Did you know that an untidy home can impact your mental health?
You may think that a bit of clutter here and there is just annoying, but it can actually be having a more troubling effect on your mindset.
According to Psychology Today, Clutter ‘makes it more difficult to relax and switch off, bombarding our mind with excessive stimuli.’ Furthermore, a 2009 study found that women with untidy houses had a higher level of the stress-related hormone, Cortisol.
We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘a tidy home equals a tidy mind’ but are we putting it into practice enough?
The ‘Kondo Method’, named after Japanese author and cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo, has caused quite a storm recently. People are understanding the impact that clutter and general untidiness can have on their health, thanks to her award-winning book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Netflix feature.
Image credit: Wired
So what exactly is the ‘Kondo Effect’? Put simply, it’s the process of organising and simplifying your home, ridding of items that no longer ‘bring joy to your life.’
Here are six tips you can take from her teachings to bring a sense of order and organisation to your home and mind.
1. Wave goodbye to nostalgia
You may think that keeping that hand-me-down scarf a friend of you gran’s once gave you is sentimental. But is it really? Yes it was a lovely thought at the time but if it never sees the light of day now, it’s probably just taking up space.
Nostalgia is one of the main reasons we hoard things and it’s no wonder as old photos and objects spark great memories. When having a clear-out, Marie Kondo’s advice is to focus on what you’re keeping rather than throwing away.
Pick out the sentimental things you could never part with and put them to one side. Anything else that you just don’t need or desire can be thrown away.
2. Does it spark joy?
This is Kondo’s key principal. It’s her go-to test for helping people to understand whether or not items should be kept.
Her advice is to take each item into your hands and ‘hold it as close to your heart as possible’. If the object sparks joy, ‘you should feel a thrill in your body as if it’s embracing the object.’ This is how she helps others to part with things they just don’t need anymore.
Right now you can probably think of several items in your home that don’t exactly spark joy. Try and cut ties with this kind of clutter, freeing up your home and mind.
3. Avoid leaving boxes of stuff at your parents’ home
We’ve probably all been guilty of it. Those old diaries, toys, trophies and medals you just can’t quite seem to let go of. Yes, you don’t want them in your home but the very thought of binning them is almost sacrilege.
Well, the unfair part of this is that those boxes are cluttering up your loved ones’ lives. Whilst your parents may be happy to keep hold of these things, the chances are those boxes are rarely – if ever opened.
The best thing you can do is to take back your boxes and go through them with a fine-tooth comb. Select what you want to keep (remembering to question each item) and clear the rest out. It’s surprising how much better ridding of this lingering clutter can make you feel.
4. Work according to categories, not rooms
When having a clear-out, it may seem logical to approach it room by room. However, according to Kondo, this hampers the process and just means that you end up moving things around to other spaces in the house.
Instead, her approach is to work according to categories. For example, if you were to start with clothes, don’t just focus on the wardrobe in your bedroom. Collect all the clothes you own from around the house. Washing piles, bin bags stored away and anything hiding up in the loft.
The idea being that when you see all of your clothes together in one big heap, you’ll be more compelled to clear our what you don’t need. It keeps you focused on the task at hand and you’re more likely to feel like you’ve accomplished something.
5. Leave sentimental items till last
You know the feeling when you’re tidying your bedroom and stumble across an old box filled with photos. Before you know it, hours have passed as you trawl through them one by one…
The point is that sentimental items can be a big distraction. So, put them all to one side when doing any kind of clear out. This will help you to avoid any form of procrastination or distractions.
6. Fold your clothes the Kondo way
One of Marie Kondo’s most famous techniques is her folding method. How do you usually fold and store clothes in your drawers? Most likely in a pile, one on top of the other? Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, what tends to happen is the items at the bottom get forgotten about and, when you do decide to go hunting for those tops at the bottom, you’re left with a messy heap of clothes.
To avoid this, Kondo advocates a different system where clothes are folded vertically, allowing you to see and access each item easily. Makes sense, right? Here’s a handy guide on how to fold the Kondo way.
After reading this article, if you decide you could do with a little extra storage space, find our range of chest of drawers here.
If you’ve already adopted the Kondo Method, let us know on social media how you’ve found it and whether it’s had a positive impact on your home and mind.