Clutter and mental illness.

One of my new year’s goals had been to de-clutter, because organization is key to less stress.

When you are depressed or having an episode of PTSD or other mental illness, out is very easy to become disorganized and cluttered.

I know I’m guilty of that.  I have enough energy and motivation to start the laundry but not to fold it and put it away.  Next thing you know, there’s piles of clean laundry in every room, wrinkling and collecting cat hair.

I’m guilty of buying a second set of something because I lost it, only to find it a couple of weeks later.  (Like sunglasses…)

I used to lose my keys all the time.  Until my super organized husband came up with a simple solution.  We bought and installed a key hanger.  Now the keys have a place to live and I don’t lose them anymore.  That was an easy fix, but then there’s the clutter.

Here are some things that have helped me control it. 

Falling behind on the mail.

Suggested solution:
I grab the mail and go through it over the trash can.  All junk mail goes straight there.  Except in the case of things that need to be shredded.  Then I sort it out by recipient.  If it’s not mine, I put it in their pile.  If it’s mine, then it goes into a “to do” box.  That means, I need to read it, pay it, reply, or whatever action is required.  If I can do it right away, I do it. But if for some reason I can’t do it right away, it’s neatly piled up in a pretty box.  Then I have a “done” file archive.  This is where I put bills paid, cards I want to keep, file away coupons and keep a little notebook with a log of when I did what with each piece of mail.  The reason for that is to keep track of things.  I otherwise don’t remember, and if something I sent didn’t make it to its destination, I can back track and figure it out.

No more space in the closet and too much stuff floating around in the house, cluttering it.

Suggested solution:
Go through your closet and figure what to keep, what to throw away and what to donate, and if you’re into selling your stuff in a garage sale or yard sale,you can figure that out too.

Get heavy duty plastic bags and color-code them with post it notes

For example, pink is keep. Blue donate. Green is sell, and yellow is throw away.  That way, when you’re done sorting, you know what bag goes where.  Pink into the closet, blue to goodwill (or charity of your choice), green is to be stored for the next garage/yard sale, and yellow goes straight to the trash.  You can do this in little spurts or in one big go.  Color coding the bags (or boxes) like that will help you pick where left at a later time, too.

you put stuff in neatly stacked boxes but can’t figure out where an item is in the sea of boxes.

Suggested solution:
Grab a label maker or labeling stickers and list what’s inside.  It will save you time and frustration!

Too much jewelry stuffed in the drawer/jewelry box.

Suggested solution:
Buy a jewelry organizer, like the Umbra little black dress jewelry organizer from Bed Bath and Beyond.  It only takes the space of one dress in your closet and it displays your jewelry in individual transparent pockets so you can easily find them when you want/need to dress up.

This is by as means not all inclusive, but it will help us live a little better.  Less clutter in our homes will help us save time and money, frustrations, stress and anxieties.

Do you have any more ideas?