The Japanese Art Of Decluttering With Marie Kondo
To some, this may sound silly, the good old SPRING CLEANING we do is a great way for us to improve our MENTAL HEALTH.
As it turns out, Marie Kondo and science stand in agreement with our dear sis Beyonce, when she voiced the clarion call for us to clean up our mess when she sang, "to the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left." As a mindful way to atone for creating a mess of our cupboards while getting ready during the week, this Netflix and chill weekend idea is a good place to start: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a home-makeover-style reality show on Netflix based around organization guru Marie Kondo’s cult KonMari method.
If you are new to the KonMari cult, welcome to the world where taking off your bra at the end of the day and consciously thanking it for literally helping you carry your load, is a celebrated as a norm. In her New York Times bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie gives us a new and deeper perspective on purging: It's about honoring and appreciating the things around you.
Personally, my infatuation with Marie Kondo's KonMari method is inspired by the fact that she stresses how you should only make room to live with things you truly love and clear your space of the ones that have served their purpose. And perhaps this mirrors and brings to life what we need to consistently do with all areas in our lives. The KonMarie method advises us to get our lives and tidy up by:
1. Sorting our belongings into 5 categories: clothing, books, papers, komono (things in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and storage), and sentimental items.
2. Pick up each object, see if it "sparks joy." ("You feel it when you hold a puppy or when you wear your favorite outfit," she says on the show. "It’s a warm and positive feeling.") If it doesn't, you politely tell it "thank you" and then put it in a pile that will be gifted to someone else.
In a study published in 2009, researchers found that your mental well-being is affected by clutter in your home. The conclusion that the study came to was that, "women with higher stressful home scores had increased depressed mood over the course of the day, whereas women with higher restorative home scores had decreased depressed mood over the day."
"Women who perceived their homes as cluttered had less healthy patterns of the stress hormone cortisol. They felt more stress as the day went on. People who didn’t feel this sense of clutter, on the other hand, actually experienced a drop in their cortisol levels." clarified the lead author of the study Darby Saxbe, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California.
Alas, nothing announces the beginning of a new chapter in your life like the weirdly therapeutic act of purging your home. So the next time you think of making big changes to your life, start with small acts such as tidying up your bedside table, clearing your bathroom cabinet of practically finished products. And not to forget the drawer in your kitchen that keeps all the plastic bags you hardly ever re-use, it deserves some attention from you too.