The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo 2014
Your living space affects your body
The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life
Once the process of tidying is under way, many of my clients remark that they have lost weight or that they have firmed up their tummies. It’s a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially “detox” our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.
When we discard everything in one go, which sometimes means disposing of forty garbage bags of stuff in one day, our bodies may respond in a way that resembles a short fast. We may get a bout of diarrhea or break out in pimples. There is nothing wrong with this. Our bodies are just getting rid of toxins that have built up over the years, and they will be back to normal, or in fact in even better shape, within a day or two. One of my clients cleared out a closet and shed that she had neglected for ten years. Immediately after, she had a strong bout of diarrhea after which she felt much lighter. I know it sounds like false advertising to claim that you can lose weight by tidying or that it will make your skin clearer, but it is not necessarily untrue. Unfortunately, I can’t show you before-and-after pictures of my clients, but I have witnessed with my own eyes how their appearance changes when their rooms are tidied. Their figures are more streamlined, their skin is more radiant, and their eyes shine brighter.
When I first started this business, I found this fact quite intriguing. But when I thought about it carefully, I realized that it isn’t that strange. I think of it like this. When we put our house in order, the air inside becomes fresh and clean. Reducing the amount of stuff in our space also reduces the amount of dust, and we actually clean more often. When we can see the floor, the dirt stands out and we want to clean. Because clutter has been eliminated, it’s much easier to clean and therefore we do it more thoroughly. The fresher air in the room must certainly be good for the skin. Cleaning involves energetic movement, which would naturally contribute to losing weight and staying fit. And when our space is completely clean, we don’t have to worry about tidying, so we are free to focus on the next issue that is important in our lives. Many people want to be slim and fit, and that becomes their focus. They start to walk longer distances and eat less junk food, and these actions contribute to weight loss without consciously dieting.
But I think the main reason tidying has this effect is because through this process people come to know contentment. After tidying, many clients tell me that their worldly desires have decreased. Whereas in the past, no matter how many clothes they had, they were never satisfied and always wanted something new to wear, once they selected and kept only those things that they really loved, they felt that they had everything they needed.
We amass material things for the same reason that we eat—to satisfy a craving. Buying on impulse and eating and drinking to excess are attempts to alleviate stress. From observing my clients, I have noticed that when they part with excess clothing, their tummies tend to slim down, when they discard books and documents, their minds tend to become clearer, when they reduce the number of cosmetics and tidy up the area around the sink and bath, their complexion tends to become clear and their skin smooth. Although I have no scientific basis for this theory, it is very interesting to see that the part of the body responding corresponds closely to the area that is put in order. Isn’t it wonderful that tidying your house can also enhance your beauty and contribute to a healthier, trimmer body?