Did you know that your chaotic routine and cluttered physical and mental environments may be making you sick or keeping you sick? Everyone can benefit from a more organized lifestyle which will help your days run more smoothly. Taking care of ourselves, our careers and our relationships can leave us with little time to relax or to do some of the things that are really important in life. Eliminating clutter from our homes, offices and lifestyles will help eliminate undesirable stresses on our bodies. An improved living and working environment will elevate one’s overall well-being. We didn’t learn organizing skills at school and many of us didn’t get an organized model from our parents or guardians, so getting organized has to be a more concerted effort. Consider what improved organizing skills can do for you.
1. Reduce stress. Do you regularly spend a great deal of time trying to find things? If each day starts with a mad dash for keys, home work, your purse or brief case think about the undo stress this puts on you and how there could be more pleasant ways to begin you day. It can often become a down-hill cycle that leads to increased procrastination and anxiety. Are you chronically late for appointments or do you miss them all together? At work, disorganization costs employees and employers over an hour a day in productivity and labour costs by attempting to locate something in your filing system, not finding the number to call someone back and a general lack of skills to get projects and work completed. The costs on the health side equal missed work though stress, high blood pressure, lack of sleep and much more. When you're organized, you give your mind, body and soul the best chance to be relaxed and re-energized to approach the next day. You prepare for the next day and get to bed at a time and a pace that will give you the rejuvenation you need.
2. Improves relationships. Don’t think that you are the only one affected by disorganization. Improper scheduling and routines affect those closest to you– friends, families and colleagues. It not only is an aggravation but in the worst case scenarios can actually terminate relationships. Friends don’t want to meet you for a coffee because you are always late or constantly cancelling; your boss has had it with your work never being on time. At home there can be embarrassment for your children and spousal relationships are often severely strained. Getting organized not only allows you to follow through on the commitments you make to the people in your lives but it also lets you create the quality space required to nurture such relationships. Research shows people live longer that socialize more –keep your network of friends.
3. Breathe better. Ninety percent of the average Canadian’s time is spent indoors, and air pollution is often two to five times greater indoors. Dust, dust mites, molds and contaminants from many of our household products trigger adverse reactions in varying degrees for most of us. A cluttered environment makes it difficult to rid our homes of certain irritants and a simplified and back-to-basics approach will often help to create a healthier home. Start with your bedroom because this is where we spend most of our time. De-clutter, have soft furnishings that are easily washed and think carefully about what you allow to be in this very important space.
4. Exercise more. Being disorganized is exhausting but the trouble is it often doesn’t burn any extra calories or have much aerobic value. Studies show that extra stress could actually lead to holding on to some of those calories in storage. Organizing your daily events allows you to plan when an exercise routine will best suit your schedule. Don't try to haphazardly fit your walk, sports activity or gym visit into your schedule. To set yourself up for success, take the time to plan your weekly workout schedule. Keep your workout time written down on your calendar so that you stop procrastinating or assume you will just squeeze your workout in.
5. Eat better. When we start to eliminate toxins and irritants in our homes it is easy to continue this pattern by looking at the foods we eat. Education is key—reading labels shows you what additional additives are in your food and also makes you more aware of calories, fat and fibre. The fuel we feed our bodies determines how they will operate. Providing our bodies with the proper nutrients, unprocessed food and variety in food sources allows us to function more productively. Getting organized allows improved purchase, preparation and meal planning – the key ingredients to a healthier diet.
6. Reduce accidents. An organized home is a safer home. Lessen minor accidents like spills and drops caused by rushing or not having cleared spaces. More dangerous can be a fall, especially for seniors, and the consequences of too much stuff can create the inability to quickly get out in the occurrence of a fire. Also, massive clutter can actually be the root cause of such a deadly event. Car accidents are increased from hurrying because of being late. Studies are also showing the lack of focus while driving and being overtired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
7. Handle loss and emergency. Loss of a loved one or pet, divorce and separation can throw havoc into anyone’s lifestyle. If you are already maxed to the hilt and living in chaos this can become more than one can bear. Being able to access relevant paperwork and important documents is crucial. Also important is emergency planning for storm related consequences like power outages.
8. See clearly. A simplified life allows you see what is really important to you. By eliminating the physical and mental clutter you can focus more, spend more quality time with those you care about and accomplish what might once have only been a dream. No longer will clutter run your life but you will live your life with intent. By organizing and de-cluttering your living spaces and simplifying your lifestyle you can create a new, improved, healthier you.
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© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.