Organize your way to wellness |

Organize your way to wellness

Betsy Van Cohen / Special to the Tribune

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths” — Etty Hillesum

Wellness is described as the union of mind, body and spirit. Your state of organization is a part of that union. Being organized is the ability to find or accomplish something when needed. If you are constantly late because you had two more things to do before you went out the door, or you waste time every day searching for “lost” items, the union of your mind, body and spirit will never be complete. Your state of wellness will suffer.

Yet, how can we take a deep breath while surrounded by clutter and chaos? Clutter and chaos cause our breathing to become shallow and we can’t think straight. Panic and unhealthy chemical changes occur involuntarily in our bodies. Our sense of well-being flies right out the window. This is the moment when we need a deep breath the most. Yet, it is often the last thing we can think about. In order to bring wellness back into our lives we should remember the slogan of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO): “Good things happen when you get organized.”

Here are three steps you can take to organize your way to wellness.

1. Don’t rush. Good health begins with peace and harmony. A deep breath only takes moments, yet it gives us that time to consider our plan of action, a moment to reflect, an instant of visualization. Are we going to plow through the mess and just get through the bare necessities, all the while feeling resentful that there is no time to clean up before we begin? Or are we going to clean up first and lose time for the things that have to be done, while feeling resentful that this clutter is costing us time we don’t have? Or are we going to figure out a plan of how to do both, loving what we are doing while we are doing it? A deep breath allows us time to see things we never thought were possible. You’re organizing your way to wellness.

2. De-clutter. It’s a process. It didn’t happen in a day. It will take more than a day to achieve. If you stick to the “one in and two out rule”, little by little, bit by bit, you’ll achieve your goal. Wherever you begin – and it doesn’t matter where that is – start small: a drawer, a shelf, the trunk of your car. It’s better for your health because it’s manageable and something you can achieve in a short amount of time. You will be successful. You will feel good about yourself and your space. You’re organizing your way to wellness.

3. Enjoy. Accentuate the positive. Look at the progress you are making. Dance, laugh, sing and smile while you are getting organized. You are doing a good thing. Stop for a moment and admire your work. Pat yourself on the back. Feel the joy in accomplishing so much more than just getting organized. You are opening up breathing room, space for good health to flourish and wellness to grow. You’re organizing your way to wellness.

— Betsy Van Cohen is an author and professional organizer. The name of her business is Hands on Organizers. Contact her at (530) 541-7374 or see

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