This post is an ode to the organizers. Those of you who have immaculate desks at work, color code your entire closets or label everything in your homes– including the label maker.  In honor of National Get Organized week, I salute you.

I have never been one of those people. My desk at work is a maze of papers, projects, and post-its.  And the messier it gets, the more stressed I tend to feel. While a little stress can be dealt with, long term stress can be damaging to your heart. When you’re stressed, your body produces more adrenaline, which makes your heart rate and blood pressure go up. Over time, this can damage the walls of your arteries so it’s best to avoid stress  if possible.

I’ve found that a great way to de-stress and keep calm is to add a little order to the chaos.

In my opinion, to-do lists are man’s greatest invention. Our never ending lists of tasks are what separate us from the animals. Lists are simple solutions that can help keep track of progress and keep your stress levels from soaring. Try just making a list for all of the things that need to be done today. I find that it’s easier to manage time and energy when I can physically see what tasks are still left to be done. An added bonus of lists is getting to cross off tasks after they’re finished! (Which can be very satisfying)

Don’t panic if you need to take on a big task. Take them on one step at a time. Sometimes extensive assignments can seem overwhelming, but if you break them down in to manageable, bite-size pieces, they’re much easier to digest.

Start organizing one area of your life at a time. Don’t expect to go from a borderline hoarder to spic and span over night. Start with your desk at work, then move to that messy glove box in the car, and then tackle the dreaded hall closet. Taking it slow will help keep you motivated and your tasks manageable. The more areas you can keep orderly the less likely you are to feel stressed.

Get the whole family involved! Bring down the kid’s stress levels by helping them organize their school work. Help your spouse reduce the morning rush by helping them organize the closet. If everything is in its place the night before, you can avoid rushing to catch the school bus or getting stuck in morning rush hour.

What are your simple ideas for getting a little more organized? Leave us a comment with your tips! We’d love to hear from you!