When you think about self-care, being organised may not be the first thing that springs to mind.
Self-care to you may be going for a walk, cooking up a nutritious meal, or curling up with a good book.
I know it might sound a little odd but bear with me here, being organised is an important part of self-care.
Let me explain…
Self-care is all about taking action to protect and promote your mental and physical health and well-being.
When you practice self-care you do the things that make you feel good and are good for you. But, and here’s the thing, it’s not just actions that feel good in the present moment.
It’s also about taking the time to do the things that your future self will thank you for doing.
And yes, that’s not always easy. Sometimes it can mean making changes that require a bit of work, such as creating new systems or developing new habits.
Self-care is about doing the things that are good for your mental and physical wellbeing – the things that help you feel calmer, more focused and in control of your life.
Being organised is one of those things.
What does ‘being organised’ mean?’
So what does it mean to be organised, and how do you know whether you are organised or not?
It’s not about comparing your home, or your planner, to those gorgeous pictures we see on Instagram.
There’s no finish line to cross, or award to receive that signals that you’ve achieved organising success.
It’s all about how you feel.
I love this explanation from professional organiser, Kathy Waddill:
You are organised when your systems fit your life as you’re living it right now. Your life functions smoothly and efficiently. You can do what you want to do without wasting time or effort.Kathy Waddill – The Organizing Sourcebook: nine strategies for simplifying your life
And when it comes to organising our physical stuff, I think Gretchen Rubin sums it up well…
We’ve achieved the right level of order when we can find what we need, feel good in our space, and don’t feel hindered by stuff.Gretchen Rubin – Outer order inner calm: declutter and organize to make room for happiness
Being organised improves your wellbeing
Whether or not you feel organised can have a big impact on your mental wellbeing.
Disorganisation can cause a wide range of feelings from mild irritation to annoyance, anger and resentment, anxiety and overwhelm. I know I’ve felt them all at various times!
On the other hand, when you are organised you feel calmer, more focused, and more in control.
Our physical experience colors our emotional experience, and when my body is in a place that’s orderly, my mind becomes more serene.Gretchen Rubin, Outer Order Inner Calm: Declutter and organize to make room for happiness
Being organised helps you feel on top of things. You have systems in place so that getting things done requires less mental energy.
It gives you breathing space. Life will always throw curveballs. But the confidence you get from being organised helps you deal with those unexpected blips that come your way.
Being organised helps you to live more intentionally
Living intentionally is all about using your time purposefully. So that you spend time on the things that are important to you, and don’t waste time on the things that aren’t.
When you are organised you know where things are. You don’t waste time looking for things, doing things over, or buying stuff you know you already have, but just can’t find.
An organised home allows you to move more smoothly through your days. There are fewer little annoyances or irritations as you can find the things you need when you need them.
This saves you time, and more time means feeling calmer, less rushed and more in control.
An organised schedule allows you to see what you need to be doing, where you need to be, and when.
When you know what your commitments are there’s no guessing about where you should be, wondering what you should be doing, or worrying about what you’ve forgotten.
You can see how you spend your time and make decisions about spending it wisely. So you can be confident saying yes to the things that are important to you, and no to the things that aren’t.
Ultimately, being organised gives you time and space.
When you are organised you create space in your life. Space to breathe. Space in your home, space in your schedule.
This space gives you time to do the things you want to do. Whether that’s more time to spend with family, or a new hobby, or working towards a goal you’ve always wanted to accomplish.
How to get organised
The key to being organised is developing habits and systems that keep your life running smoothly. Those small actions, put together, make a big difference.
It’s important to remember though that getting organised isn’t a thing that you do once and then forget about it. Our lives are continually changing and evolving – when our life changes, we need to adapt or update those systems.
Nor is getting organised about creating a state of perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist! Your goal is to be organised enough.
Where to start
Start by taking notice. What is it that’s causing you to feel disorganised?
- Is it not being able to find things when you need them?
- Is it not knowing where you are supposed to be, and when?
- Maybe it’s worrying that you’ve forgotten something (an appointment, or someone’s birthday?)
Is it the stuff in your house, or the stuff in your head? Or a bit of both?
Like all self-care, getting organised is something that you need to commit to prioritising in your life.
Write down the things that are making you feel disorganised. Prioritise them, then make a commitment to yourself to tackle them, one at a time.
Try to let go of the need to do it perfectly. Just get started, with the knowledge that any habit, routine or system you create can be tweaked, adjusted or changed down the track if you want to.
Once you deal with one task, you’ll feel more accomplished, and boost your confidence, as well as free up more time to deal with the next.
Read more: 5 Tips to Help You Manage Your Time
Slowly but surely you’ll develop habits and systems to help your day-to-day life feel smoother, calmer and more in control.