Usually, our place is clean and tidy. We’ve got lots of stacking bins that make a couple of tall and a couple of short towers in various places – these keep our stuff organized and out of the way, gives everything a place to live off the floor and the tables. We’ve got a neat box of drawers that holds our smaller things, like dice and nails and pens. We’ve got a big dresser-like tabley thing where we store our tools and lockbox, photos and laundry essentials. We mounted a neat bar-and-shelf thingie from Ikea to our kitchen wall, to free up our minimal counter space.
We have “hardwood” floors, so we got lots of rugs to help keep the floors cleaner and more comfy for our bare feet. We brought a laundry basket downstairs for those errant, end-of-day socks that would scatter everywhere. We have a cork board and push-pins for outgoing mail and memos, a whiteboard for shorter messages and budget tallies, a mounted rack for our DVDs and video games, and trash cans in lots of places. Everything has a place, and everything goes in its place.
However, right now, my environment is stressing me out.
Our house is messy. There are several boxes strewn about. Our tables are covered with stuff. Our floor is unswept. Some of our handy dandy organizer bins are overflowing, particularly the one right next to my spot on the couch, making the mess in my personal space. We have some new things that don’t yet have places to live, so they’re strewn about in inconvenient (and sometimes painful) places. There are visible cords now, because we got Rock Band and the drums and microphones connect to the Wii in the front. Our bathrooms are dirty, and both our toilet seats are broken. I got a couple of new kitchen gadgets, so now the counters are too crowded.
On top of this, my brother is coming to stay for a few days on Wednesday, and we’re having a party on Saturday (Pace’s birthday is next week!).
I forget how important a clean and organized environment is to my ability to work and function until I’m overwhelmed and in tears. Then I take a deep breath, look around, and realize that the place is a mess! Since we work here as well as live here, I’m in this habitat nearly all day, every day. That’s a lot of time to be in an environment that’s causing stress!
So, it’s time to go back to the Container Store, time to head to Target. Fix those broken things, get another bin or two, find homes for that new stuff. Get the floor swept and another rug to help manage the mess. Maybe a trip to Ikea for a few more mountable kitchen space savers. Time to evaluate the stress and get the mess under control.
Having a clean, organized environment helps me focus on the blog, the Usual Error Project, my son, my wife, and myself. When it gets too messy, too out of control, the stress builds and becomes a major distraction. We recommend trying out a few organizational systems and seeing what helps your environment become more relaxing and peaceful, and what helps you to better focus on your priorities!