People often assume that the goal of being organized is to have a nice house, or to be productive. But did you ever think about how your organizing skills can help you live a healthy life? I’m sure you have noticed that the opposite is true. Those who live in a cluttered home with no organizational skills can’t clean or cook a meal from scratch for obvious reasons. I mean, did you ever see the people on Hoarders? Do any of them look healthy? So I started to think about what organizing can do to improve your health. I know it has helped me and my family in many situations. Starting with the most basic, leading to more complicated situations here are some motivations to get organized for your health:
- An uncluttered house is easier to clean. Clutter collects dust, holds heat and attracts grease in the kitchen, mold in wet areas. Some clutter can actually be a fire hazard. The less you have, the less you have to dust! And if you can’t see your rug, you can’t vacuum it either.
- A refrigerator that is packed so full you can’t see anything is not a healthy place to store food. Leftovers become moldy if you forget they are there. If grabbing a healthy snack from the frig is difficult, you may just go for chips. Not to mention you are probably buying too much of what you already have. Keep like things together so you can see what you have. Label clear square containers of leftovers and use them fast. Make it easy to grab a piece of fruit or make a salad.
- For kids with food allergies you’ve got to be organized about where you put food and who has access. When my son was younger and had 21 food allergies, he had his own snack drawer down low. We also maintained a rotation diet with a chart on the refrigerator, and had clear instructions printed out for any babysitter.
- If anyone in your home has a chronic illness where medicine is required, it is vital to know when and how much to take on a daily basis. It’s also important to know when prescriptions need to be refilled. If you buy things in 6 month increments, you can mark your planner way in advance on when to restock or refill prescriptions. Expired medications should be tossed and all current ones kept together for easy access.
- For children with chronic conditions, medicinal and emergency instructions (especially for diabetics) should be printed up and carried with them and their supplies at all times. I know this from taking care of my sister who was diabetic and from my son’s friend in preschool. Taking blood sugars and dosing out insulin is a precise science.
- As far as preventative maintenance of your health, routines really come into play. Exercising, taking vitamins and going for check-ups all fall under healthy routines. If you don’t plan it – it’s not going to happen! With the summer months coming, add to that list: using sunscreen (that has not expired) and checking for ticks are other healthy routines we all should adopt.
- When you do have a major illness or hospitalization your paper organizing skills will be challenged! Believe me, I had a heart operation last year and had to deal with the bills and paperwork a month into my recuperating. My husband’s idea was to sit on the bills for a few months. That wasn’t making me feel comfortable so I laid them all out on the table one night, put them in chronological order, got rid of duplicate bills and started to add up what we had to pay. Once my deductible was met, I didn’t pay anymore bills but rather called my insurance company and asked them to handle it. It would have been very easy to just keep writing checks, but we would have paid way more than necessary. I even called the hospital to get a sizeable refund which they were sitting on!
On a final note, when I was hospitalized and out of commission last year, it was nice to know that my family continued our weekly routines and my kids know how to do laundry, make a meal and take care of their own hygiene. If a mom does everything, the house falls apart when she is not there. It’s not perfect, but it is functional. I was proud that my kids and husband could function without me and I could just focus on getting well.