THERE’S MORE TO MARIE KONDO’S MADNESS THAN JUST TIDYING UP
“It looks like a tornado just went through here!” It’s one of those phrases you think you’re never going to say as a mom until it comes out of your mouth. Oops.
I live in a 100+ year old house with Adam, the 2 kiddos, and #joeythedog in a cute little area of Southwest Minneapolis. The perks of being able to walk to restaurants and shops is one of my favorite things about the area, but we pay for it with smaller rooms and even smaller closets. When we first moved into the house, it wasn’t such a big deal, but now having two toddler-aged kids, it feels like the toys are taking over some days.
As I was putting away the Christmas decorations earlier this year, Adam turned on Netflix for something easy to watch, and we fell into Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up show. It was addicting and we binge watched about 5 episodes while putting away all the decorations. Somehow, the whole thing just felt fitting.
I thought we had just found a cute little show, but little did I know Marie Kondo’s show Tidying Up would take over my insta feed and be the main topic of conversation for the next few weeks. I was amazed to see how Marie Kondo’s show became a total obsession for moms, like me, who were dealing with after effects of Christmas presents and clutter. Did it take over your social media for a while, too?
Before I jump into my recommendations, I want to let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission for things you purchase directly from those links. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about health & wellness and keeping my coaching fees reasonably priced.
Marie Kondo isn’t just a cute little lady – she’s life-changing
As a wellness coach, I get so excited when something like this becomes a trending topic, although Tidying Up became an overnight hit and started trending on social media almost immediately (#sparkjoy #konmari), there’s a lot more to it than just decluttering and only keeping the things in your house that spark joy.
In fact, without thinking about it, you might not realize that Marie Kondo herself is actually a Wellness Professional, just as much as your personal trainer, dietician, or coach. She just happens to specialize in a specific area of wellness called environmental wellness.
Environmental wellness is about respecting our environment and creating healthy habits that positively affect our space around us.
That could mean taking care of our planet, recycling, and living green. But it also means having an awareness for your environment around you, how you feel in your space, and how it affects your personal well-being.
Your Environment Impacts Your Health & Wellness
When Marie Kondo goes into someone’s home and declutters their space, she’s not just organizing, she’s actually contributing to that persons improved well-being, which has a much larger impact than you might think.
According to this article in Psychology Today, a cluttered home can have some pretty big negative effects on your well-being, including:
- Unhealthier Eating Practices
- Increased Stress
- Lower Overall Mental Health
I’m sure if you think about a time where you were dealing with a cluttered space, you can relate to some of these feelings (I know I can! Too much clutter in the kitchen… let me just eat this cookie while I procrastinate about cleaning it up… I digress).
Clutter and health have an interesting direct correlation. I’ve even seen examples of people who are on a major weight loss journey and as they reveal their transformational photos of themselves over time, you can actually see how their environment around them has become less cluttered and more organized.
As humans, we want to feel safe and comfortable where we are, and when we are in a space that’s organized and clean, we feel exactly that.
So, you might find it surprising that organizing the spaces around you and keeping the items that only spark joy for you not only has everything to do with your overall wellness, but it’s actually the main component to overall wellness!
How can organizing your space help you improve your health and well-being?
If you’ve been trying to make some healthier changes, it’s pretty common that healthier eating and working out more are the two activities that people will jump to right away. But, if you’ve been struggling to stay on track in these areas, you might be better off taking a different approach to achieving a healthier life.
Instead, think about organizing a space in your house that feels overwhelming and stressful to be in and then begin to declutter the space. You can even follow Marie Kondo’s recommended steps in her book, Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
But, in case you’re looking for how you can jump on the organizing train without taking on a weekend project (seriously, who has time for that?!), I’ve got 3 quick ways you can start decluttering your spaces now and create greater environmental wellness in your life:
- Use Plastic Storage Boxes – When I need to feel a fast effect from a less cluttered house, I pull out an empty plastic storage box, go around the house and put everything in there that’s in a spot where it doesn’t belong. Then, I go put the box in our basement and boom, instant declutter effect. Next, I schedule some time in my week to go back to the box and either put things away, throw them away, or donate them.
An interesting thing happens, for me at least, when I let the box sit for a few days (or a few weeks… Oops! It’s happened), it helps you detach from the things that were around the house and realize how you don’t really need them. I’m able to throw away and donate a lot more things when I do this.
- Get your car washed and vacuumed – One of the spaces that quickly effects my well-being is my car. It’s amazing how fast it can go from clean and tidy to a crumb and cracker filled dump ground. We have a car wash by our house that will vacuum it out for you when it gets washed and I love going there because it forces me to quickly take out the things in my car that belong somewhere else and almost instantly helps me feel less stressed… until the next handful of Cheerios is thrown at me.
- Take the 15-minute challenge – For one whole week, set an alarm on your phone that’s labeled something fun like, “Stop, Drop & Organize!” (I dunno, I’m a dork about these things, just go with me for a sec). Whatever you’re doing in that moment, you need to stop and spend 15-minutes decluttering something. Maybe it’s your kitchen, maybe it’s your bathroom, just go do it and make it a game. See if you can fill up a paper bag each time with things to donate or throw away from the space you’re decluttering. 15-minutes a day feels like no time at all, but you’ll be amazed at your accomplishment by the end of the week!
In case you didn’t feel like reading all the small details, here’s a quick recap:
- I live in a small house
- Marie Kondo is an organizational genius that’s going viral with her new show, Tidying Up.
- She’s actually secretly a wellness professional, and you might not have even known it.
- Environmental Wellness is 1 of the 8 major areas of wellness.
- Having a cluttered space can lead to unhealthy eating, more stress, and lower mental health – blah.
- You can declutter a space quickly (because ain’t nobody got time for that).
- Option 1: Use a storage bin to do a quick declutter and put the stuff away later
- Option 2: Get your car washed and vacuumed
- Option 3: Make it a game and break it up into small 15-minute “games” (using the word “game” pretty loosely here, but come on, you’ve gotta have a little fun with it).
Alright, hope that helps you see how Tidying up and sparking a little joy in your life can actually improve your health and is actually a main area of overall wellness in your life.
But, I’m sure you have some ninja decluttering tricks of your own, so tell me, what do you do to organize your space and Spark Joy?
Leave a comment and let me know!
About the Author - Jen Wright
Jen Wright is a Nationally Board Certified & Certified Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach, Certified Cycle Instructor, mom, and wife living in Minneapolis, MN. With over 10 years of experience in Marketing, Project Management and Leadership for corporations, Jen became passionate about helping others through their health and wellness journey after overcoming her own health challenges. Jen has since helped hundreds of others create healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives through her caring and strengths-driven approach to coaching.
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