May 30, 2012
Cleaning and organizing all year round
Keeping your home organized can help lower your stress levels
Once a year, many people scour their homes—deep cleaning and getting rid of items they haven't used or worn in years. However, people who clean and stay organized throughout the year are more likely to be happy, healthy and financially comfortable.
"I see clients every day who are extremely stressed due to the level of disorganization in their life," said Lisa Zaslow, professional organizer and owner of Gotham Organizers. "If you keep your home organized, with a minimal level of clutter, you'll see a number of benefits above and beyond being able to see your floor."
What are the other areas of your life that benefit from being organized?
Emotional. A high level of disorganization can lead to excessive stress. Zaslow helped one client reorganize her home, and afterward the client "woke up happy, instead of stressed like before."
Health. An organized home is cleaner, keeping germ and bacteria levels to a minimum.
Financial. You'd be surprised how many people have money in old purses when I come to help them get organized," said Zaslow. Additionally, being organized means you'll be on top of paperwork—one missed credit card payment can rack up late fees, increase your interest rate and affect your credit score.
Knowing that there are all these additional benefits, how can you get started? According to Zaslow, it doesn't matter where you start, so begin with the easiest or most annoying task.
• Cull through closets and storage to find items that you're no longer using and get rid of them, like gadgets, last season's clothes or collectibles.
• Box up excessive paperwork or magazines and label them "Items to sort" as the first step. It will make you feel better to know the process has begun.
• Organize one room at a time to make the task less overwhelming. Making yourself a schedule of which room comes next helps show your progress.
Finally, "Think of it as a treasure hunt. You'll find something that you've been missing and something you didn't even know you had," said Zaslow.
—North American Precis Syndicate Inc.