Is there chronic disorder in your home? You know the papers, files, books, articles of clothes rammed into the drawers and the other arbitrary items peeking out from beneath the bed? Be honest right now because clutter can truly harm you. No, really, it can. Excessive clutter is bad for your physical health. Besides the fire hazard and you tripping over things on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, there is mold, pet dander, dust mites and bugs hiding in your clutter that can lead to health problems. Disorganization is stressful for the brain as well. "So you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,” Eva Selhub, M.D., author of Your Health Destiny said. By making small changes with less clutter, we can find a sense of calm in our lives and who doesn't need more of this? Here are 6 reasons why becoming organized is so vital to your well-being.
It decreases stress.
When a home is full of clutter or filled with unfinished projects people will become more depressed because it's a stark reminder that they failed to meet a goal. A study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who felt disorganized had "Flatter diurnal slopes of cortisol, a profile associated with adverse health outcomes." The findings were relevant because lower cortisol causes depression, anxiety and mood disorders and if it's linked to disorganization, it shows the value of having order in our lives. When your home consists of piles of laundry, tasks and lists of things to do, it's no wonder the cortisol sags. This not only spoils your peace, but it can trouble your sleep because the mind can't settle down due to the incomplete tasks surrounding you. Also, if you're a person prone to anxiety, being disorganized can set you off into a wicked cycle. The average room contains over 1,500 visible objects. This in addition to being disorganized, may set you up for more anxiety.
It makes you productive.
"A lot of people express that they are overwhelmed (with their clutter)," Lynne Gilberg, a professional organizer explained in an interview with webmd.com. This leads to additional procrastination and confusion because of their avoidance. Another reason for this is that being unorganized lessens decision-making skills because you just keep dodging the mayhem and folks just become nonfunctional. Soon, it will be a neverending cycle. Start off small like clearing the clutter off of your desk at work. This will make you more productive during the day and when you see the benefits, you will start doing this in other areas in life.
It creates a clean environment.
With piles of paper, clothes or trash hanging around, mites can thrive in this environment. "Dust mites are tiny microscopic relatives of the spider and live on mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets," Medicine.net reported. Dust allergy symptoms are similar to pollen allergies where the sufferer will experience itchy and watery eyes. Dust can also contribute to the reduction of air quality and may lead to further allergies in people.
It improves your health.
A lack of structure in your life can lead to depression, high blood pressure, ulcers, heart disease and weight gain. Since clutter stresses the brain out, it looks for ways to cope and one of those ways is soliciting comfort by eating. "You’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,” Dr. Selhub calculated. Researchers conclude there is a nexus between the disorder in a person's environment and the over-consumption of food. But by simply having a more efficient system to keep track of everything, you can help minimize the perils to your health.
It helps you sleep and to stay alert.
Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that people with cluttered homes were more tired and could not focus for a long time. The conclusion was there is a connection between clutter, a lack of sleep and a lack of attention. They found that if you want to focus and process information as effectively as possible, you need to remove the disorder from your home and work environment. "This research shows that you will be less irritable, more productive, distracted less often, and able to process information better with an uncluttered and organized home and office." But there is more to this saga. The study touched on how being unorganized impairs cognitive function and makes it harder to learn. It affects perception, memory, performance, attention and creates other health intricacies. Howard M.D., Chief Medical Editor at Harvard Health wrote that the lack of sleep hinders the brain by adding more protein. “People who are persistently sleep deprived are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowed blood vessels. Each of these can decrease blood flow inside the brain. Brain cells need a lot of oxygen and sugar, so blood flow problems could affect their ability to work properly.” A lack of sleep will feed depression, mood disorders and makes disorganization seem insurmountable. The bottom line here is to get organized, it's simply not worth the hassle, the lack of sleep or endangering your health.
It helps you know where things are.
When organizing you might find an uncashed check, jewelry, gifts and other items that you missed. There have been plenty of items people found that they thought were taken or lost. One friend found a diamond trinket in the corner of a room behind stacked boxes. One never knows what you will find, and this might prompt you to become more organized.
With schedules being so cramped, organizing our lives takes a backseat. By minimizing our material things and cleaning up our clutter, we can transform our happiness and our overall wellness. Being organized doesn't have to be an ambiguous thing, nor does it have to be a grave concept. Messy places and workspaces seem innocent, but a disorganized space creates too many problems in the long run. Develop a habit of folding laundry when it's ready, unpack the dishwasher promptly and tackle small tasks like vacuuming the living room when you see something on the floor. Using small bursts of energy towards tasks will make you more productive instead of spending an entire day dedicated to one thing and we know this only constitutes even more procrastination.