Spring cleaning is about more than just dusting off your desk—it’s a time to refresh your mind and spirit. We could all benefit from a closet so well organized that the day’s power outfit seems to jump off the hangers, a tidy vanity that showcases your favorite beauty products, and a smudge-free window—or computer screen—that allows for mental rejuvenation. We consulted with two organization gurus to break down the emotional benefits of tackling your spring refresh goals head-on this month.
The repetitive motion of organizing files may provide some relief from the demands of everyday life. “Relaxing your brain and doing simple tasks can actually clear stress,” says Cristin Bisbee Priest, interior designer and blogger behind Simplified Bee. And Samantha Pregenzer, a professional organizer who showcases her work on her blog Simply Organized (not to mention her addictive Instagram), recommends lighting candles or playing music while you delete ancient email threads or clean out bookshelves. “Do something that energizes you and gives you a little boost,” she says.
“Organizing a space so that you can find something quickly allows for faster mornings,” says Bisbee Priest. This leaves you extra time to make breakfast, fit in a workout, or get to the first meeting of the day earlier. First, purge the articles of clothing or cosmetics that you don’t use. Then, take a cue from how stores merchandise their products. “They want you to get to things easily. It’s the same thing for your closet,” says Bisbee Priest. Consider your phone a digital closet: Delete the apps you don’t use and sort the rest into folders that are easy to navigate at a glance.
“Clutter creates chaos,” says Bisbee Priest. Take, for example, when you can’t find your notes from a meeting or that certain sweater you want to wear; searching for missing items can add 20 agonizing minutes to a simple task. This month, devote ten minutes at the end of your workday to organize and clean your desk. Over time, you’ll be amazed by the results, both mental and physical. Pregenzer says it’s all about feeling confident and lighter in your space. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, but know that at the end of the day that there is somewhere for everything to go.”
“We set ourselves up to feel like we are failing when we have long to-do lists,” explains Pregenzer. Breaking spring-cleaning goals down into doable tasks will leave you empowered and confident—not overwhelmed or discouraged. Maybe you delete a certain number of emails and voicemail messages each day, or focus on just one shelf of your bathroom cabinet. “As you clean and see results, you will feel better and more motivated to finish the task,” says Bisbee Priest. “It is rejuvenating.”
Don’t worry if your workspace isn’t always picture-perfect. “Every house has clutter,” Pregenzer tells us. So say goodbye to unrealistic expectations and focus on other things, like going to that networking event, starting a new business, or kicking off your passion project.
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