From Clutter to Calories: How Tidiness Can Keep You Trim
It seems intuitive that clutter causes stress: When I’m messy, I get crabby. But did you know clutter actually impacts your health? In addition to stress, clutter leads to weight gain, fatigue, and depression.
The reason clutter affects so much is simple. Clutter causes stress; stress causes increased cortisol production and excess cortisol impacts health. When your body makes extra cortisol, you tire quickly and crave sugar. You also store more fat. Combine these factors and clutter actually makes us gain weight.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining. When approached correctly, clutter is manageable.
One tactic for avoiding clutter and its effects is the One Minute Rule: Do not procrastinate on one-minute tasks. It’s tempting to toss your coat onto a chair or let filing pile up on your desk. However, accomplishing one-minute tasks as they arise results in general tidiness and reduced clutter.
Another clutter control tactic is the Five Boxes Method. Label five boxes Trash, Give Away/Sell, Keep, Sentimental, and Not Sure. Then go through a closet or other cluttered area, placing objects in the appropriate box. When you’re done you can get rid of the Trash and Give Away/Sell boxes, store the Sentimental objects, and put the Keep items away in an orderly fashion. Seal up the Not Sure box, store it in the basement or the attic, and give it away unopened in a year. If you haven’t needed the contents in a year you’re not likely to miss them, and if you leave the box unopened you won’t be tempted to save the items again!
The biggest benefit of the One Minute Rule and Five Box Method is that they encourage general tidiness. A base level of tidiness encourages peace of mind and leaves you energetic to tackle bigger tasks.
The One Minute Rule and the Five Boxes method are great for preserving tidiness, but what if you have trouble creating a tidy base? Consider help! The Riley Group is a team of professionals who specialize in helping people maintain order. They can also assist with the bigger tasks that follow general tidiness. For more information, visit www.therileygroup.info or email email@example.com.
 Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP. “Adrenal Health in Women.” http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/default.aspx.
 Christine A. Maglione-Garves; Len Kravitz, Ph.D; Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D. “Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight.” http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/stresscortisol.html.
 Gretchen Rubin. The Happiness Project. http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/06/video-want-to-keep-clutter-under-control-follow-the-oneminute-rule.html.
Submitted by Emily Sandusky, The Riley Group, Tampa for Spa50.