Feeling Overwhelmed? Take Some Time to Organize, and Reap the Sweet Serotonin Boost

You can’t single-handedly heal the world of its many ills. But you can create order at home and clear your own head in the process.

By Julia Silverman December 30, 2020 Published in the Winter 2020/2021 issue of Portland Monthly

If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s this: There is so much in life that we cannot control. You can’t single-handedly cure coronavirus—but you can organize your junk drawer.

“What I really like about organizing is that you can see a before and after,” says Robin Allen, a Hood River home organizer and personal stylist.

Professionals say to start small. “The cookie-cutter version of organization that you see on Pinterest, on TV, and in magazines is beautiful but not realistic for most people’s lives,” says Clementine Hacmac, a Portland home organizer and interior designer.

Newbies should begin with their closets, she says. Allen’s top tips: Pick a few words that define your style. Then pull out everything in your closet and ask yourself whether each item matches your mantra. Both Hacmac and Allen vote for investing in slim felted hangers. And get creative with space-saving: Hacmac’s own vanity table now does double-duty as a work-from-home desk.

“Choosing to take care of your space is self-care. Knowing where the face masks are is self-care,” Hacmac says. “It is emotional, and it is physical, and it is very beautiful. It is nice to have a win—you tackle a scary drawer; you get a serotonin boost.”

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