process information. In other words, a less organized environment distracts you and can add to your stress level when you’re trying to focus.

Ready to get organized? Start small by putting away your stacks of magazines and toss out any trash, then work on the following list of ways to get organized:

Grab a heavy duty trash bag.

Head to your kitchen or closet and get a trash bag. You won’t be filling it with trash, however. Instead, go around your home (or office) and fill the bag with things you simply don’t need. Think of this as a “clutter audit.”

Donate what you can to a local charity or organization, try to upcycle the odds and ends that no longer have any use, and be sure to recycle everything you can. Sustainability not only helps decrease waste, it can also give you an extra bit of confidence in knowing you did your part to make the world better (and your space less messy).

Invest in storage.

Everything in your house deserves a home, from your clothes and files to trinkets and sports equipment. With fewer distractions in your line of vision, and with everything in its place, you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter.

Go to your local home improvement store and pick up a filing cabinet or a dresser of drawers. Storage doesn’t have to be an eyesore, but it does need to be useful. If you have a cabinet that’s not in use, repurpose it for storage instead of going out and buying something new. Whatever you choose to do, be thoughtful and think about ease of use.

Organize your digital life, too.

If you’re getting hundreds of emails a day, or 20 social media notifications every hour, try updating your subscriptions and settings. Do you really need to get a daily email about the latest flash sale? If not, go ahead and unsubscribe. It might take a few minutes to comb through your inbox, but it will save you from distraction in the long run.

Don’t forget your notifications, either. If your phone’s lock screen is an endless list of “likes,” “pins,” “pokes,” or other kinds of updates, go into your settings and turn off notifications. It’s nice to know what your friends from high school are up to, but it can wait until after work.

Make a commitment.

You can clean your personal space every week, but it does no good if you continuously fill it back up with things you don’t need. Make a commitment to yourself not to stop at your nearby superstore and fill your cart with things you don’t need.

It’s also a good idea to make a commitment to yourself to always put things back where you found them (or at least put them where they belong). Take the extra steps to put your cup in the sink, instead of just leaving it on your coffee table or desk. Put your shopping bags in the closet or in the back of your car, instead of leaving them on the counter. When you need these things, you’ll know where to find them.

Keeping your space tidy and free from distraction will improve your mental clarity and help you focus on the things that matter. After all, organization is the key to success. And in the words of Albert Einstein, “Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony.”