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De-Clutter Your Way to Health: No Needle Required for This Flu Vaccine!

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As we enter cold and flu season, you may be surprised to learn that clearing the clutter out of your home might be your key to a healthy winter. Researchers are finding more and more evidence that too much stuff in our houses negatively impacts our lives. According to Elinor Ochs, who led a ten-year study at UCLA, “These objects that we bring in the house are not inert. They have consequences.”

Contrary to popular belief, especially heading into the holiday season, owning more goods does not make us happier. There is a tipping point at which our possessions cause us stress instead of joy. Some clues you’ve reached that critical mass include:

•  You cannot quickly and easily find the things you need.

•  Arguments with your partner about clutter have become a way of life.

•  Looking around your house causes you to feel overwhelmed and heavy.

•  The thought of a friend dropping by unexpectedly causes terror in your heart and a tightness in your chest.

Living this way day in and day out over time takes its toll: on your spirit, your energy and your relationships. Eventually, it also affects your health.

But there is hope! Every day commit to getting rid of ten things. Stash a give-away bag in your hall closet and toss items you no longer need or want into it as you run across them. Have a friend come over and help you purge those clothes that are out of style, don’t fit and were never the right color for you anyway. Learn to love the sound of the shredder as you rid your home office of stacks of paper.

Start now reclaiming your space and your life, for the sake of your mental and physical health. ■

Clutter and Health
There are several ways a cluttered home makes us more likely to get sick.

• Chronic stress and anxiety impact the level of cortisol in our bodies and this suppresses the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria.

• Our coping mechanisms often involve low-nutrient comfort foods and/or alcohol, neither of which provide the vitamins and minerals our immune system requires to prevent disease and heal the body.

• Feeling overwhelmed, worried and shameful can impact our ability to sleep. Getting the proper amount of quality sleep every night is vital to maintaining a strong immune system.


Written by: Joanie Nicholas

Organizing Coach Joanie Nicholas, owner of All Things Organized, is not an ordinary organizer. She approaches your home from a soulful place. For over 20 years, Joanie has led people across the metro area in creating lasting, positive changes to their space. Joanie brings professional guidance, enthusiasm, empathy and humor to her hands-on work with each client. Connect with her at, or by phone at 913-390-3432. For regular tips and inspiration for your home projects, follow All Things Organized on Facebook and @ATOJoanie on Twitter.