7 Health Benefits of Being Organized

Being organized will give you more time to exercise and eat better.Think that being stressed out over household disorganization is just a minor thing? Think again! According to the American Psychological Association, high stress levels and unhealthy coping behaviors may put us at risk for a public health crisis. Learn how de-cluttering can de-stress your life and improve your overall health with tips from Lorie Marrero, professional organizer and creator of the Clutter Diet.

1. Reduced Financial Stress

When you misplace bills, pay late fees, and replace important lost items, unnecessary costs add up quickly. Disorganization may not only cost you money, it can also lead to financial stress, which may ultimately affect your relationships. At minimum, establish a home for all incoming bills and designate one day a week to pay them. If you are looking for a more sophisticated method to manage your finances, consider a budgeting tool like those available at Mint.com or Manilla.com.

2. Minimized Personal Conflicts

The health benefits of marriage are so high that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started a $5 million national media campaign to promote good relationships. But when your relationships are strained due to arguments over lost items, missed appointments, forgotten errands, cluttered spaces, disorganization is affecting your life more than it should. These conflicts may even affect your sex life.

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3. Increased "Me" Time

Enjoying leisure activities, like painting class, is positively linked with health and wellbeing, according to a 2009 study at the University of Pittsburgh. But if you can't cram one more thing into your schedule, you may want to get organized. Every minute you spend running last-minute errands or locating your keys, means less time to take up a new hobby or relax with a cup of tea. And activities that reduce your stress and add to your happiness contribute tremendously to your mental and physical health.

4. Fewer Missed Medications

If you often forget to take a prescribed medication, supplement, or even vitamin, there are tools to help. Apps like MedCoach send reminders from your smartphone, or you can schedule calls or text messages with software like OnTimeRx. A weekly pill-sorting container from your local pharmacy can help you set up appropriate dosages in advance.

5. More Time for Exercise

Does your treadmill look more like a clothes rack than an exercise machine? You're less likely to work out when equipment is not accessible and items like dumbbells, DVDs, and shoes are hard to locate. Packing a proper gym bag in the morning (or night before) prevents you from making excuses about exercising after work. This kind of planning motivates you to work out, making it easier to build muscles and shed excess pounds.

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6. Better Diet

If it's true that you are what you eat, then you don't want to be a bag of chips or a bucket of fried chicken. Without proper meal planning, you're more likely to impulsively eat, snack on empty calories, and cook with the foods lying around your kitchen (which are probably not fresh ingredients like lean meats or produce). Dining out usually leads to larger portions and more calories, higher fat, and increased sodium, as you are not the one preparing the meal. Spend a few minutes each weekend to plan dinners and stock up on healthy groceries. Take time every morning to pack a nutritious lunch and snacks for the day.

7. A Healthier Home

That knickknack collection is gathering a lot of dust. A study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that ordinary house dust may contain arsenic, decomposing insects, pollen, human skin, fecal matter from dust mites, and even DDT. Clutter poses a challenge to keeping a house clean. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, removing excess clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home.

How has being organized benefited your health? Let me know in the comments!

-By Lorie Marrero

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