Being organized reduces stress. Every time you can’t find something you need regularly — bills, correspondence, phone numbers, schedules, files, case notes, catalogs, articles, photographs, clean clothes, supplies— your stress level rises, not to mention your blood pressure. When you know where to look to find what you’re looking for, you give your mind, your body and your soul the best chance to be relaxed, happy and stress-free.
Being organized gives you time to eat better. If you think you don’t have time to eat nutritious meals every day, and instead you wolf down fast food and other convenience meals, you’re taking a big risk with your health. When you’re organized, you will have the time you need (and you don’t need hours) to prepare and eat well-balanced, healthy meals.
Organized living and working spaces reduce accidents. When your home or office is full of clutter, you’re at a much higher risk for an unexpected fall from tripping over something on the floor, or a fire caused by piles of papers and magazines, or beverage spills because there are no surfaces available to place a cup or glass, or someone getting clobbered because when the closet is opened, stuff comes crashing down… When you’re organized, your home and office are safer and nicer places to be.
Being organized can make you & others happier. When your life is disorganized, it not only affects you, it can adversely affect the people around you–like your family, friends and co-workers. For instance, perhaps your daughter is always late for rehearsal because you can’t get your schedule under control. Maybe you can never find a clean shirt because the laundry is piled to the ceiling. Perhaps your co-workers are mad at you because you can’t find the message you took for them. These types of problems cause tension at a minimum, and can escalate into big problems in relationships. When you decide to get yourself organized so that you can live a more intentional life, you and the people around you can spend less time being frustrated, and more time being productive and happier.
Being organized gives you time to exercise. In order to have optimum health, most people need to exercise. When your home and office are organized, it’s much easier to build exercise into your daily routine–no matter how busy you are. (And just think how much happier both you and your dogs would be if you made time to take walks together more often.)
Being organized lets you breathe better. When your home or office is cluttered, it probably needs cleaning also, but it’s difficult to clean when there’s clutter strewn about. According to the American Lung Association, one of the most effective ways to control asthma and allergy triggers is to reduce the dust in your indoor environments. When you organize your space and remove the clutter, it is easier to vacuum and dust.
Getting organized is a gift to yourself & those you love. Attitudes are contagious, including stress. Children who live with parents who dash madly from place to place, who grab whatever is handy and fast to eat, and who leave their stuff in piles everywhere they go will learn to live this way. Being disorganized and living in clutter is exhausting and discouraging for everyone. Learning to value yourself and your space enough to take the time to learn to live more intentionally, to put things away before moving on to the next activity, is a gift to yourself and everyone you love.
Text adapted from the Get Organized Now website, 9/8/07.
Original block prints © Jesse Larsen