"A cluttered room is a cluttered mind."
Mess causes stress. Clutter can play a serious role in how we feel about our homes, work spaces, and ourselves. A messy environment can make us feel overwhelmed, anxious and stuck. It is amazing that clutter is hardly recognized as a crucial source of stress in our lives.
Why does a messy environment lead to so much stress, do you ask? Here are a few reasons:
- Clutter floods our minds with excessive stimuli; what we see, smell and touch. This causes our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren't necessary or important.
- A mess hijacks attention away from what we should be focusing on. For example, have you ever sat down to study or work and instead started putting away your clothing that's strewn across the floor?
- Clutter obstructs creativity and productivity by occupying the open spaces that allow people to think, problem solve and brainstorm.
- The disadvantage of a messy environment also creates frustration because it prevents us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. important documents, homework lost in the "pile" or under a heap of clothing, etc.).
So how can we fix this issue of clutter and feel less stressed by the mess?Getting your child’s room organized can be the first step toward smoother mornings and more relaxing evenings. Read through the tips below to begin brainstorming how your child can get back in an organizational groove.
1. Define what a "messy" room is. Just saying "your room is a mess!" doesn't explain to your child what they need to do to fix it. Walk through your child's room together when it is neat and organized. Point out the bed that is made, books that are neatly on shelves, toys in designated bins and clothing that is hung up in the closet.
2. Use visual reminders. Sometimes it's hard to remember where everything is suppose to go. Take pictures of how your child's organized desk or bookcase looks (the goal). Hang those pictures on the wall as a reminder that your child can refer back to.
3. Get rid of outdated things. Once or twice a year, purge. One of the best ways to keep your child's room neat is to get rid of the clutter. Together, go through old school supplies, toys and clothing they've outgrown.
4. Pay attention to the study area. A neat and uncluttered desk is important for us all, but especially crucial for children with executive functioning or attention issues. Make sure the study area is clean with a clear, open work space, whether it be a desk or the kitchen table. Necessary school supplies should be available and all relevant books, folders and papers needed should stay together in the study area.
Remember to compliment your child whenever the room looks better - positive reinforcement is magic.
Every student has a different learning style. For an individualized plan customized to your child's needs, please contact Dana Aussenberg at danaaussenberg.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.