“Does it spark joy?”
This is probably one of the most popular questions voiced out by many people around the world in 2019. In the new Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, the world-renowned celebrity tidying up expert from Japan visited American families and taught them how to tidy up by only keeping the things that “spark joy”.
This widely adopted decluttering technique known as the “KonMari Method” was introduced in Kondo’s best-selling book, which was later translated into multiple languages. The book became a worldwide sensation and inspired millions of people to start decluttering their homes. Many have also sworn that this method has helped them become happier and stress-free.
What is the KonMari Method?
According to the KonMari Method, you have to gather all your things per category (Example: clothes, books, miscellaneous), put them in one single pile, and pick out each item while asking yourself if it sparks joy. If it does not, then it’s time for you to thank the item for serving you well and part with it. In going through this process, you then are only left with items that bring you happiness.
Of course, if there are believers, there are also skeptics. Many people love to hoard stuff and would never pass up a clearance sale. For some, having many possessions, although unnecessary, brings them a sense of security. But while the KonMari method might not be for everyone, it could actually be beneficial for people who are on the path to recovery from substance abuse. Here are some examples of how tidying up could help you find more joy while in recovery.
The process of decluttering is a therapeutic process
Seeing a massive pile of clothes can be overwhelming and you might be thinking that you won’t ever finish the task. The monumental undertaking might even cause you to feel anxious and stressed at first but according to several studies, when you actually start the decluttering process, it can serve as a form of therapy.
When you are in recovery, being idle is not advisable because this might just make you think of what you are missing. So, if you shift your focus on a major project such as decluttering your possessions, it could help take your mind off your substance abuse issues.
Getting rid of stuff is a way to get a fresh start
Are you hanging on to that jacket left by your highschool sweetheart or to that aspirational shirt you’ll never fit into? While it is easy to throw out things like newspapers, out-of-date magazines, unmatched socks, and plastic containers, it is much harder to get rid of sentimental items that you think you still need in your life.
While keeping some items may bring happy memories, there are also those that trigger difficult emotions. For example, it’s okay to hold on to your lucky tie, but get rid of that shirt you were wearing when you lost your job. While it may seem superficial, putting away physical things could help you forget more painful moments so you can start over.
This is also a good time to completely get rid of any leftover drugs, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in your home. You can then put all the clutter behind and move forward.
A cleaner environment can help you think more clearly and improve your relationships
Clutter is one of the main causes of anxiety. When you have too much stuff messing up your living space, the chaos can constantly remind you that you have things left undone. Clutter is also a cause of a lot of frustrations and conflict among family members.
How many times have you fought with your partner just because you couldn’t locate the remote control? Or how much time have you wasted trying to find the credit card bill you misplaced? These upsetting situations could become triggers for relapse especially during recovery. If you declutter your living space, you will be able to feel more relaxed because you have a dedicated space for everything you have in your house.
You can focus more on the things you love
You will never have the chance to enjoy wearing your favorite shirt if it is hidden under a mountain of ugly, ill-fitting sweaters. When you have too much stuff, it is easy to get distracted and overlook the things you hold dear.
By only keeping items that bring you happiness, you can enjoy life more, find space for new things and have time to pursue new passions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, contact Anaheim Lighthouse to learn more how we can be of help.