Clutter and Your Health
Most experts agree that getting organized is good for your health. “People don’t eat well because their kitchen isn’t functional, and they don’t sleep well because their beds are piled with stuff,” noted Lynne Johnson, a professional organizer from Quincy, Mass., who is president of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. “I don’t see chronic disorganization ever becoming a medical diagnosis, but it is a contributing factor to noncompliance to taking meds and keeping appointments and being able to do exercise and eat well and all those things that so contribute to having a healthy life.”
Clutter and disorganization impair productivity and are time-consuming–often resulting in decreased feelings of well-being. Even on the simplest levels. For instance, I know that on the mornings when we can’t find my daughter’s specific pair of Mary-Janes required for the day, we will spend too long hunting, be late leaving for school, and what should have been a leisurely look-at-that-cute-fuzzy-squirrel walk turns into a come-on-come-on-zippity-do-dah-we’re-going-to-be-late walk. That’s not fun, and I know that because I was sloppy with the shoes, I lost out on a nice experience with my kids. The sheer stress of a cluttered life means we may miss deadlines, work longer hours, and lose important stuff.
One last tidbit from The New York Times article: Many experts say that too often people approach clutter and disorganization as a space problem that can be solved by acquiring bins and organizers. Measures like these “are based on the concept that this is a house problem,” said David F. Tolin, director of the anxiety disorders center at the Institute of Living in Hartford and an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Yale. “It isn’t a house problem,” he went on. “It’s a person problem. The person needs to fundamentally change their behavior.”