The Psychological Benefits Of 'Kondoing' Your House

This Whole Marie Kondo Thing Can Actually Make You Less Stressed
Woman removing books from the shelf
Woman removing books from the shelf

There is plenty to gain when we let go of all the clutter.

In her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo offers insight into the Japanese art of tidying, or releasing ourselves from the clutter that threatens chaos. The how-to book has gained traction globally by helping people reform their own spaces -- physically and mentally. Scores of fans have posted photos of their reorganized drawers on social media and have even turned the author's name into a verb -- "Kondoed" -- to express the act of purging unnecessary belongings, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The truth is, we can all glean a few lessons in well-being from Kondo's manifesto, whether we're cleaning our bedroom or negative energy out of our life. However, it can be a more daunting task than it sounds. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you charge through the clutter.

Examine your possessions for happiness.
happy object

The driving force behind Kondo's method is simple: Keep the items that "spark joy," toss the ones that have no meaning.

"After all, what is the point in tidying? If it’s not so that our space and the things in it can bring us happiness, then I think there is no point at all," she writes in the book. "Therefore, the best criterion for choosing what to keep and what to discard is whether keeping it will make you happy, whether it will bring you joy."

This surprisingly effective mindset also applies to life. You have no space for toxic relationships, damaging thoughts and other non-necessities.

A tidy desk = Positive personality traits.
Chaotic-desk dwellers may have their creativity, but research shows there are perks to an organized workspace as well. According to a 2013 Association for Psychological Science study, working at a tidy desk could promote healthy eating and generosity.

You could be less-stressed when everything is complete.
meditation room

"Most of us are operating in a state of chronic stress; we're always on," David W. Ballard, Psy.D., the assistant executive director for the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. Adopting a sense of tidiness is how some people are "able to really stay focused and stay organized do things to manage their stress effectively," he said.

Kondo echoed similar sentiments. "It’s typical to feel a sense of serenity after the process," she told The Cut. In other words, declutter your space, declutter your mind.

Approach it from a positive viewpoint.
When the process feels overwhelming, remind yourself that the goal is to increase happiness in your life by only surrounding yourself with necessities and joy triggers. One way to do that is to flip your perspective on the process.

"If I had been a little smarter, I would have realized before I became so neurotic that focusing solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness," she writes. "Why? Because we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of."

Letting go is overwhelmingly freeing once you make the leap.
couch happy

Kondo assures readers that by releasing yourself from the clutter, you'll feel much lighter -- psychologically, spiritually and otherwise.

"Keep only those things that speak to your heart," she explains. "Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle."

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7 Ways To De-Clutter & Simply Your Life


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