It’s a new year; do you want to change your outlook?  Do you feel stressed? Do you have too much to do and too little time?

Is the laundry piled high, are the dishes from yesterday still in the sink, are the lists of projects for the handy man out of control, does the grass need mowing, are the ceiling fans dirty, do the bathrooms need cleaning?  Basically, does your house look like a bomb just hit it and there is chaos and clutter everywhere?

It may sound cliché, but organizing your home, office, and even mind can improve your happiness.  At a minimum, getting more organized will make everything a lot more manageable.

This uncontrolled chaos can actually mess with all aspects of your life—not just your daily schedule or orderly home.  Organizing your life is therefore the answer you need.  “At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life,” says Eva Selhub, M.D., author of Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer.

In a study in the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin”, women who described their homes as “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” were more depressed and fatigued. This, in turn, takes a toll on your mood, sleep, health, and more. Taking the time to tackle those piles of laundry, sort through stacks of papers, and spruce up your space won’t just clear away the physical stuff, it’ll actually help you feel happier and more relaxed.

A few tips to help you de-clutter your space are to schedule regular de-cluttering sessions.  Use a calendar.  You don’t need an entire day, maybe start with an hour per week.  Eventually this will become a habit.

Resist bargains.  How many of you have clothes in your closet with the tags still on them? If you don’t need it, don’t buy it!  Or if you must have it, then take an item out of your closet and replace it with the new item you just purchased.

As far as those unfinished projects go, it’s best to only choose to tackle one at a time.  Again, you can start by using your trusted calendar to schedule time to work on the project.  Another quick tip is to always overestimate the time you think it will take you to complete the task.  This immediately helps you alleviate stress, because something might actually take you less time than you anticipated!

Quick and easy ways to trick yourself into thinking your space is less cluttered are to always keep your surface areas clear.  Granted if you take the time to designate spaces for all of your things and take it a step further and decide what to keep, donate or trash would be even better, but for a small step in the right direction, find a home for everything.  Use containers, folders, crates, baskets, whatever will help you get items off of surface areas or floors.

Immediately you will notice by reducing the clutter in your environment your mind will be able to think and cope better and you will feel dramatically less stressed.

And something I try and do as often as possible, putting things away immediately after use.  If a task is going to take less than two minutes to complete, I do it.  It’s a mental game I play with myself, but you don’t know how many times I’ve started to walk away from a task and then reminded myself that it was easier to just do it than keep an item from lying on the counter.

There are other physical benefits to a more organized home as well.  Less mess equals less stress.

Less stress allows you to sleep better.  Also keeping your bedroom neat may benefit your slumber in other ways: People who make their beds every morning are 19 percent more likely to report regularly getting a good nights’ rest, and 75 percent of people said they got a better night’s sleep when their sheets were fresh and clean because they were physically more comfortable, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation.

Also, if you’re on point with your time management and able to put a little forethought, organization, and preparation into your food and eating habits, you’re more likely to plan your meals, stock up on nutritious foods, and prep things like fruits and vegetables to make healthy eating more likely.

When you’re organized at work, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you’re able to finish at a reasonable time and go home.

It’s amazing how a little bit of organizing can free your mind and help you achieve so much more.