By Karlie Mickanuik

I am a messy and unorganized person; but I am also a type A personality, meaning I want to be organized, precise and perfect. Thanks to my good friend, anxiety, I often get overwhelmed when I have to do something like cleaning my room. I will keep pushing it away until it is so bad I can’t see my floor.

This problem controls my life, if I get too many unopened emails I’ll avoid checking them and often forget about important things I have to do. If I get behind on my school assignments I’ll let them pile up and feel even more overwhelmed.

This happens to everyone and that is okay. We are not perfect machines and are never meant to be.

Here’s what I learned that jumpstarts my motivation and keeps me organized when I am having a bad mental health moment. Hopefully these tips will work for you too.

Get rid of things

I like to deny I’m a hoarder, but I am – and mostly with clothes. I know how hard it is to start getting rid of things. Even if I haven’t worn a sweater in two years, I will keep telling myself I need it. However, once you start it gets easier to let go of things. It becomes a satisfying experience emptying out your closet or junk drawer. Once you get into a flow of realizing you don’t need things you don’t use you’ll feel lighter. Even if you aren’t moving anytime soon, this is good housekeeping and will help you from feeling disorganized.

Get a calendar AND day planner

Yes, you need both. Get a calendar that is fun for you and put it by your desk or where you do your school or work. Buy some fun sharpies and don’t be afraid to write everything on your calendar. Got a meeting? Write it down. When, where and with who are all important details. The same goes for your day planner. Get a small one that has a cool pattern and take it with you everywhere. Leave it in your bag, purse or car so that you can make note of plans when away from your calendar. The act of physically writing things down is a great way to help your brain remember things, and having a calendar and day planner covers all your bases.

Do things in small portions

When my room gets super messy and I need to clean it I mentally section it into pieces. I start with something like getting all my dishes out of my room. Even if you don’t wash them right away that’s okay, your kitchen can be a tomorrow thing. Then I move all my dirty clothes into a hamper and so on. Have small breaks in between so you don’t get burnt out and before you know it you will be more inclined to clean for longer.

Make a list of everything

Like I said, writing things down is a great way for your brain to remember them. Write down everything from school assignments to cleaning. Throw in a couple super easy things like brushing your teeth and cross them off when you’re done. Your brain will give you a little serotonin rush each time you complete something, making you motivated to cross even more off your list. You can even do this on the notes app in your phone but on paper is way more satisfying. Starting to get overwhelmed again? That’s okay, that’s normal. Take a break and relax for a bit. You deserve it.