I actually really love this quote/philosophy by Marie Kondo – “does it bring you joy?” and I like to talk about this with clients when addressing their space as part of my 12 core principles to better wellbeing. Your space must bring you joy for good wellbeing. You may have heard that having a cluttered desk makes your mind cluttered and this is very true. Most times, the clutter around us is unnecessary and can either be put away or just plain thrown out.

Have you ever noticed that once you’ve tidied up or cleaned your home, you feel lighter? Have you noticed that your mind seems calmer? Waking up to or coming home to a tidy home feels relaxing especially after a hard day at work – your space is then able to nourish you.

Stay with me here. This is by no means a revolutionary concept but one that is viewed as part of your life that brings you balance. If you think that your space must bring you joy for good wellbeing and currently it doesn’t, there’s room for improvement which will help unblock some stagnant feelings that occur inside of us without us even realising.

As always, here are some numbers that might help with my plight here about cleaning. Just this week I was asked to comment on two articles about cleaning for mental wellbeing and I spoke about both sides of the coin where cleaning can be a wonderful mindful practice and also that it can exacerbate mental health whereby you are giving more of yourself away through the chore of cleaning – this particularly relates to those who live with others, partners, children.

Spend a few minutes today observing your home, the main areas that you spend your time and ask yourself if the space brings you joy. If you can see that you could make improvements, make them and then reflect on how that made you feel. If you feel like you could do more, do it but don’t rush it and certainly don’t throw half the contents of your home away in haste. Consider the question and then take action or make a plan to reduce the clutter over a period of time. Every little step you take will lighten you, making space inadvertently for more pleasant thoughts and feelings, relieving some latent stress and anxiety that occurs when you have tidying or cleaning to do.

Here are a few tips for main rooms in your home that you can use as a marker for joy:

  1. Bedroom – By far the most important room in the house. This is where you lay your body to rest each night and where you greet another day. Ensure this space brings you joy. Reduce the clutter, remove furniture that creates stress like a work desk and make it beautiful. When was the last time you bought new bedding or pillows? Does the room smell inviting? Create a sanctuary in your bedroom so that when you enter it, it instantly calms you.

  2. Kitchen – Treat your kitchen like a temple that houses your fuel. Give it love by tidying up the surfaces, don’t fill all the surfaces with gadgets. The less you have on display, the better. Be careful with trinkets here too – don’t add unnecessary décor just because you saw it on Pinterest – make the space clean and always ready for the preparation of food – which is your fuel for living.

  3. Bathroom – This is the room where you cleanse yourself from your hard day or from rest. Ensure this space is clean, is tidy and feels like a spa. Those feelings you get when you think of going to a spa can be recreated in your own bathroom. You might need to install new lighting like dimmers, you might want to get matching towels. You might even treat yourself to those gorgeous bath products you usually only get for special occasions – make every bathroom visit spa-like and treat yourself often to help relieve stress. You then create a reference point for your bathroom that it needs to be a relaxing inviting space for your body.

“Attachment to the past and fears concerning the future not only govern the way you select the things you own but also represent the criteria by which you make choices in every aspect of your life, including your relationships with people and your job.” – Marie Kondo


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