KonMari for the Mind
“Ever since Netflix launched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo the world has gone mad. Bat sh*t barking mad.”
Ever since Netflix launched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo the world has gone mad. Bat sh*t barking mad. Trash cans are packed, IKEA is out of storage and all that remains is JOY. I have a soft spot for Marie Kondo. I’ve had that soft spot for years now, from way back before she became a household name. A friend’s boss overheard her talking about her messy friend (me being said friend) and suggested I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. I devoured the book in a day and I can honestly say that it truly is one of the most life changing books I’ve ever read. There just something about her. She’s calm, she’s patient and she really loves tidying. You can tell from the way she approaches it that it’s something she really does love and that’s not something I’m familiar with. I don’t surround myself with too many neat freaks, or maybe it’s they who don’t surround themselves with me. And whether it’s the flamboyance of the departure ceremony or the sheer common sense of her approach she succeeds in adding a sprinkle of magic to the otherwise mind numbing task of tidying. The best part? This tidying lark it seems is good for your mental health too.
Too much stuff impairs Cognitive Control
Studies have shown that too much stuff, namely clutter causes impairment of many important cognitive functions. The study compared healthy people with those who had a tendency to hoard and observed that habitual hoarders had issues with planning, problem solving, learning, memory, organisation and attention.
Removing the Clutter may help you uncover root problems
Distraction is a great thing. A messy home is the perfect disguise for some pesky unlying stuff both habitual and emotional. Stuff like unidentified mould can wreak havoc with your mental health with studies showing a link between mouldy environments and depression. Other issues that have a negative impact on mood include things like humidity, dust and water damage, all of which can easily fall into the background behind a mountain of mess. On top of that clutter can serve as the ultimate avoidance tactic in avoiding underlying emotional issues. Can’t think about that gaping hole I’ve been filling with alcohol because the place is an absolute state right now. You get the picture.
Less Clutter = Improved Focus
A 2011 study concluded that having more objects in our visual field leads to more distraction. The objects around us compete for our attention, and in our tech driven world of emails and notifications this is a commodity in short supply. With less clutter in your way you’re more likely to zero in on the task at hand and get sh*t done.
A Tidier Home Could Lead to Better Physical Health
Another study shows a correlation between the tidiness of a home and the level of physical activity a person part-takes in. Those with neater nests were more likely to be active, the study postulating that the physical nature of tidying increases physical activity by proxy.
So in short, tidying is great and we should all aim to hold only the things that spark joy within - emotionally or other. Chuck everything else. If you don’t believe me, see notes above.
Photo Credit @ Samuel Zeller
About The Author
Siobhan is a Trainee Psychotherapist, Mental Health Advocate and Editor of crakd. She’s also embroiled in an intense love affair with eclectic interiors and colourful food.
Follow Siobhan on Instagram @siobhan_scan