“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
Marie Kondo wrote The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her Konmari philosophy for de-cluttering is to do it thoroughly, completely, and drastically in order to transform your life. This would not have happened for me unless I fully committed to her method because I needed to do the work and go through the process to achieve the results.
The transformation of my mindset was like receiving therapy in office, except I was giving it to myself. The clarity about what I wanted in my life I increased with every decision I made.
How does clutter even happen?
- We spent good money on an item and we feel guilty so we keep it to override the guilt
- The item we bought was a steal, so we should keep it because we’ll never find a deal like that again
- We’ll use the item at some point – just not now
- It is sentimental because somebody we love gave it to us
A Yale research study explains how it literally hurts your brain to admit that you made a mistake like making a purchase. This makes it hard to let go of clutter. The more you have committed emotionally or financially to an item, the harder it is to let go.
The overwhelming sense of gratitude we feel by having fewer items in our homes is a reason in of itself to take the plunge.
10 Reasons Why You Should De-Clutter Now:
1. You Are Bored With Your Job or Your Life
You don’t have a specific focus and you’re going through the motions of the day without feeling motivated or excited about much of anything.
De-cluttering helps us prioritize what is important in our lives so we can make decisions that benefit us. When we become less attached to our possessions, a transformation takes place where we can become more mindful of the life we want when we’re done.
Even a little clutter in a room or stashed behind closed-doors often amounts to negative energy that we want to remove from our lives. A houseful of clutter can keep us stuck because it’s just enough to keep us too busy to make decisions about what we want in life.
2. Home Doesn’t make You Feel Happy
Our homes need to be our sanctuaries from life and the world outside. They should be a place where we can’t wait to get to at the end of the day. We want to lounge around in on the weekends without feeling the need to get out and go somewhere. If we are coming home to a place that we don’t want to be we can change this. By keeping just the things that bring us joy and getting rid of what makes us unhappy we can be happier at home.
3. Too Much Debt
- Before we begin the de-cluttering process we want to examine the ideal lifestyle we want to live so that we have a goal that we’re working towards. For example, your simpler life – is where you can be active – lounge more – spend most of your time with family and friends – dress casually – and eat healthier. You will want a space that’s easy to clean and organize. We can wear simple, comfortable clothes, skip the expensive jewelry, gadgets, and decorations and save money, time, and feel more content.
We Have Too Many Things
- Once our homes our hold only the items we love and find useful, we find that we have enough. We may have a collection of 20 pots and pans but we only use 6. We store 3 sets of dinnerware but use just one, or own 400 items of clothes but only wear 80 of them. The need to accumulate things goes away and it becomes a challenge to see what we can live without.
We’re Too Busy To Realize We Have Enough
- The transformation we go through from the de-cluttering process changes our mindset to one of gratitude and fulfillment for what we have. The need to spend money on “things” dissipates, and the money we do spend better fits the lifestyle we want (but aren’t necessarily living presently because we have too much going on around us).
Our Homes Are Too Big
- We don’t need to buy bigger homes to store all our things. The best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all. It’s relationships, experiences and meaningful work.
Objects Crowd Our Emotional Needs
- In a NY Times interview, Graham Hill, founder of Tree Hugger traded his million dollar mansion for a 420 square foot apartment. He concluded that material objects often crowded out the emotional needs he initially thought they were supposed to support.
4. Your Past Is Keeping You From Moving On With Your Life
Your attic has albums, pictures, letters, etc. from your high school, college years or your past, there may be evidence of difficult times during those years. They most likely have nothing to do with your life today but they will prevent you from living your best life now. Consider getting rid of them for good since they probably aren’t contributing to the person you are now or would like to be in the future.
After tidying you will learn to like yourself more. Often who you are is buried underneath all your stuff. They are taking up room in your house and in your head. Clarity will come and so does the possibility of something new waiting to happen in your life.
5. There Is No Time To Do What You Want
When we take the needed time to thoroughly go through our houses, it puts us even further behind. But we are going to gain that time back beyond measure going forward because when our unwanted stuff is gone we will never have to deal with it again.
We’ll Gain More Time When We’re Done
This happens because we change the way we think about having to accumulate things to make us happy. And not only do we gain space in our homes, we gain it in our minds where we find the clarity to use the talents we all have.
Zero Relapse Rate
Marie Kondo writes in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up that there is a zero relapse rate of collecting and storing clutter once we’re done because we have actually changed the way we think when it comes to what we need and what makes us happy.
The National Soap and Detergent Association says getting rid of clutter will eliminate 40% of your housework.
In addition the National Association of Professional Organizers of America says that the average American spends 1 year of their life looking for things they’ve lost.
A Huffington Post article claims that 84% of Americans worry that their houses are not clean enough. Less clutter makes cleaning a breeze.
Cleaning Becomes Easy
Having friends and family over, literally involves cleaning the bathroom, maybe a quick vacuum and cooking the meal. That’s it. No more hours of preparation so we can get the house looking presentable.
6. You Have Stress And Anxiety
- Anxiety and depression affects 1 in 6 people in their lifetime.The skills we learn from Cognitive behavioral therapy is rooted in changing the way we think so we can change the way we feel. When we are anxious, we have beliefs that are not true so we must assess, analyze and decide to let those thoughts go so we can get better.
Should We keep It?
- Similarly when practicing Marie Kondo’s Konmari method of de-cluttering we are faced with decisions on whether or not we should keep or discard items we have had held onto for many years. In some cases those items spark joy in our lives and we are lucky to have them. But in many cases, they create stress and keep us stuck.
Detox Our Home
- When we detox our bodies of unhealthy substances, our health and well-being improves. This can also happen when we detox our homes because we are we are getting rid of our personal toxins. We find out who we are, what we want, and how we want to live our lives.
Does This Spark Joy?
- The single question you will ask yourself for each and every item you own is, “Does this spark joy?” The magical transformation you will realize when you’re done with the tidying process is finding out what sparks joy in your life.
Start With Clothes First
- Marie Kondo knew that we needed to de-clutter by category (instead of room by room) starting with our clothes first because we have the least attachment to them. They are just clothes that don’t deserve taking up space when we don’t even wear them.
You Learn How To Make Decisions Easily
- When you get to the last category of sentimental items, you’ve already made hundreds of decisions about what you want and you’ve learned the skill of discern. Now you’re more confident in your choices.
What Do You Want To Change In Your Life?
- In the end, you are left with just the items you use and love which can change your whole mindset about the life you have been living and what you want to do about changing it. This path leads you to simplicity and joy.
My House Didn’t Look Cluttered
- My house didn’t seem cluttered until I completed the Konmari process. I filled my porch three times and scheduled charity pickups ahead, which motivated me to keep going. The whole idea of keeping just what I loved, knowing that my goal was to have less, was completely addictive. I’m done, but I can’t stop looking to see what else I can get rid of!
7. Self-Confidence Is Lacking
You make decisions every day but you sometimes fall into the habit of checking in with your spouse or friends about small decisions that you are perfectly capable of making alone.
- Like what color paint I should use?
- What should I have for dinner?
- Should I go for that job?
- Am I good enough, smart enough?
You Get Better at Making Decisions
You are trying to decide what sparks joy in your home:
- what you should keep
- what you should get rid of
- You will become more confident in your thoughts and your abilities to make more decisions on your own.
If you separately hold the 30 pairs of pants in our closet – one at a time and ask yourself the questions:
- Do I love these?
- Do I wear these?
- Will somebody else benefit from them?
- You made 30 decisions right there, and your confidence grows.
8. You’re Tired
The Journal of Neuroscience at Princeton University revealed that people with cluttered homes felt more exhausted. It’s hard to deal with stress caused by their messy space. They have to try harder to to find the energy to focus and process information to get things done.
9. Allergies and Asthma Are Making You Sick
Dust mites, and mold lurk in clutter, which can trigger allergic reactions, decrease air quality, and increase potential asthma problems. The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to clean. The Alliance For Consumer Education offers tips for a healthy home.
10. Always Running Late
You’re running late because you are:
- looking for things
- making decisions
- cleaning and organizing one more thing before you can leave
We must make the choice to overcome obstacles in our lives. “If we always do what we’ve always done, we always get what we always got.”
You can change your life by committing to Marie Kondo’s Konmari method.
What have you got to lose?