5 Reasons To Declutter This New Year
Get inspired to Marie Kondo your way to better emotional and mental health
Believe what your heart tells you when you ask, “Does this spark joy?” Keep only the things that speak to your heart.
The best way to usher in the new year is to make space for fresh things by purging the stuff that no longer serve you. As Netflix star Marie Kondo, a decluttering queen who transforms people’s lives by helping them to tidy their homes, says in her best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, “Putting your house in order is the magic that creates a vibrant and happy life.” Read on for the benefits of starting your year with less clutter!
Reduced Stress And Anxiety
Being constantly surrounded by mess and chaos sends signals to your mind that things are out of control. This inadvertently makes you feel stressed and anxious. On the other hand, a physical reduction of clutter indicates that your life (or at least your space) is clean, cleared, and organised. Plus, think of all the times when you had difficulty finding something important beneath a giant pile of stuff. If your house was always neat and tidy, you wouldn’t have felt all that frustration trying to find your keys or your phone.
A Natural Mood-booster
When you’re constantly faced with clutter at the office, at home, or even in your car, the excess stimuli can be too much for your brain. There’s no better way to address this than to clear out unnecessary junk! Not only does decluttering help you to organise and tidy up your living and working space (thereby relieving the stress that comes with living with clutter), the actual process of decluttering itself is a mood-booster – decluttering involves solving multiple problems within a small frame of time as you decide what to toss and how to organise what you’re keeping. Within minutes, your mind enters into problem-solving mode, which helps to make you feel good about yourself.
Being in a clutter-free space clears your mind of stress, and that’s when your creative juices really start flowing. Just think of how you never seem to come up with great, feasible ideas when you’re so tightly wound due to a looming deadline at work. Yet, when you’re having a relaxing bath at home, great ideas spring to mind. Needless to say, working in a tidy space helps provide a conducive environment. The physical activity associated with tidying (for example, the moving of boxes), also helps to clear your mind, allowing space for creativity
Discovering Your True Issues
According to David F. Tolin, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, “chronic disorganisation can be symptoms of bigger problems, such as depression, anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorders”. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are larger issues at play, paying attention to your inner thoughts can help you to understand how you choose to deal – or not deal, with clutter. The next time you are faced with clutter or mess, ask yourself what you’re truly afraid of dealing with. Are there any other areas in your life that you might be shunning from, and does this behaviour also manifest in the way you deal with your living space? Be frank with yourself and note down your thoughts and feelings. As Marie would say, “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”
A Cultivation Of Good Habits
Consistency is key to preventing clutter build-up. This means being on top of everyday tasks like dish-washing, the sorting of dirty laundry, or taking out the trash. This is because it’s easier to deal with these duties in small daily doses rather than keep putting them off repeatedly (only to be overwhelmed by one whole week’s worth of chores). And when you’re used to being consistent with these simple chores, it also applies to other areas of your life, i.e. clearing bills on time instead of letting them pile up, or completing your work in a timely manner so that it doesn’t snowball.
The space in which we live should be for the person that we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
– Marie Kondo