You might not realize it but your health can depend on your ability to keep your home and work space organized and clutter free.
In my experience, one of the greatest barriers to healthy habits is lack of time.
When you get rid of the clutter you can reap the benefits of healthier relationships, better sleep, more productivity and even weight loss.
According to a study in the journal of Psychological Science, people who worked in a neat environment for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose an apple over a candy bar than those who worked in a messy environment for the same amount of time. Ten minutes!
Clutter is stressful for your brain and can cause you to resort to coping mechanisms like comfort foods, fast foods and even overeating.
There are many reasons to stay organized and clutter free but here are my top 4 reasons that being a neat freak can improve your health.
It can improve your Relationships.
Being in a happy relationship with your family and friends is key to warding off depression and disease.
As humans, we’re supposed to be with other humans. We are not meant to be alone. I’m not talking about ‘alone time’ – something we all need to regroup and regenerate.
And I’m not saying it’s not okay to live alone.
Think about when someone drops in on you and your house is a mess. You’re less likely to invite friends and family over to eat, watch movies and socialize when your house is cluttered and unorganized.
Even if you live alone it is critical to have healthy, happy relationships.
Clutter can create anxiety and chaos and can take a toll on any relationship or perspective relationship.
Being organized can also save you money (which is good for any relationship!) because you’ll know where everything is and you won’t waste time and money looking for or buying things you already have but don’t know where they are. Awesome!
It has the ability to boost your productivity.
Clutter distracts us.
In fact, looking at too many things at once can overload your visual cortex and mess with your brain’s ability to process information.
Think about sitting at a clean, organized desk as compared to a desk stacked with books, papers, trash, paper clips or whatever else might be hiding in the mountains of stuff that you haven’t bothered to organize.
Your work space is a wonderful place to start. It’s usually a much smaller space than your home and therefore easier to manage.
It will help you sleep better.
Think about how you feel when you walk into your bedroom and the bed is made, the floors are clean and clutter free. Now think about walking into your bedroom and the bed is exactly how you left it this morning, sheets and pillows bunched up and hanging on the floor, clothes, shoes, socks, towels, books, trash, coins and whatever else might be there – all waiting to welcome you to a restful night’s sleep.
You might be used to a messy room and you might also think that it doesn’t affect you but believe me, your brain knows. I have a friend who travels every week for business and she tells me that she sleeps so much better on the road than at home in her own bed.
This is a close friend and I know that she never makes her bed at home and her bedroom has stacks of clothes and books everywhere.
It’s no surprise that she sleeps better when walks into a clean hotel room with freshly made beds every single day.
Look at it this way – less mess equals less stress and will automatically result in a better night’s sleep.
It can help you lose weight and get in shape.
Think about someone you know who keeps a record of their workouts, their progress and even tracks what they eat.
They probably have a neat home and work environment as well. There are always the exceptions but it’s more than likely that they are organized.
People who set goals and record their progress usually stick with their healthy lifestyle plans than those who just wing it
You’ve gotta have a plan.
Preferably one that’s written down. Tracking is power.
Also being in a clean, clutter free kitchen can make it a stress free environment to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family.
You won’t make a snap decision to run out for fast food because you simply can’t deal with the mess.
I know that this is a big, overwhelming topic for some people.
Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that ‘I am just fine in my messy house, thank you very much’ and it’s comfortable for you.
Bringing organization to your life is one of those really good habits that brings a physical feeling of calmness to your mind and body.
It automatically starts a brilliant chain reaction of health, wealth, wellness and freedom.
So go free yourself. Don’t let unorganized ‘stuff’ weigh you down.
Here are a couple of great tips to get you started.
Start with one room at a time. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff away or donate to charity. You live in a world of abundance.
When you hang on to stuff you don’t need it sends a message to your brain that there is scarcity.
If you have clothes in your closet with the tags still on them, they have to go. They don’t really belong to you because you haven’t even bothered taking the tags off. Unless you bought them yesterday. If you have clothes with tags that have been hanging in your closet for a year – come on already.
Don’t save all the sizes of the rainbow for your fat and skinny times. This tells your brain it’s okay to spend your life yo-yoing.
Try this one great tip from the wonderful book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.
Physically hold each item you own and ask yourself…”Does this Spark Joy?” If it doesn’t quite literally SPARK JOY – then clear it from you life.
It is a process. And a beautiful one.
Living your life to its full potential and being healthy and fit can depend on you and your ability to get and stay organized.
So, in conclusion, being organized can do these amazing things for you and your health.
It will save you money because you’ll know what you have or don’t have.
You’ll prepare and eat better food because you’ll simply want to be in your nice, clean kitchen putting healthy food in your body.
You’ll sleep better because just looking at that lusciously made bed will fill your soul with joy!
You’ll be more productive at work because you won’t be overwhelmed by the simple clutter of it all.
You’ll be healthier, fitter and happier. It’s really all about having more time for yourself and allowing you to live a more balanced life.
To the neat freak in all of us.
Thanks for reading.
Much love, Jane Barlow