For some people, being organized comes so naturally to them. For others, it is easier said than done. Why does being organized matter? How is being organized related to our quality of life? Being organized is more than having a tidy house, clean car, or an office that looks like it belongs in a container store advertisement. In addition to the benefit of everything having a place or space where anyone could easily locate items, being organized has many health and wellness benefits!
According to Dr. Eva Selhub, “At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life.” By clearing away the clutter it can help you to reduce stress and depression, make healthier choices, improve your relationships, and even get a better night of sleep.
Reduce Stress: Research recognizes that our environment impacts our perception of well-being. Environments that are crowded, cluttered, or noisy have been shown to impact our mood and overall health. In one study(PDF), women who used the words “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” to describe their living environments, were more depressed, felt more fatigued, and had higher levels of stress hormones, as compared to women who described their home as “restful” and “restorative.” For many, having some organization in our environment allows us to feel more in control of our surroundings and boosts our energy.
Healthier Choices: Organization is more than books neatly lined up in a row, it is also pre-planning. Simple things like planning your meals and snacks can help you decrease impulsive eating and encourage you to choose healthier food options. In an article in Psychology Science, researchers found clutter causes a stressful reaction for the brain. This can result in overeating and overindulging in comfort foods. Organizing your schedule can also help you stay on track with your physical fitness goals. Defining time in your schedule for your workouts (leg day, cardio day, etc) helps keep you accountable and on track to achieve your goals.
Improve Relationships: A messy house may cause you or someone in your household embarrassment. When you feel embarrassed about your home you are less likely to invite others into your home, decreasing your opportunities to socialize. Having too much in your environment can also result in tension and conflict between friends and family, especially when organization comes naturally to one person and is valued, but not valued by the other. Being organized also helps you to keep your commitments. A simple calendar can help you keep appointments, meet deadlines, and decrease the frustration of last-minute surprises.
Better Sleep: Make your bed. If my mom said it once, she said it a million times…and she was right! The National Sleep Foundation found that 75% of people reported a better night of sleep when they had fresh, clean sheets and people who make their beds daily were 19% more likely to report they regularly get a good night’s rest. In addition to a tidy bed, your room should be a restful space that allows you to relax and let go of any chaos of the day. Clearing away the clutter can help you sleep longer and deeper more nights.
No matter if you are naturally organized or not, I encourage you to start this month off by organizing something you’ve been wanting to tackle because even small steps will make a difference in helping to clear your mind, reduce stress, and get better sleep.