Cleaning up has become a cult.
Marie Kondo, the Japanese organization guru and author of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has become an international celebrity with legions of devoted fans.
Kondo’s creed to purge your physical space of the things you don’t really need has brought peace of mind to millions. This fall, declutter the spaces in your studio to bring more calmness and focus to you, your staff and your clients.
BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING
Clutter bombards our minds with stimuli, causing all of our five senses to work overtime.
A study at Princeton University found when people are asked to perform a task in a disorganized environment, the physical clutter in their surroundings competed for their attention, which resulted in decreased performance and increased stress.
A disorganized space makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally, because clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done. In addition to the mental toll clutter can take, this type of ongoing stress can even have negative effects on your immune system, heart, lungs and other key physiological functions.
By decluttering your studio, you can help your staff and clients focus more on the fitness activities they are engaged in. As an added bonus, having fewer things around your studio means there are fewer things for you to take care of. And when you are spending less time and energy taking care of stuff, you have more energy for doing what you love.
THE KON-MARI METHOD OF CLEANING
Kondo’s approach to decluttering is called the Kon-Mari method, and the principal behind it is simple: One by one, put your hands on every object in your studio and ask yourself if that object sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank the object for its service and get rid of it.
This may sound like a hazy or even impractical benchmark, but with practice it becomes an invaluable tool. While it may be a stretch to say the computer at the reception desk or a soap dispenser in the locker room sparks joy, if touching it evokes frustration or unpleasantness, it could be time to replace or update it.
When deciding what to discard, your goal isn’t to throw out or donate as much as possible, but to make sure you surround yourself with the things that make you happy. Your studio should not only be a place of joy for you, but for your clients as well.
Kondo recommends you sort and purge by category (equipment, paperwork, linens, etc.), not by room (reception, back office, workout space, etc). The reasoning is that similar items are likely scattered throughout the studio, not confined to one space.
Next, once your most joy-giving objects remain, put them away in a place that is easily accessible. According to Kondo, fancy stackable storage solutions encourage hoarding. The ideal storage makes it as effortless to put something away as it is to locate it later. This step is critical to avoiding a clutter relapse.
OTHER TIPS AND TRICKS
Random papers piled up can be one of the biggest clutter offenders. Your studio probably is inundated with mail, flyers, menus, receipts and magazines. Go through these papers as soon as you can and toss what you don’t need.
Finding the time for your fall clean-up can be a challenge. One strategy is to get started by working five minutes at a time. Five-minute intervals are a more achievable goal than taking hours out of your day.
Alternatively, you can schedule a fall declutter day in advance. Ask your staff to pitch in, and make it fun with food and drinks. Get boxes and trash bags ready, and plan a trip to a charity to drop off donated items.
To really get yourself motivated for a serious decluttering session, visualize how you want your studio to look. What are the most essential pieces of equipment or furniture? What doesn’t belong in a space but has gravitated there? What is on your countertops and the other flat surfaces? Once you visualize how the studio can look uncluttered, you’ll be more excited to set aside time for the clean up.
Most of all, be conscious of what you bring and what others bring into your studio. Before objects make it through your front door, ask yourself, “Will this bring joy to me and those around me?”