Photo Credit: Wjablow
-Written by SIYP Team
Ever considered the secret to a happy life may be closet organization?
Likely not. But did you know that being disorganized affects your mental and physical health? Likewise, it impacts your ability to achieve your highest potential in many areas of your life.
Many people find when you organize your life – whether that be organizing your home, office, or just organizing your closet and junk drawers – you experience a higher quality of life overall.
In fact, studies have proven organized people are more successful. Whether this is because it helps you feel less stressed and ‘clearer’ or helps to eliminate the burden chaos puts on all your systems, when you get organized, experts say your whole world gets better.
“At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life,” says Eva Selhub, M.D., author of Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer.
Here are some specific ways you may find you improve your life when you organize your life:
People who have an organized life have less stress and depression.
It’s no doubt life as a mom or dad, spouse, executive, office worker, or entrepreneur can be stressful. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in, it can be overwhelming. Furthermore, when you are constantly on the go – striving to be the best everything you can be for everyone else – time for yourself (and especially enjoyment) may be hard to find.
Similarly, when you are stressed – or even just in times of high activity due to the demands placed on you every day – Cortisol in the body increases. Cortisol is necessary for many body functions but is also considered the body’s “stress hormone”. It increases during times of stress to help the body run at this higher level more efficiently. That’s good.
However, the problem comes in to play when Cortisol doesn’t get a chance to return to normal. Eventually, you learn to operate with elevated stress Cortisol at higher than desired levels. Consequently, this is when long-term damage can happen.
When your life is not organized or is disorganized, this can create conscious and unconscious stress. Have you come home exhausted and thought, “I should clean my [fill in the blank] but I just don’t feel like it right now?”
So you don’t. But then you continue to carry that nagging thought in the back of your mind all day/night/weekend long?
That hanging-over-your-head feeling you may acknowledge with awareness or that may linger right below the conscious surface as an emotional “weight”, prevents your body from stress/Cortisol “recovery”. Additionally, when we are mentally disorganized in other areas of our life, the stress is compounded. Therefore, this state of being becomes your new normal.
Furthermore, prolonged stress (and consequently, prolonged high Cortisol) has been shown to contribute to depression.
But there is good news too!
Simply deciding, right here and now to organize your life in whatever ways you need – and then doing it – can start to reverse these states and processes right away!
Likewise, when you organize your life, you eat & exercise better – maybe even lose weight
Similarly, when you get organized, you will feel clearer and more centered. There are many reasons for that but we’ve seen it over and over in our Organize Your Life course. From this place, you will be able to make better decisions. This includes decisions about what you will eat.
A study in Psychology Science found that people with an organized office where 10 times more likely to choose healthy food over bad-for-you food. They determined, as we discussed above, that clutter makes you more stressed and in turn, people turn to “junky” food as a coping mechanism for that stress.
So far, we’ve talked about the benefits of physical organization but what about the benefits when you just become more organized in general?
Most of us have heard that when you write down a goal, achieving that goal becomes much more likely. The same is true with exercise programs. When you plan your exercise program with concrete actions and goals, you are more likely to stick with it. This is a way organizing your life on the whole, has great benefits you may not have considered.
Finally, elevated Cortisol levels – over extended periods of time – make it hard for people to lose weight.
Therefore, eliminate the stress of disorganization and you may find you eliminate some pounds as well!
Here are a few other tangible benefits that you may experience when you organize your life:
- Being organized improves productivity
- You get a higher quality of sleep
- Often, your relationships improve
- You are better able to cope with life’s inevitable challenges
- You find “time” you didn’t know you had that had been “lost” to disorganization
It should now be pretty clear that disorganization comes with some high costs. And organizing your life comes with some great benefits.
What are you waiting for? No better time to get started than the present. Begin by picking one area of your life causing you the most stress or anguish due to disorganization and get started. Clear out the clutter (physically or metaphorically) and just wait and see the nearly ways things that could start to improve for you.