For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, according to Netflix, it is series of home makeovers in which world-renowned tidying expert, author and parent Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter—and choose joy.
If you're on Netflix, you may have noticed a new show released in 2019 called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." If you were curious like me then you probably watched the first episode and then decided to clean your entire house. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, according to Netflix, it is series of home makeovers in which world-renowned tidying expert, author and parent Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter—and choose joy. Although Netflix made Marie Kondo more well-known to the general public, she already had a significant presence being an author writing about her expertise in tidying, and de-cluttering. Aside from the obvious benefits to having a tidy home, tidying/de-cluttering can have positive effects on your mental health as well.
Marie breaks down the tidying process into 4 stages;
She encourages people to tackle each category one at a time, putting everything from the category into a pile in the middle of a room.
She then encourages people to take each item one by one and decide whether or not it “sparks joy”, this feeling is unique to everyone, she believes the more you practice this concept the better able you are to determine what sparks joy and what does not. If the item does not spark joy, she then asks individuals to thank the item for being a part of their life (practice gratitude) and discard of it. Her concept, Konmari™, places emphasis on being mindful and encourages people to make conscious decisions about each item they have in their home.
Tidying and de-cluttering can be a daunting task. Difficult feelings can arise when individuals feel like they don’t have the time or resources to tidy. Although feelings of accomplishment can be present once the tasks are complete, knowing that it won’t stay tidy/organized for long can often be discouraging for many people, preventing them from tidying all together which creates more clutter. Clutter can create difficult emotions: feelings of guilt, shame, and frustration can arise due to feeling unable to keep up with the mess which can make people feel uncomfortable in their own environment. This can interfere with one’s ability to think clearly or feel calm, as it encourages negative decision making in regards to spending and food choices and can ultimately have a big impact on the nature of your home and the relationships within it.
Marie Kondo’s approach does not shame people for accumulating a lot of things or for not being able to maintain tidiness, it is about allowing individuals to build a connection to their items. This connection allows individuals to hold more value for each object they own which in turn means they are more likely to take better care of it. Because each item in the home then has significant value, it is important that each place has a “home”, a place it belongs which helps people feel more prepared when it comes time to tidy/organize.
Whichever method you try, de-cluttering and tidying up can have many benefits on your mental health and
well-being. But if you do choose to try this approach, let go of the pressure. Life is messy. Sometimes things are cluttered, and that is okay. Mindfully taking the time to find meaning in each item you own can allow you to feel more connected to your environment and hopefully let go of any feelings of guilt, frustration or shame, even when things do get untidy.
To recap, here are 5 mental health benefits of living in a tidy environment;
1. Reduces stress and negative feelings
2. Helps you make better decisions regarding spending habits and food intake
3. Improves relationships
4. Improves your sleep
5. Increases productivity
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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