• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Mental health benefits of tidying up

March 18, 2019

Tidying up seems to be all the rage. There are videos on social media about how to do it, and Marie Kondo has become a celebrity with her methods of organization. Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist, says clearing out the clutter has real health benefits.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of the post.
Please 'Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.' Read the script.

Stuff. It's everywhere.

"We come from a culture where we like to acquire things, and that's, you know, quite normal," says Dr. Sawchuk.

If the amount of stuff coming in exceeds the amount going out, we can get lost in our own clutter.

"The brain likes organization. It doesn't necessarily have to be minimalistic, but it really likes organization. It reduces stress in our life," Dr. Sawchuk says.

Too much clutter may increase stress and your risk of depression. It also may create time management problems that can make other issues worse.

If you want to clean up the clutter, Dr. Sawchuk recommends you try these three things:

  1. Commit to getting started. Literally, get it on the calendar.
  2. Be accountable. Tell a friend or family member you're going to clear the clutter.
  3. Make it fun. Listen to music or think about how the process and results will improve your quality of life.

Talk to your health care provider if the clutter becomes overwhelming.

Please login or register to post a reply.