The mental health benefits of tidying up

Reduction of stress and mental load, time saving, clarity of mind, improvement of family relations up to the feeling of accomplishment, self-confidence and desire for emancipation... Tidying up your interior would be the key to happiness and could well change your life! Where to start ? Christine Tessier, storage coach, guides us.

The benefits of storage

Stressed out right now? According to a study by theUniversity of California (carried out for 9 years), it could perhaps come from your interior. The study shows that the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) is higher in women living in a messy household. We are not talking about a sock lying around, an accumulation of dirty plates in the sink or an overflowing yellow garbage can. We also do not mention the Diogenes syndrome (a real pathology, this behavioral disorder is characterized by the excessive accumulation of useless objects and waste, such as unsanitary housing in programs like “C’est du Propre” on M6) but rather an organizational concern at the origin of many other problems that we often choose to hide: poor time management, mental workload, family tensions... A snowball effect that not only weighs on family life at home, and can lead to a loss of self-confidence.

Convinced that an optimized interior was a source of well-being (and much more), Christine Tessier has made storage her job: Home Organizer, or storage consultant. A new career path for this photo stylist, trained for two years in the Marie Kondo method.

The Kon Mari Method

You must know "The Art of Tidying up" by the Japanese Marie Kondo, a manual for sorting out your interior from top to bottom, a best seller that has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide (including me, the author of this article, is part of it) adapted in series on Netflix. The life-saving decluttering method, to be carried out at least once in your life, “over a period of 6 months to 1 year” specifies Christine.

The key ? Arrange by product category and not by room in the house (clothes, books, hygiene products, electronic objects, souvenirs, etc.) and in a well-defined order, from least to most sentimental. Basically, from the easiest to the most complicated. Each object must be the object of a choice (keep it, or not), by wondering if, in addition to being useful, it gives us joy. A real moment of introspection and gratitude, since in her method, the popess of storage advises to thank each object that we decide to part with. Coincidence? 69% of French people say they want to declutter their interior according to a Sociovision study for theNational Union of French Furniture Industries.

Our advice after testing:
It's long. Sort it out in stages, especially if you live in an apartment to avoid turning your interior into a shambles for months and finally taking 10 steps back or even getting discouraged. It's an excellent way to become aware of your consumption: in the method, Marie advises to spread out the same categories of objects on the floor (so all the memories together for example, all the clothes, all the electric cables, etc.) . Maddening balance sheet after years of accumulation. At the end of the course, we learn to cherish the objects/clothes that we keep, we take even more care of them (I invested in a pilling razor to find my sweaters like new each season and I am become a dust maniac). And Christine confirms: “Very often, we review our way of consuming. We pay attention to what we bring into our homes, and we buy more consciously”. A small step for you, a big one for the planet?

An introspection on his life

The sorting being finished (9 months later for me), it's a real relief. For the first time, I separated from objects that I loved, but which no longer served me on a daily basis. Out of a dozen garbage bags (it goes very quickly!), I gave 3/4 to recycling centers, and I'm much happier to tell myself that they must be used for someone today rather than see them sleeping in my closets. This big cleaning was finally the first stage of a more colossal sorting, that of my life. Because fun fact: once this “mission” was over, I got down to much deeper subjects, and I moved.

Spring cleaning, a first step to change your life? This is very clearly the opinion of our expert Christine Tessier: “The most interesting thing after this sorting is the profound result of this introspection. You free up space in your house, and therefore in your head. The more objects you have, the more energy you spend managing them, the less time you have. After this sorting, we find a “clean” space, both literally and figuratively. Non-tidying up is a way of fleeing by “filling”, of not devoting ourselves to our true desires.”

Some of his clients have, for example, changed jobs, moved, considered a baby project. If at first, tidying up de-stresses, soothes and makes family relationships more fluid (everyone is autonomous in their space, which reduces the mental load, most often female), for Christine, tidying up is a way of pressing pause and to take stock of your life: we do not advocate a minimalist interior but an interior that corresponds to the person you are now, at the moment T.”. Taking care of your body, your mind, AND your interior - the key to a more peaceful life in tune with our roughness!

Bonus: how to sort your bathroom?


The bathroom is the room in the house that exemplifies well-being. For many, it is also a decompression chamber before or after a day's work. It's one of the rare moments when you really disconnect, so this room must be all the more clean, pretty, orderly to offer a real feeling of relaxation. Christine gives you her tips for tidying up your bathroom efficiently.

- Discard expired products. And there are many more of them than you thought! A mascara (open) lasts 3 months, a day cream 1 year, a sunscreen 6 years... Hence the interest of knowing how to read the labels - and not to accumulate too much. Test it beauty routine that suits you and stick to it for 3 to 6 months to observe the effects on your skin.

- Keep the bare minimum in the shower and on the sink, the surface must be quickly cleanable. Store the rest in easily accessible places. And above allAvoid talkative products (with large labels and lots of text to read, because the brain can't stop reading, even when you don't feel like it! Take the test with displays in the street or in the metro ).

- Out of stock. No matter the promotional offers at the supermarket etc, even if the human being is conditioned by this "fear of missing out", your daily well-being is worth more than a 3rd deodorant offered at the head of the gondola.

- Think positive sorting. Small exercise: keep only your favorite products, those that you would take for 1 month of travel.

- Sort by product type: daily products (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, day cream) and occasional products (scrub, razor, etc.). Gather them by universe: hair, body..

All Christine's advice on

To do during your big spring cleaning: start the HO KALM podcast and draw on the best advice from our guests (Amélie Pichard, Katsuni, Camille Aumont Carnel) to calm down. Reward yourself, by lighting up the OKLM spark plug, savor the accomplishment of this task, and take stock of your life after?

READ ALSO: Feng Shui codes for creating a soothing interior

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