For the past 16 years, I’ve been lucky enough to work on TV organizing hundreds of homes and helping thousands of people get organized. Fortunately for me, many of them have stayed in touch with me long after the cameras stopped rolling.

Many write to me afterwards to tell me about the large unexpected changes in their lives.One of the most common comments that I receive from people is how much healthier they feel after getting organized. That healthy feeling has led many of them to lose weight.

woman is packing backpack in a messy room

Not Just About Stuff, It’s About You

The key to getting organized is to understand that clutter is not just about the “stuff”. Decluttering and organizing a space will affect every area of your life—including your health.

A recent survey conducted by SpareFoot found that 58 percent of Americans believed getting their home organized would help them get their diet organized. Millennials felt even stronger about the subject: 72 percent agreed that an organized home would lead to an organized diet.

There’s no doubt in my mind that there is a link between the things we own and the quality of our lives, and the survey results are a testament to that. This is simply common sense.

It’s impossible to live a happy, healthy and focused life in a cluttered, messy and disorganized home. Clutter creates confusion, stress, and at worst a sense of feeling totally overwhelmed and paralyzed. It’s hard to feel motivated, welcomed or encouraged to make healthy choices in a cluttered kitchen.  A sense of control (either in your home or in your life) is the basis for feeling focused and motivated. At its simplest, being organized enables you to make nutritious and health-enhancing choices.

More than half say getting home organized would get diet on track

Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight

I released a book last year entitled “Lose The Clutter, Lose The Weight”. The book presents a 6-week plan for decluttering your home while at the same time creating a healthier life through better diet, increased exercise and a mindfulness component.

Twenty-five test panelists were recruited to trial the six-week program. On average participants lost 3 inches from their waists, 2.5 inches from their hips, and on average, lost more than 10 pounds each.

Perhaps more amazingly, scores on the test panelists’ emotional and psychological measures significantly improved. Overall their self-esteem and energy levels were low at the start of the trial. By the end of the six-week program, their scores on the clutter questionnaire dropped on average by nearly half, and scores on all other emotional and psychological measures also significantly improved.

Senior couple having fun in kitchen cooking healthy food together

Get Organized, Get Healthy

This link between clutter and health is something I’ve observed for many years. It’s reassuring to see that the science is now bearing this out. While amassing more stuff may seem to be a path to happiness, it can be damaging to our health, self-esteem, motivation, and psyche in ways that we have not previously appreciated.

A healthy life is supported not only by what we put into our bodies but perhaps even more so by what we put into our homes.

So, if you’re looking to give your diet a bit of a kick-start and support, go get your sock drawer organized. It just might be the first step to help you feel more in control of other parts of your life.

Peter Walsh