Clutter – A Stress Maker

Untidiness certainly can result in stress and anxiety. It is very irritating to never be able to find things when you require them, especially if you are in a rush. Losing your car keys or your glasses or your purse in your cluttered home is a sign of a lack of organization, but it is a pain in the neck too because it wastes so much time and usually precisely when you do not have time to waste.

The problem is fundamentally one of organization. Because it is human nature to keep everything, our homes and offices soon become cluttered, so unless you have regular clear-outs or organize your stuff properly, you are going to lose things often.

Everything should have a place and everything should be in its place, that way you will know where to look for things. Tools should be stored in the garage, if possible on holders or nails on the wall. Gardening implements should be in the garden shed, similarly put away so that you can see what is out and where everything is. Kitchen gear should be in the kitchen, office paperwork should be filed away in cabinets or and folders.

You have to take the time to put things away when you have used them and not leave them lying around until you have ‘a clean up later’. A clean up later is no good, you need to do it now. A stitch in time saves nine, as the old saying goes.

Documents should be stored as they would in a well-organized office. You may not have enough papers to warrant having a filing cabinet, but you can get a filing box that looks like a small, plastic suitcase, but they open from the top.

One side is hinged, so that it can open out and the case contains a dozen or so compartments which can be labeled for ‘Insurance’, ‘Bank Statements’, ‘Credit Card Statements’, ‘Bills’ et cetera. They are very useful and not expensive. This must also have a place, say in the wardrobe.

If you think that even this is going too far, then three shoe boxes can be utilized: one for ‘permanent’ items such as wedding certificate, birth certificate, passport, insurance etc., one for the storage of items you have already dealt with like credit card and bank statements and utility bills and one for mail to be answered and bills to be paid.

Every year you can then go through the shoe boxes and package up items from the previous year or discard items that have become obsolete. Maybe a good time would be after filing your tax returns. In many countries, you have to hold on to tax records for seven years, so a fourth shoe box could hold the previous seven years worth of documents.

Clean out your attic or basement to make room for more useless items. A good rule is, if you have not used something for five years, you do not require it, so sell it, give away or bin it.

Buy or make a key rack or just screw hooks into the back of your front door, that way you can hang your keys up when you come in and take them with you when you go out. Get a cord for your glasses and hang them around your neck. When you really do not need them, you can hang them up somewhere visible by the cord as well.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with financial stress. If you are suffering from any kind of stress, please go over to our website now at Stress and Heart Disease

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