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Can tidying up diabetes care be life-changing?

Many of us have wished we could be more organized—in our homes or our overall approach to living.

Now, a recent best-seller has spurred a lot of talk about how decluttering and organizing can create joy in your life. Perhaps you've heard about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.

But can this idea work for diabetes care—or cynics? As you're likely to be in at least one of those categories, or close to someone who is, we had some thoughts about adapting this philosophy to the 24/7 world of diabetes.

In the simplest terms, the idea is to let go of things that don't contribute to your well-being, making more room for what's important to you. So how can that apply to self-care?

If you aren't using it, get rid of it. Kondo suggests you should clear out anything that doesn't give you joy. Since your meter and lancing device are unlikely to give you straight-up "joy," we recommend a slightly more down-to-earth measure.  Still, cool socks that are too tight around your calves? Your first blood glucose monitor—the one you can't get strips for anymore? Books you no longer need? Supplies you tried but didn't like? Drawers of expired supplies? Donate or discard and don't look back.

Declutter all at once. Or at least in one category at a time, so you can get a clear look at how much extra stuff is weighing you down. It also helps you get out of the "I might use this" mindset. If you didn't find that old infusion set comfortable the first time, you're not going to like it more when it (and you) are 6 years older. Here's a hint—if you didn't even remember that you had it, you probably don't need it.

Create a home for the things you keep. A cool carrying case or colorful linen or lacquer box for the items you use daily can live on the counter or in a bedside drawer without adding a sense of clutter. Dedicated storage for backups and extras keeps things contained and easily accessed when you need them, saving space, time and sanity.

Trade your coffee habit for fresh flowers. Think about extending the idea beyond "stuff." Unless that daily $4 run to the coffee shop brings you true joy, trade it for flowers on your desk, a contribution to your travel fund or new music. Then look at the other little habits that distract from what you love. What does that have to do with diabetes care? Nothing. But as we've said before—it can't all be about diabetes.

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