by Dr. Will Cole
As a functional medicine practitioner, I look at all the different aspects of a person’s health since there are so many factors that play a role in our wellness journey – including the spaces that we live our daily lives.
Ultimately, our environments should be a reflection of our mind: an outside manifestation of the inner. The way our space is organized can either contribute to healing or perpetuate our health problems. In fact, research has shown that people with disorganized homes are more likely to be stressed, depressed, and fatigued than people who identify their homes as restorative.
The bedroom is one of the most important spaces to keep structured and peaceful since clutter can affect the quality of your sleep and increase stress. In my life, I’ve found a practice that helps me keep my closet and bedroom a sanctuary for rest.
How I used the Kondo Method
Just a few months ago, I was transformed by the organizational methods of Marie Kondo and used them to take control of my bedroom – my drawers and closet specifically. The Kondo Method has created quite the buzz over the last few years with your practical yet revolutionary organization techniques. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is your go-to guide for easy ways to clear the clutter.
Since I tend to be a more anxious person implementing the Kondo method has enhanced my sense of calm and sleep. It also increased my creativity which is especially important for the many hours I spend writing in my bedroom. A study out of Princeton University confirmed my feelings by showing that a messy environment creates distraction from your thoughts, decreases creativity, and elevates stress hormones.
Cleaning up your room is an easy enough change to make that will support healthier sleep. Studies have shown that just one night of poor sleep increases inflammation in the body! Can you imagine what years of prolonged poor sleep does to our health? Here’s how I put my own spin on the Kondo method in my bedroom:
1. I did a closet detox.
I followed Marie’s advice and held each piece of clothing separately as a mindfulness practice to understand whether the clothing brought me happiness. If not, I donated it. While this may seem a little out there for some people, for me it represented an inner and outer cleansing. Plus, it was very humbling to give away clothes I no longer needed to those who would really appreciate them.
2. I color-coded my closet.
Just like Marie suggests, I placed each remaining item in my closet from dark to light colors and from left to right, just like reading a book. This simple change helps structure the flow of the closet and makes choosing what to wear each morning a breeze!
3. Finally, I tackled the drawers.
This part of the decluttering process was extremely fun for me (#nerdlife). As Marie recommends, I rolled each shirt like a sushi roll, laid them side to side, and categorized them by color. This allows me to see every single shirt when I open the drawer. A welcomed change from the days when I would haphazardly fold and shove my T-shirts in the drawer to never be seen until enough shirts were in the laundry to finally reveal what was left. The Kondo drawer method is good for the soul.
So am I still doing the Kondo method months later? Heck yes. My bedroom is now a tranquil sanctuary. I sleep better and am less stressed with the day-to-day home-sorting. As the book title implies, it is truly life-changing magic.
I use this method to purge my closet regularly to continually decrease clutter. I also apply this method when shopping to avoid making purchases that I don’t really need, even if it is on sale. So, thank you Marie Kondo. You have a fan in functional medicine.
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