Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind

Your living space is a reflection of your mind space.

People really close to me knows that I’ve been going on a route of minimalism for a few years now. It was a necessary evil from my never-ending business travels and living in different countries at a moment’s notice.

Since I move ever so often, I got into a minimal routine and started decluttering. Living only with my necessities. Still I don’t have a system for my things. My things that’s taking up the tiny, expensive Manhattan-like space I live in.

I’ve tried them all. Oh boy, did I try. I’ve done the colour coordinating method. I’ve arranged my stuff seasonally. I’ve arranged them by importance. By length. By most frequently used. Whatever Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, even Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop was saying, I was doing. But I just feel like it’s such a chore. So much effort. So exhausting!

And then I found Marie Kondo by chance a few years ago. And that truly changed how I live. How I feel.
Marie Kondo is a Tokyo-based cleaning consultant who’d founded the KonMari Method for tidying, you can read more on her website, tidyingup.com. Her concept of tidying is really simple. To determine if something needs to be kept, just hold it and ask this question:

Does it spark joy?
​If you don’t love it, set it free…

So simple… Does it spark joy? If not, then thank it for its service and proceed to set it free. Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Before long your home, your space will only be filled with things that gives you joy. You’ll only be surrounded by things that lift you up.

Of course, there’s more to it than just “Does it spark joy?” There’s the way of folding and arranging so you can see everything and nothing is stashed at the bottom of the drawer. Finally, to find a “home” for everything you own so they always go back to the same place.

Now why is this important? A cluttered space is a cluttered mind. Our living space is a reflection of our mind whether we want to admit it or not. When my place is a mess, I feel restless, unhappy and heavy. Like the air is choking me. Life is full of challenges. Work is stressful. So why add more unnecessary stress to life with a messy home?

Why should my home suffocate me with its invisible hands? I feel like breaking away from this place I call home. Making all sorts of excuses so I don’t need to go home yet. Research has shown that a cluttered environment restricts the brain’s ability to focus and process information [1].
​That’s not how I want to live my life. I think that’s not how anyone wants to live their lives.

I want to be excited to go home. To open the doors and sigh happily that I’m home. To yell out, “I’m home!” even if the only one greeting me is the space echoing itself. To put my bags at its place. To have only the things I love in my little home. To feel the love reverberating through each and every one of my home decor and furnishing. Even the air seems lighter and full of oxygen. I feel I can breathe better.

If you’ve already read Marie Kondo’s book and find it hard to follow without illustrations, fret not. Here’s her latest illustrated version — Spark Joy. Put your space in order and your life will follow. Enjoy!

The illustrated version to “Magic of Tidying”

Disclaimer: Fanya & Lime is not affiliated with Marie Kondo, KonMari Method or any third party publisher. The opinions here are purely from our own experience with her method of tidying.

Citations:

[1] McMains, S., & Kastner, S. (2011). Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(2), 587–597.


Originally published at www.fanyalime.com.

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