Tidying Up: Taking Steps to Declutter Your Life

    Marie Kondo fever has swept the nation. Ever since Tidying Up With Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix, it seems like almost everyone has caught the decluttering bug.

    In her TV series and books, the Japanese organizational expert encourages people to get rid of items that don’t “spark joy” and appreciate the things that do.

    Though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, Kondo’s teachings have some medical backing.

    Studies have shown that when you have too much clutter, the stress hormone cortisol is raised. And when you have a heightened level of cortisol, you’re at a higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety,  memory issues, lack of concentration and numerous of other serious health issues. Clearly, there’s value in Kondo’s teachings.

    But what if tidying up didn’t just apply to your belongs? What if you took that approach and applied it to other things?

    Here’s why you should consider tidying up your life.

    Career

    From a young age, we are taught that having a job is just one of the many realities of being an adult. Even if you don’t like your job, you have to have some sort of career to be a productive member of society.

    But what’s missing from the conversation is whether or not you’re going to love what you do. Researchers have found that this attitude is a recipe for a disaster.

    A survey conducted by the World Economic Forum found that 45% of people between the ages of 25 and 39 “started unhappy and remained unhappy” at work. On top of that, 23% of respondents started “happy enough but grew less happy as time went on.”

    Most troubling, the study found that there are some serious health consequences to workplace unhappiness. These include:

    • Depression
    • Worrying
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Frequently getting a cold.

    What would Kondo do?

    If your career is causing you to be unhappy and you genuinely feel like it’s time to go, go right ahead — leave that job that doesn’t “spark joy.” It’s that simple.

    And if it’s not that simple (Hey — we get it, we all gotta grind to get cream), take an honest look at all your workplace tasks and see if you could eliminate or streamline anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

    That could be anything from cutting out unfruitful work relationships, cleaning up your disorganized desk, setting a better work schedule and everything in between.

    Finances

    This one’s a pretty obvious one.

    According to the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans have some sort of financial-related stress. The report found that 22% of Americans say they are not doing enough to adequately manage their stress.

    Though there are multiple things one can do to mitigate stress, managing one’s finances in a smart manner is feasible and an important step to overall satisfaction.

    With the Kondo approach, you could go through your monthly expenses and see what’s not necessarily needed.

    There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but you should look through each expense and ask “does this spark joy?”

    It’s less about severe budgeting and more about ensuring that you keep what makes you genuinely happy.

    Relationships

    Here’s a chilling statistic: Only 50% of friendships of people between the ages of 23 and 38 are entirely mutual. Unlike those extra sweaters and dresses in your closet, getting rid of negative people around you is a lot more complicated.

    Hence, applying Kondo’s teachings to your social — or love — life will require a bit more nuance. Reassess your friendships and ask yourself these questions:

    • Are you the only one putting any effort to make plans?
    • Do you feel as if you’re constantly listening to their problems and you’re never addressing your own?
    • Do they engage in generally toxic behavior?
    • Have they betrayed your trust?
    • Did you already address all your issues and they haven’t changed?

    It isn’t easy cutting people off. But when a relationship is taking a toll on your emotional well-being, it might be time to end it.

    Health

    At the end of the day, Kondo’s teachings are about reassessing your general state of being. Not all of us have a problem with clutter. In fact, some of us may very well have extremely organized closets and workspaces.

    But chances are, all of us can reflect on our life and zero in on aspects of it we’d like to change.

    Hers proposes that instead of being passive about your health, you be proactive by seeking out readily available, efficient solutions. Take a look at our solutions for skin care,  sexual health and hair loss issues. It’s time for your entire life to “spark joy.”  

    Want more life pro-tips from the pros? Check out the hers blog.

    This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.