Bianca Castro

Clear the Mess, Clear the Mind: ‘Tidying Up’ More Than a Fad

The art of decluttering has taken everyone by storm.

A lot of it has been spurred by 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 said it can also lead to powerful mental health benefits.

For Dallas Realtor Jordan McMakin, the realization of having too much set in, after advising her clients to practice the art of decluttering before listing their homes.

"I should practice what I preach," said McMakin.

She started to tidy up her closet, bathroom, bedroom and then the kitchen and said she discovered more than just organized cabinets.

"It's like, as soon as I started organizing my closet, 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."

The notion doesn't sound strange to Dr. Rebecca Corona, psychologist team lead at Parkland Hospital.

"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," said Dr. Corona.

She said the physical act of decluttering can release the same endorphins as exercise, which make you feel emotionally better.

Once you reach your goals, your space can become an instant de-stressor.

"Once we are able to see that we can cope and that we can manage without those belongings, we might feel better and sometimes just seeing that stuff just makes us anxious," she said.

The mental health benefits might extend to the most unlikely family member, like McMakin's 17-year-old son, who first organized the shirts in his dresser.

"He's now doing his homework and he's waking up in the morning and fixing his bed, which is unheard of!"

Psychologists said before you start decluttering, understand that the process will take time and won't happen overnight.

They suggest that you start with the space that bothers you the most and said the best way to ensure that you'll actually start decluttering is to schedule it on your calendar.

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