Letting go of clutter is cathartic for me. I love the look and feel of a tidy home, and my minimalistic approach to my decor, my closet, and my travel habits has helped me have a clearer head in addition to a cleaner house. Marie Kondo — author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, creator of the KonMari Method, and queen of a decluttering — is all about finding the joy in what you own and letting go of everything else. The organizational expert answered questions on Quora recently, and one answer jumped out in particular. When asked how keeping things tidy can change people psychologically, here's what Marie Kondo had to say about how it affects your own happiness.
"You gain greater confidence in yourself. Also, you become more optimistic and calmer in the mind than before you tidied.
There are several reasons for these changes: your self-image improves as you start living in tidy beautiful rooms, and you gain decision-making skills as you continue to choose between which things to throw/give away and which to keep. The way we let go of things in the KonMari Method plays an important role as well.
The KonMari Method has a step where we give thanks to the things before we throw them away.
Not only would you say 'thank you for sparking joy in me,' to a favorite piece of clothing that you wore till it was threadbare, you would also say to a piece of clothing you never wore once 'thank you for teaching me that this fits or color doesn't look good on me.' You will appreciate the roles of all the things that have come to you and experience appreciation for all of them."Through this experience, you will rediscover the truth that you have been supported by so many things and you will deepen your gratitude for things you leave behind."
Through this experience, you will rediscover the truth that you have been supported by so many things and you will deepen your gratitude for things you leave behind.
To share a personal example, I have always had little confidence in myself. When I get nervous before a large speaking engagement, I think to myself that I'll be fine because these clothes are protecting me and these shoes are supporting me, and that calms me down.
Once you start feeling constant gratitude for your things and your home through tidying up, you will start feeling relief and calm as if you are always protected by something larger than you."
The key to understanding the KonMari Method, or to finding whatever method of cleaning works for you, is to recognize that decluttering is about so much more than getting rid of physical things. It can do wonders for your mental health and happiness, too.