Kondo-ing Is Good For Your Home — And Mental Health

"A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective."

By Stephanie Fairyington
January 8, 2020

Papers pile up on your desk, dreaded mountains of tasks you’ve not completed. Unread magazines spiral up, up, up, little hills of culture and knowledge you’ll likely never have. (Who has time?) Your drawers and closets burst with a mess of clothes, many of which you no longer wear or fit into. You even have excess furniture cramming the passageways in your home.

You may think these are mere eyesores, but they’re more than that — they’re impediments to your mental health. Marie Kondo, the Tokyo-based organizational expert and author of the international bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, puts it this way:  “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.” Science, in  fact, backs her up. 

A disorganized environment challenges our sense of control over our lives, stymieing our ability to regulate our emotions, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, and making us more reactive, and less deliberate and thoughtful. Another set of data, which hails from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women who perceived their homes as disarrayed and discombobulating had higher levels of the stress-hormone cortisol and were more fatigued and depressed than women in well-scrubbed and orderly dwellings. 

With a fresh year upon us, there’s no better time to start transforming your home — and with it, your mindset. 

Try Marie Kondo’s approach to getting your house in order without becoming overwhelmed: Organize your tasks by topic (ie. shirts, shoes, books) rather than by room (ie. kitchen, bedroom, home office) and tackle each pile day by day rather than in one fell swoop. 

Outlier Disclaimer

This site is for educational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical care by a doctor or otherwise qualified medical professional. The information provided by Outlier Magazine is on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

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