Spring Cleaning

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the TV show created following the success of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, shows Americans in all stages of life, cultures, and socioeconomic status trying to combat clutter in order to simplify their life and create more space for joy.

The success of this book and the show feels timely, as we approach spring and the yearly urge to clean up, clear out, and purge from winter’s dust and doldrums.

The idea that your belongings shouldn’t run you, but rather be things that enhance your day-to-day life, is a helpful way to approach what can be a very overwhelming process. Having a clear, orderly space where you can relax and get in touch with your creative side means you then have energy to devote to other pursuits, and the mental space to invest in other areas.

Marie Kondo utilizes a clear and defined structure to teach the tools necessary to change her clients’ relationships with their possessions, and give them the tools to manage them.

While physically tidying your space has tangible benefits, the logical next step is that some of that newly-freed energy could be devoted to other, less concrete areas of your life. Are there habits that are holding you back? Struggles with addictive behaviors or unhealthy communication patterns?

Just like your physical possessions shouldn’t be in charge of your life, unhealthy patterns and habits can take over and make it difficult for you to show up as your best self at work, with friends, or even your relationship with yourself. Trying to change all areas of life at the same time quickly becomes overwhelming, and leads to burnout and giving up. However, you can take a look at your life and identify one or two clear things that seem to impact you on a regular basis.

Creating a plan (like Marie’s approach) either on your own, or with the help of a licensed counselor or loved one, with clearly defined steps, and the willingness to build skills over time, can allow you to clear out the old patterns and create space for newer, healthier ones.

Written by: Molly Halbrooks

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