I think a lot about the reasons to lead an organized life. I’m violently skeptical of the perfectionist trend in our culture right now, especially as applied to women. Our digital lives are flooded with images and descriptions of darling DIY decor, fanciful kids’ meals, and elaborate color-coded planners. All these things can be fun for a certain kind of person, but they take staggering amounts of time and energy that many of just don’t have in our lives, and they create serious feelings of inferiority and pressure to conform.
Remember that Sex And The City episode when Carrie asks, “Are we should-ing all over ourselves?” I always think of that seemingly silly question when I see yet another list of DIY organizing “hacks” that promises to transform your closet.
I always tell people: don’t get organized because you think you should, and don’t do it in a way modeled by someone else. Get organized because it’s going to make your life easier, and do it in a way that works for you.
Now, it turns out that organizing may not just make your life easier – it may also help keep you from gaining weight! Allison Aubrey gave a great summary of recent research for NPR here: A Cluttered Kitchen Can Nudge Us to Overeat, Study Finds.
I’ve never thought of this relationship between clutter and eating before, but it strangely makes a lot of sense. After all, many people snack to make themselves feel better, and there’s nothing like an overwhelmingly cluttered space to make you feel in need of comfort.
In my own life, I take a more literal interpretation! Our kitchen is fully stocked with raw ingredients, condiments, and fresh foods, but we don’t buy snacks to keep around. By reducing the amount of food clutter we have, we do less mindless snacking (although to be real, a wedge of cheese in my refrigerator has an alarmingly short shelf life...).