Decluttering leads to mental health benefits

4 months 1 day 18 hours ago Thursday, March 05 2020 Mar 5, 2020 Thursday, March 05, 2020 11:16:00 AM CST March 05, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Source: NBC
By: Hope Beitchman, KOMU 8 Producer

The art of decluttering has taken America by storm over the last year. The movement started with Marie Kondo's Netflix show "Tidying Up," which encourages people to get rid of things that don't "spark joy."

The practice can lead to a tidier home, but doctors say it can also lead to powerful mental health benefits. 

For one Dallas realtor, the realization of having too much finally set in. After telling her clients to practice the art of decluttering before listing her homes, she decided to take her own advice. 

"I figured out that might benefit us, too," McMakin said.

She slowly started to sort through her things. 

"Took hair accessories from a thousand... to a key twenty pieces," McMakin said. 

She discovered organizing her house led to improvements in her mental health. 

"It's like, as soon as I started organizing my closet and my drawers and the kitchen and compartmentalizing everything, there was just clarity with other parts of my life. I know that sounds strange, but I started getting organized with goals that I need to do for the day, planning for the week, it just stemmed in all facets of my life," McMakin said. 

Psychologist Rebecca Corona says the physical act of decluttering can release the same endorphins as exercise. 

"Having a cluttered environment sometimes makes it difficult to see the possibilities, and once it's clear, you're able to concentrate and see things a little bit better, and anything is possible which can bring joy to someone," Dr. Rebecca Corona said. 

Psychologists say before you start decluttering, understand that the process will take time. They suggest that you start with the space that bothers you the most. Mental health experts also say the best way to ensure that you'll begin the decluttering process is to schedule it on your calendar. 

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