Although it’s not quite Spring Cleaning time, the weather is too cold for most of us to plan for outdoor activities. With that being said, why not use this time to get yourself organized? While I consider myself very organized, deep down I definitely have a small hoarding issue—it’s a problem that effects between five and 14 million Americans1! Recently, I started going through my apartment and getting rid of anything and everything I could, and I encourage you to do the same.
In recognition of Get Organized Month, let’s chat and chew about the benefits of being organized and some DIY tips to help get you started.
Some of the Facts
- 80% of what we keep we never use.2
- A survey conducted by Ikea reported that, on average, people spend 6 minutes looking for their KEYS in the morning.3
- Americans spend 9 million hours each day looking for things.4
- In an average home, getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 percent of housework.4
- 23% of adults pay bills late and incur fees because they misplace their bills.4,5
- Feel less stressed. When you’re in a rush and can’t find something, your blood pressure goes up, as does your stress level. This not only affects your health, it can negatively impact your mood. Relationships can be tested if arguments arise over lost items, forgotten errands, missed appointments, and messy spaces. When you live (and work) in an organized space, everything has its place, greatly decreasing the likelihood of misplacing something.
- Spend more time with family. When you’re not spending every spare moment cleaning or looking for something, it opens up a lot of free time. Whether it’s watching a movie, making dinner together, or playing a game, by being organized, you have the ability to devote more time to the people that matter most.
- Regiment your medications better. Being organized does not stop at the front door; you can take these new found skills on the road as well. If you have a busy life and often forget to take your medication(s), either set an alarm or try an app like MedCoach, which sends reminders to your smartphone when it’s time to take a vitamin or prescription. You can easily stay on top of your medication(s) by using a pill-sorting container from your local pharmacy as well.
- Exercise more often. While I sometimes use my bathtub as a second closet, others might look to their treadmill for another clothing rack. This is a big no-no because now the treadmill is less accessible. When you have to search for exercise equipment, running shoes, or a DVD, the chances of working out greatly decrease. When you can easily pack a bag to hit the gym after work, you are less likely to make excuses about why you can’t go.
- Have healthier eating habits. When you have snacks lying around the kitchen, or worse, a highly disorganized cabinet system, your motivation to cook (and clean) goes out the window. When you opt for quick, easy-to-grab snacks, or you eat out often, you’re filling your body with empty calories and larger portions than if you were to prepare a meal instead. Growing up, my dad used to make a meal plan for our family—between practices, piano lessons, and the general chaos three daughters can cause, it helped everyone stay on schedule and eat healthier (i.e. less fast food).
- Have a cleaner home. One of the major benefits being organized can have is a better living environment. When you have junk lying around, it collects dust, or worse—a study in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology found that ordinary house dust may contain arsenic, decomposing insects, pollen, human skin, fecal matter from dust mites, and even DDT. Eliminating clutter means eliminating all the above.
People have become very creative with how they recycle items for storage around the house. These storage and organizing ideas are ideal for hallways and small spaces, while ice cube trays can be used to store jewelry or smaller knickknacks. For more ideas, check out this list of 58 creative home organizing tips and DIY projects!
While taking on a big project like organizing your house can be daunting, no one said it had to be done in a day. Chunk out the process one room at a time—the progress will seem slow, but the reward will be worth it! Have some organizing tips of your own? Share with us below! Check out our Pinterest board with more DIY projects as well.
- Scientific American
- National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)
- Ikea (via the Organizing Boutique)
- American Demographics Society (via Simply Orderly)
- Harris Interactive