Most people would agree that being organized gives you a sense of calm and more time to spend doing the things you love with the people you love. But did you know that being organized positively impacts the planet? As a result of being disorganized in certain areas, we consume more than necessary. For example:
* Purchasing a new plastic bottle of mustard while there are one or two half-full bottles hidden in the refrigerator.
* Have you ever purchased new batteries because rummaging through your “junk drawer” and scouring your basement to find one is a daunting task?
* Purchasing clothing (perhaps necklaces, neckties, or belts) while there are similar garments hidden in your closet, which you have forgotten about.
The small things add up. Purchasing duplicate small items such as plastic containers of consumables may seem trite, however, not all plastics are recycled and the ones that are, typically are made into non-recyclable products such as textiles. Also, recycling plastic is very expensive in terms of energy-use and capital investment.
On a larger scale, consider that in the last 30 years the average size of a home in the US has doubled even though the number of people in the average household in the US has decreased by half. We are collecting and consuming more and more “stuff” and require more and more space for all of our “stuff”. According to the Marine Sanitary Service, the US population comprises 5% of the world’s population yet we generate 30% of the world’s garbage! While recycling and reusing is certainly beneficial, consuming less has a larger impact.
You can live more comfortably in a smaller space and with less “things” when you are organized. How many duplicate items, such as hammers, tape measures, and so on, do you have in your home simply because you couldn’t find it when you needed it so you bought another one? Consider the amount of utilities, land, and other resources consumed by a 5,000 square foot home compared to that of a 1,500 square foot condominium.
Living in a smaller home is not for everyone however, having an organized home (regardless of the size) and life helps reduce unnecessary consumption.
Consider how much less driving could you do if your schedule and errands were organized? How often do you make extra trips to Target, Walmart, grocery store or drug store? Could you carpool or use public transportation if you planned ahead?
In addition to protecting our planet, being organized gives you the freedom and time to pursue areas of your life that give you happiness. According to Real Simple magazine, the average American spends 55.2 minutes everyday looking for things. Yikes, that’s two weeks every year! Is there anything else you would rather spend your time doing? Maybe take an extra 2-week vacation?
Over the next week, consider what you are throwing away, what you are purchasing and what you are spending your time looking for. You may find that by simply better organizing certain areas of your home and life you and your family consume less, which will have a positive impact on our planet and on you.
Heidi is a professional organizer, creator of The Fast-Filing Method home filing system, & publisher of Life Made Simple e-Magazine. Heidi energizes her readers’ lives by teaching effective organizational systems to help you accomplish more & GAIN peace of mind! Visit ClearSimpleLiving.com to get a complimentary subscription AND a FREE Home Organization Kit.