York County Medicine Summer 2019 - 38

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

FEATURE:

Get Organized
to Reduce Stress!
Katie McAllister is a Professional Organizer in York, PA. As a member of
the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals
(NAPO), she has earned specialist certificates in Household Management,
Residential Organizing, Life Transitions, and Workplace Productivity.
She can be found online at www.organizedtreasure.com.

With 25% of Americans
reporting themselves as "Very
Stressed" and American
Psychological Association surveys
showing a rise in chronic stress levels
(even in kids), we are all looking
for solutions to put into practice in
our own lives to reduce stress in our
families! As you consider options
for your family, don't overlook my
secret weapon: Getting Organized.
Organization can improve
results at work, reduce tensions at home, prevent (or at least
reduce!) the mad morning scramble to get everyone out the
door, and let you take 30 seconds to find a book on tape for the
morning commute. A meal plan can improve your family's diet,
seeing your completed checklist of priorities gives you a sense of
pride and productivity, and knowing your plan for tomorrow can
improve your sleep tonight!
Some areas you might want to focus on:

1. Declutter
The Journal of Neuroscience reports clutter is distracting
and interferes with the brain's ability to focus and process
information, draining you of energy. Letting go of clutter can
provide an immediate sense of lightness and freedom. We
hold on to so much we could live without.
No discussion of clutter is complete without a couple
of questions to help clarify items worth letting go. We all
know Marie Kondo would ask us, "Does it spark joy for
you?" but here are some others to try on for size: If I lost
this item, would I replace it? If I saw this in the store today
for full price, would I buy it? Do I want to carry it into the
next stage of my life? Am I going to use or enjoy it enough
in the next year that it belongs with me rather than someone
who needs it? Is it still functional, beautiful, and useful (in
its CURRENT condition)? And will it STILL be functional,
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York County Medicine | SUMMER 2019

beautiful, and useful when you pull it out of storage again in
10 years? Focus on whether you want to KEEP it in your life,
NOT whether you want to give it away, or how much you
paid for it!
As Sandra Felton says in 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House:
"Challenge these thoughts. They are keeping you laden with
too many excess items - we don't want an overabundance
in our limited space. Museums house items from the
past. Libraries house books. Stores have general purpose
items. Our homes are a place of beauty, welcoming, and
graciousness!"
It is essential to remember this does not need to happen
all at once - if there are items you are not ready to let go of
the first time through, keep them for now and be gentle with
yourself! The progress you DO make will feel so good that
letting go of those "maybes" will be easier the second time
around!
To Try Today: Trash the junk mail pile, the magazines
from December that you wanted to read, but are still sitting
there making you feel guilty. The clothes closet can be a
quick win - let go of some items that are stained, torn,
outdated, or just don't suit you - move their hangers out of
the way and enjoy the space for the clothes you DO enjoy! In
the kitchen - let go of 5-10 tools that are not useful to you,
that you have in duplicate, or that are worn out.

2. Organize Your Schedule: Let Your No Be No
Overpacked schedules and running late are two
tremendous contributors to stress. It is worth doing a
personal assessment to open your eyes to underlying causes.
Do you know your limits, and do the appointments on
your calendar fit within them? Our family's time and energy
only allow for so much each day, week, or month. We are wise
to honor those restraints. Saying "yes" to the best things often
means saying no to good things. Many seasons of life require
stepping back from activities we love for a short time while
we focus on meaningful relationships, children, healthcare,


http://www.YORKCOMEDSOC.ORG http://www.organizedtreasure.com

York County Medicine Summer 2019

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