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Is Being Organized Healthy?

By Karen McElhatton

organizedPeople often ask me how I can teach them to be organized. You can learn to be organized, but to a great extent, you have to want to make changes in how you think about your life in an organized manner. Organizational changes don’t happen overnight, but it is possible to create systems that work for your life.

Is being organized healthy? Yes. Clutter makes life more difficult, as it increases stress and crowds your space physically and mentally. You want to have a good amount of harmony in your personal and work environment with positive energy moving through the space.  This allows for creativity and eliminates that feeling of dread every time you enter a space with too much clutter. The hardest part for some of my clients is letting someone else into their space as they feel they are losing control, and/or are reluctant to let go of items they no longer need. I work with clients to overcome these fears and move into a less cluttered existence.

Some years ago, I was seated on a plane next to a physician who conducted geriatric research. We began discussing why, as we age, we begin to forget. At that time, I was barely in my forties, but I still found that I was forgetful at times. Some people call them “senior moments,” but was I headed for dementia? The physician assured me I was fine. He explained that our brains are like computers and we need to delete information that is no longer useful. As we age, the files we have created in our brain are overloaded with useless information.

It occurred to me that organizing your environment is similar in concept – do we really need to keep everything we encounter during our life? Probably not — and organizing your space is a healthy step forward.

Growing up, my mother had a strict tradition that before the end of the year, our home had to be cleaned from top to bottom, and all closets, drawers, garage, etc., had to be in order. She felt this created a “clean” beginning for the new year. While I don’t expect anyone to begin this tradition, processing what to “keep,” “donate to charity,” “and toss” was a great feeling.

My point is, by making your environment healthy, you can make yourself healthier too.  No matter when you begin the process of organizing, big and small changes will make a huge difference in how you feel!

Karen McElhatton is a professional organizer with Let’s Organize Now. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and can be reached at 760.899.5444 or Organizer@LetsOrganizeNow.biz

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