One answer comes up more than any other. I'm not saying that this is the most significant thing you could do to boost your happiness, but it does seem to be a thing that people actually do-and that boosts their happiness.
This most popular resolution? To make your bed.
Now, it's true that some people thrive on a little chaos. They find a disorderly room to be comfy and casual. When one of my friends was growing up, her mother made such a big deal of keeping the house clean that now my friend has gone far in the opposite direction. Very far. Most people, however, even if they may find it tough to keep things tidy, prefer to live in orderly surroundings.
It's a Secret of Adulthood: for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm.
If you love a calm environment, making the bed is one of the quickest, easiest steps to cultivate a sense of order. Also, I get a real feeling of accomplishment from having completed this small task. It's nice to start the day feeling that I've crossed something - however minor - off my list. It starts me off feeling productive, disciplined, and efficient.
Especially if you're feeling overwhelmed, picking one little task to improve your situation, and doing it regularly, can help you regain a sense of control. Making your bed is a good place to start. It might help you build momentum to keeping other, more significant resolutions.
If you want ideas for other ways to tackle clutter, here's a list of tips.
I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit. Join in-no need to catch up, just jump in right now.
Join the happiness conversation on Facebook and Twitter (@gretchenrubin). Lots of interesting discussion there.