Tidy up: removing clutter can help improve your life

Studies have shown clutter increases stress

Removing clutter can help improve your life. Photograph: Thinkstock

Removing clutter can help improve your life. Photograph: Thinkstock

 

Several popular books this year have promoted tidying up as a way to improve, not just your home, but your life as well.

In Stuffocation, author James Wallman argues that living with clutter increases stress, and spending money on experiences rather than things will make us happier.

Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo wrote the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Kondo instructs readers to pick up every object they own and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If not, she says, chuck it out. Her philosophy does not include a “maybe” pile.

“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t,” she writes. Studies have linked cleaning with improved mental health.