Perhaps the greatest satisfaction for me comes from making dirty things clean and organizing the disorganization.

What can I say? Life can get overwhelming, and it’s nice to have some control over something, even if it’s just knowing everything is organized in your fridge, like this Instagram reel posted by video creator Catherine Benson.

It’s so satisfying, and her one million followers probably agree.

But science has proven it’s not just a personal preference, an attribute of my control freak side or just a satisfying phenomenon. Studies have linked our emotions and ability to focus with the objects in our environment.

A mess can cause stress

Princeton psychology professor Sabine Kastner explained that a human’s focus can be split between objects that are in the line of vision. When this happens, we can become overstimulated as our brain tries to focus on everything around us, per Princeton Alumni Weekly.

This same concept can translate to a cluttered home, and could explain why having a mess can cause stress and tiredness as the brain works to focus on lots of things all at once.

In other words, a mess can cause stress.

A new baseline

This might seem like a lose-lose situation if thinking about emptying and organizing your pantry also causes you stress. If you’re that person, there are options, but the bottom line is that creating a new baseline of home organization is essential to keeping a clean and tidy atmosphere.

By “organizational baseline,” I mean a sort of default mode of order and cleanliness that you can revert back to when things start to get messy again. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, when the mess piles up, you know exactly where to put things and clean up as you go.

It doesn’t have to be all at once. It can be one area per week or even less invasive if you want it to be.

If you’re feeling like doing it yourself, it doesn’t have to take up your life for a week. Spreading it out over a month can help make it seem less impossible.

A local Utah organizational company called “Reset Your Nest” even gives you a 30-day step-by-step home organizational guidebook to start and to talk you through everything you need to know and how to start organizing on social media.

Companies like Reset Your Nest will even do the organizing for you if that daily challenge stresses you out and you would rather pay someone else to do it.

Bob Vila, known for hosting “This Old House” and his skills in home renovation, recommends home organization companies Neat Method, Horderly and ClutterBusters on his site, which can organize for you and all you have to do is maintain it.

Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it, resetting your home can make for a good baseline organization that can help you maintain it for months to come and ease stress or an unfocused mindset.

Marie Kondo’s digital organization tips

A pregame to ‘spring cleaning’

Spending the lull months in January or February taking your time and organizing your house can set your house up for success for the whole year.

So why not do it now and start the year off with a year of better focus?

When the weather gets warmer in the spring, I do not want to be indoors. Why spend all day inside cleaning when you could be enjoying the warmer weather outside?

Resetting your home in January is a good pregame to further dejunking throughout the year and entering the “spring cleaning” season with fervor.