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As the founder of a junk removal company, I’m a big fan of Marie Kondo — she’s a real-life decluttering pro, changing lives by helping people get rid of what’s weighing them down. When I heard about her Netflix show, though, my first thought was why didn’t I think of that? We’ve been helping people reclaim their space by reducing clutter for three decades. Maybe Netflix should call us, too!
If you’ve watched the show or gone through the decluttering process yourself, you know how hard it can be. That’s what makes Marie Kondo so great: by focusing on the positive, she brings fun and magic to the sometimes grueling task of throwing things away.
The problem is, whether we like it or not, we have emotional attachments to our possessions. A worn-out stuffed animal from childhood or a favorite pair of sneakers can bring back happy memories, making it harder to let go. But holding on to the past — and the “stuff” that comes with it — could have a negative impact on your wellbeing. Here’s how tidying up can help you move on.
It’s A Brain Thing
Our attachment to “stuff” starts when we’re young. At two years old, kids can understand the concept that they can own something — that’s why it can be tricky to teach them to share. And the ugly by-product of ownership is jealousy: when somebody else has something better, we automatically want it, too.
That’s what the post-WWII era was all about, after all. Possessions became a status symbol; whoever had the biggest and brightest was considered the best. We’re slowly moving away from this materialist mindset but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Just think about the millions of perfectly good earphones that were thrown away last year as people dished out nearly $200 for a new set of AirPods. It even sparked the creation of countless memes making fun of the 1% who can afford them.
It goes to show there really is an art (and science) to cleaning up. Getting rid of things just to replace them with something better isn’t effective — it just leads to more and more stuff. I’m not saying you can’t love your iPhone or your car (I love mine, too). But if your attachment to your possessions is affecting your life, it’s not a healthy relationship.
Tidy Space, Tidy Mind
It’s been proven that a cluttered work space can cause stress and inhibit productivity. The same is true at home. Between work and family and a personal life, keeping your spaces clear often isn’t top priority; many of the stuff we haul away has been sitting in our customers’ homes for years. But when things pile up and get out of control, you can start to feel overwhelmed.
Some people thrive in a lived-in (read: messy) environment. I’m definitely not one of those people — I’m an advocate for minimalist living and can’t stand even having too many apps on my phone. I think that’s why I was drawn to junk removal as a business idea in the first place. I believe clearing unnecessary clutter from our lives gives us the space to focus on what really matters.
I encourage you to take a page from the KonMari method and commit to reducing clutter — at home and at work. I promise you, clearing out your spaces will take you to a clearer state of mind.
May 28, 2019 at 06:13PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs