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Get organized for a healthier life

Mind

Now that the holidays are behind us, we can focus our free time on other goals and activities. A good one to tackle is an organized home.  

Most people will admit that they feel better when they’re in a clean, organized space. But did you know that a clean house can actually help move you toward a clean bill of health?  

It turns out that organizing areas like your home and workspace comes with health benefits. Here are a few ways getting organized can make a healthier, happier you. 

Why getting organized is good for you. 

You’ll get a workout. Need an alternative to hitting the gym? Cleaning not only brings you peace of mind, but it is great physical activity. House cleaning can burn more than 100 calories per hour, and moving heavy items and boxes can burn two to three times as much. 

You may sleep better. A clean and well-ordered space can contribute to better sleep. Clearing the “visual noise” helps you relax, while piles of clothes or papers may make you feel more anxious. 

You’ll choose to be better. Being organized helps you improve the choices you make. A study in Psychological Science suggests that working at a clean desk may promote healthier eating. Prior research found that clean environments encourage people to do good things, such as not littering and being more generous toward others. 

How you can tackle organization. 

Thinking about getting organized is easy to do, but putting it into practice can be hard. To make it easier for you, we’ve pulled together four tips for tidying up: 

  1. Make a plan. If you are cleaning a space, don’t start by buying a bunch of organizational containers. You need to focus on what you want to accomplish first. Make a game plan and start small. Jumping from room to room in your house, or drawer to drawer in your desk, may thwart your plans before you’ve really started.  
  2. Clear the clutter. Once you’ve figured out where to begin and gathered some supplies (such as a garbage bag for trash), it’s time to decide what stays and what goes. Make separate piles for keepers, trash and donations. Ask yourself if an item fulfills a purpose, or if it’s a duplicate of something you already have.  
  3. Put it in its place. Next you need to put items where they belong. For items you don’t need on a daily basis, store them in containers. (Now is the time to buy some if you need them.) For items like medical records and bills, you’ll be shredding some and filing others. If you don’t have a filing cabinet, try using a portable filing box. 
  4. Work as you go. Deal with clutter as it happens. One major culprit is mail. Handle it each day as it comes in, or consider going paperless and filing copies in folders on your computer. For your daily life, a physical or digital calendar can keep you from missing appointments. Find a system that works, then stick with it. 

Want to make more positive changes?  

It’s never too late to set positive goals for your life. Check out four other tips that encourage happiness.