Diabetes Forecast

Declutter Your Home For Better Health

How to organize and adapt your rooms to make them diabetes friendly

By Allison Tsai , ,
neat and tidy kitchen with wild flowers on counter


The pressure to pare down, declutter, and organize reaches a fever pitch at the start of the new year, but what does that mean for people who want to set up their homes for better health? You can create an environment that encourages diabetes management, meal planning, and exercise, but the first hurdle is getting started.

Getting organized can be particularly tough for the newly diagnosed. The list of things you need to start managing can seem never-ending and completely overwhelming. Begin with one change in your life, says Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN, coauthor of The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life. “There is no way everything can be accomplished at once,” she says. “And the same is true for organization.”

Be Realistic

When it comes to organizing your home and sustaining these healthy habits, allow for some setbacks. “No one has to be perfect all the time with their eating, their exercise program, or their organizational skills,” Weiner says. But once organization is the fabric of who you are, you won’t get thrown off during times of stress, such as the holidays. “Take care of your clutter-free lifestyle,” says Weiner. “It’s not about starting anew, it’s about continuing on your path.”

Command Central





Launch Pad

Community Organizers

Tips from the American Diabetes Association’s Facebook friends:

On Meals

  • Jessica Grim: My type 1 daughter is 11. For things that don’t have a carb count on them, I made printed small address labels that I stick onto food containers or the packaging of pre-weighed or measured items.
  • Becky Volovsek: We use plastic cups that are marked with 4- and 8-ounce lines using a Sharpie. We can then pour drinks without a measuring cup.
  • Mindy Harris Cannon: I pre-package all snacks into portioned baggies and put them in a big container in the pantry. That way my type 1 son can grab a 15-carb snack when needed and have a variety to choose from. It’s also great for quick school lunch–making!
  • Liz Evenson: I love to cook, and when I find a great homemade recipe, I search for the carbs or do the math and then place a sticky note on the page of my cooking book with the carbs per cup. That way I have it for future reference.

On Exercise

  • Karen Kennedy Judson: I have all my exercise equipment (bike, helmet, gloves, battery charger, and emergency glucose) in one place by the front door. Makes my routine easy and, best of all, I enjoy it!

Medical Records

  • Walt Crocker: I keep a detailed log of all my medications taken and vitals such as glucose, blood pressure, weight, etc. I also keep copies of all my lab reports. I graph them out so I can see trends developing and nip a small problem in the bud before it becomes a big one.

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