I recently read an article in Diabetes Forecast about how organizing your home can help you make healthy choices. Some researchers have done a study in which they asked participants to hang out in either a tidy or messy office. Afterward, they offered them either a chocolate bar or an apple and collected data about what each participant chose. Their findings were pretty amazing. Two-thirds of the people chose an apple after being in the neat room, while only 20 percent of those who’d been in the cluttered space did. They concluded that having an organized and neat environment may promote healthy behaviors.
I thought about it awhile, and I decided that in my case, it totally makes sense! I know that when my house is cluttered and messy, I feel kind of out of control and depressed. I’m more likely to decide that since this part of my life is out of whack, I may as well let other things go too. A good diet and exercise might not seem as important, because I’m just trying to deal with my immediate surroundings.
When my house is clean, on the other hand, I feel kind of like a superhero. I get such a deep sense of satisfaction from the fact that, despite my five messy children, I have everything in order. It puts a smile on my face, and I feel like I can be awesome at a lot of things, including making healthy choices. I am much more motivated to make healthy meals for my family. I even find that I manage my time better and procrastinate less.
Unfortunately, being organized is not a skill that Kaitlyn herself has gotten very good at yet. For some reason, she feels like she needs to pull out every stuffed animal that she owns on a daily basis, and her clothes rarely go to the laundry hamper before they’ve spent some time on the floor.
I’ve always known that keeping a clean room is a good habit, but now we have an even bigger reason to work on this important skill. Healthy habits are especially important for Kaitlyn; and if having a clean room can help her motivation in this area, it’s probably time to start! I am willing to improve, and some of my self-improvement projects go better than others, but this is an area I’d like to master and help Kaitlyn to master as well. I can see that having a healthy level of order and organization in her life will only help with her healthy lifestyle journey.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.