How to Streamline Your Home for Healthy Living
When life gets crazy, it’s easy to sacrifice your health by neglecting sleep, nutrition and exercise. These small steps will help streamline your home and keep your health on track — even during the most stressful times.
Remove nightstand clutter. Restful, restorative sleep is part of the foundation of good health. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first things to go when life gets hectic. The solution? Create a bedroom that feels calm and restful so that your body and mind get a clear message that it’s time to unwind from your busy day.
Start by clearing your nightstand of any extras — things you no longer use or need, like books you’ve already read, old magazines, lotions, and so on. Reserve your nightstand space only for those items you actually use (think lamp, clock, phone), or items that bring you happiness, like a special photo of a loved one. By having just a few things on your nightstand, it will be easier to keep clean, and won’t add any visual clutter to your already overstimulated mind.
Create a designated space for workout clothing and equipment. Anyone with a goal to consistently exercise a few times per week should consider finding a section of their closet or dresser to house nothing but workout clothes and towels. By keeping everything together in one spot, you will save valuable time and energy tracking down workout essentials — especially helpful for morning workouts when every last second of sleep is important.
Do the same with your exercise equipment and accessories, such as weights, yoga mats, and exercise balls. Close to the TV is a good spot if you stream your workouts, or near the door if your workout takes place outside. For gym-goers, try prepacking your gym bag with toiletries, towels and other personal items so that you can just grab your bag and go.
Clean out and organize the refrigerator and pantry. Make it convenient to prepare healthy meals by having the ingredients readily available. Having to dig through clutter and spoiled foods is a huge obstacle that may send you reaching for easier, less nutritious options. To start, throw away old and spoiled foods and group the remaining food items by category to make them easier to find. Think fruit, vegetables, meat, condiments, breakfast foods, and so on. To streamline the making of any staple foods, like salad, try putting all of those ingredients together on a tray or in a container so you can grab them all at once. The same goes for any food or meal that you make frequently.
Plan downtime in a comfortable space. With packed schedules and full lives, it’s hard to find time to set aside just for ourselves. And when we do have the time, we often waste it not knowing the best way to use it.
Try to be disciplined enough to actually schedule time in your calendar for yourself and give that appointment the same weight you would any other. If possible, decide ahead of time how you will spend this special “me time” so that it doesn’t get squandered.
If your relaxation time is inhibited by a cluttered environment, consider using your special time to eliminate the clutter. Be sure to go easy on yourself when decluttering, however, since the task can often prove emotional, overwhelming and time-consuming. Even small 15-minute bursts of decluttering can go a long way, so pace yourself and try to take comfort in the unburdening of unnecessary items. Emotional decluttering often follows physical decluttering.
For those unable to take on decluttering alone, professional home organizers are a great investment. A good one will guide you through the process and help you plan your space so that it works best for your lifestyle. The best part? Working together means you’ll reach your goal faster.