tips are a great place to start. So go forth, wallflowers, and happy organizing!