How Marie Kondo’s Minimalism Can Bolster Your Mental Health

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and decluttering guru whose KonMari method of organization is enjoying a spike in interest thanks to Netflix’s hit series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, in which Kondo visits families’ cluttered homes and helps them apply her freeing method to their lives. And while you might not be able to have Kondo herself visit your humble home, you can apply a little piece of her organizational tactic to improve both your own life and mental health.

Kondo urges her clients to gather together all their belongings, categorizing them as they go, and to then keep only those things that “spark joy.” After this, they should choose specific places for the items that remain, and keep them there from then on.

This is a deeply freeing exercise, and its greatest benefits are in its marvelous simplicity: there’s a reason why Kondo has found so many willing evangelists for her methods. De-cluttering, as one psychologist puts it, has seven clear benefits for mental health:

  1. It shows we care for ourselves

  2. It offers a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment

  3. It makes cleaning easier

  4. It fosters clear thinking

  5. It improves efficiency

  6. It decreases frustration

  7. It can catalyze further change

The KonMari method, of course, is far from the only way to go about decluttering and reorganizing your life, but Kondo offers a clear, joyful framework to go off of. And whether through her method or another, we could all always use a little less clutter and a little more joy in our daily lives.