Decluttering & Your Mental Health

Most of us have heard of the KonMari Method™, a system of organizing and decluttering our homes by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy into our lives. Created by Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally, sentimental items. This method suggests that we, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go”. 


Although the KonMari Method is one of the most talked about ways to simplify, there are many other ways to get organized and reduce clutter. Whether you start with your most-visited rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens) or decide to tackle the entire house, the end result is bound to be a good one. Try some simple techniques such as adding a towel rack to the linen closet, adding tiered shelves to a pantry or utilizing bins as storage containers.  

The process is the same as it would be with any method of getting organized. Pull everything out of the closet, drawer or cupboard you are working on. Wipe the area by cleaning down the shelves, sweeping and/or vacuuming. Use laundry bins or boxes and label them ‘keep’, ‘throw away’, ‘donate’ or ‘sell’. If you are undecided, put it in a box and label the box. If the items remain unused after six months, chances are you won’t ever need it. Be sure to follow through with the process of discarding unneeded items. 


There are many benefits to getting organized. A cluttered or disorganized home can also impact our mental health. All those unfinished projects and stacks of to-dos can pile on unwanted stress and anxiety. Not knowing where to find something when you need it, can also create stress. In addition, a cluttered environment can be difficult to keep clean and prolonged exposure to dust and dirt can lead to allergies or diseases such as chronic bronchitis.  

According to the Association for Psychological Science, having an organized workspace leads to healthier eating. The study showed that people who worked in organized surroundings were twice as likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar when in need of an energy-boosting snack.  


No matter which decluttering system you deploy, getting organized doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Throw perfection out the window. Start small and break the task into bite-sized pieces. Not only is it satisfying to reduce clutter and simplify in our homes but we will benefit from the effort both mentally and physically. Happy organizing!


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