Lower Stress with Organization

Lower Stress with Organization

 Lee esto en EspañolAre you stressed because your house is a mess, you’re always late, you don’t eat right, and you never get enough sleep? If this sounds familiar, you could probably stand to be more organized.

You may think organization sounds great; but it’s realistic for others, not you. That’s not true.  Anyone can be organized.

To get there, it’s good to know some of the tips, tricks and tools. Find more breathing room in your life with these DIY remedies to your most common organization problems.


Are you missing your kid’s activities or always late? Managing your time can be a challenge, especially with a constantly changing schedule. With a little organization (and maybe the right tools), it can be a snap to manage your time. Here are a couple of ways to help get you on the right track.

  • Use a Calendar
    If you have a smartphone, you probably have access to a calendar at your fingertips. Using a calendar gives you a picture of your day, a snapshot of where you need to be. First, add your weekly repeating activities. You can even export Facebook events or airline flights to your calendar. Some calendars even allow you to enter drive time and reminders as part of your appointment.
  • Keep a list 
    Make a list, check it a thousand times. Lists can help you keep track of the things you need to do on a given day without forgetting. There are many list-making tools handy on your smartphone. Keep a list and check it often to stay on top of things.
  • Prioritize 
    You may need to cut out less important commitments and activities to give you time for the most important things.
  • Look at traffic maps 
    Even if you know how to get where you are going, take a moment to set the map. You never know when a crash is blocking your normal route. Being stuck in traffic is stressful and it may make you late.

Many people live in a house where the floor is covered in toys and the fridge is filled with out-of-date foods. Feeling the clutter at home clutters your mind and raises stress. There are several things you can do to organize your home.

  • Make the bed daily
    Get up and make the bed before doing anything else. When you come home to a bed that is made, it gives a feeling of peace and instant release. It’s a way of saying you care about yourself
  • Teach children to clean
    If you have kids, involve them in cleaning up their toys, rooms and bathrooms. It will teach them to be more organized in their own lives. It also can help give kids a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
  • Set a cleaning day
    Set a weekly time to do a deep clean and keep it as a repeating appointment in your calendar. You’ll find it only takes a short time to change sheets, clean bathrooms, dust and vacuum. Or hire a cleaning service.
  • Pick up before bed
    If you take a few minutes to pick up every night before bed, it makes your deeper cleaning day go by much faster. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now.

If you have a hard time managing your commitments, you probably don’t get enough sleep. Getting regular, good quality sleep increases your productivity and overall happiness, which also lower your stress levels. Here are some tips to help you get more (and better) sleep.

  • Take time to unwind
    Not very many people can come home and go to sleep right away. Most people need time to shower, read a book, meditate or watch TV to unwind. The longer you are in action, the harder it is to fall asleep.
  • Set a bedtime
    Set a time about an hour before you need to fall asleep to enjoy a ritual that you enjoy, to help you let go of the day.
Eating and Exercise

When you feel like there’s no time to cook because your schedule is so packed, you may find yourself grabbing fast food more often than you’d like. 

  • Schedule exercise classes
    Use your calendar to schedule time for exercise. Exercise produces stress-relieving endorphins.
  • Track what you eat
    Use phone apps like My Fitness Pal to monitor what you eat. These tools give a realistic view of what you eat, and how many calories your portions really are. That helps you manage a healthy diet.
  • Prepare lunches and snacks
    Prepare healthy lunches and snacks for you and your kids so you don’t end up grabbing a candy bar later. You’ll save calories and money. Eating right is a pledge to being healthy and being healthy is a huge stress reliever.

Being organized takes discipline, but like any new habit, it can become a lifestyle. When you create breathing room in your life through organization and prioritizing the most important things, you’ll find yourself living with less stress and more  quality time.

Are you planning on getting organized? Tell us how you plan to start in the comments below.


Originally published April 12, 2016; Revised 2019, 2020, 2022