As you may know from reading one of my previous blogs, The Link Between Disorganization, Depression and Anxiety, I truly believe that chronic chaos in your environment contributes to feelings of overwhelm that can lead to or exacerbate bouts of depression and chronic anxiety problems.
I have recently finished a popular book on the topic, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and I am adding it to the list of resources that I use with clients as the information was that good, doable and definitely life changing for those who undertake this system.
The focus is on an orderly, peaceful life where your possessions bring you joy as opposed to feelings of burden. Her system is easy, inexpensive and you can do it in parts. She breaks down the areas of clutter into the main areas we all struggle with, clothing, papers, memorabilia and then miscellaneous. You do not need to run out and buy all kinds of storage materials or labeling devices, you most likely have everything you need to complete the job.
The author’s method is called the The KonMari Method, and one of it’s greatest promises is that once you do the “tidying up”, you will never relapse into your old, cluttery patterns that bring you distress. Ms. Kondo provides detailed guidance for determining which items to save and which to give away based on how much (if any) joy they inspire in you.
You cannot be at peace if your home, car or work environment is a disorganized mess. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, not a hell-hole screaming your name to clean it up. If you are pulling clothing from the floor or looking for something not wrinkled to wear you have already started your day off stressed out or tired out. Your mind is not free to be creative or add new things if it is always searching through disorder to find what it needs in the immediate moment.
This type of clutter is a burden on your mind and therefore your personality. You are not free to be or pursue your true self when you are bogged down with the minutia of searching for necessary items. Ditto if you don’t have a peaceful place to sit or get ready for work.
Many of us are not even aware of how clutter and disorganization affect our daily lives. We have given it no thought. We may have been raised in families where it was not a priority or even thought about. You may have just been “winging it” so far in life without the knowledge of how good it can feel to be in control of your environments at all times.
Just like anything else in life, in order to be successful, you have to have a plan. This includes emotional success. I believe that part of emotional success involves taking control of your possessions and environments. You have to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. It is no fun to feel like the victim of a bunch of loose papers, clothing and whatever.
Speaking of the driver’s seat, I once went to trade in a car and in making sure I had all my stuff out I poked under the seat and came out with a half bagel. Not that bad you may be thinking, but I recognized the bag as having come from a bagel shop in Detroit where I had done my internship a year before!
Because I have also struggled with clutter I try to keep up on new resources and effective and easy ways to help my clients remain in control of their material lives. I now enjoy for the most part a peaceful and clutter free life and can tout the merits of organization. For any of you struggling to be tidy I highly recommend trying Marie Kondo’s program.
If you feel you could use some help with anxiety or depression, try our free resource, How to Stop Wasting Your Life Being Depressed, Anxious and Unhappy: The Top 10 Strategies of Emotionally Successful People.
Feel Good For Life!!