Master Overwhelm:  Why Marie Kondo’s Method Works

At first glance, Marie Kondo’s approach to decluttering seems to only create rigid systems for living.  Her tidying book filled me anxiety and overwhelm.

When I finally watched her approach in the Netflix series, I now understand why transformation is sparked.

For the last decade, I have been helping people organize life skills.  My clients are recovering from different forms of addiction, unhappy relationships and trauma.

One of the most disorganizing emotions for my clients, is their intimate struggle with overwhelm.  

Overwhelm suffocates clarity, life agency and momentum.  Overwhelm drives many avoidance and relapse patterns.  Learning to ground overwhelm is a critical life skill for my clients to master.  

Marie Kondo’s approach of pulling everything from closets forces an immediate confrontation with reality.  It forces her clients to build a capacity to support reality.  It slices into the clouds of overwhelm to invite clarity of connection.  

Helping people expand an organizing capacity to confront overwhelm is life changing. As you begin to work with overwhelm in resourceful ways you bring more of your brain online to discern, make decisions and grow capacity.   It immediately provides people with a resource to build skills they previously could not access.

This is what I think……

Overwhelm is an inescapable ingredient to our humanity.  We all experience overwhelm.  Often it shows up in our clutter.  The work is not about organizing perfect systems but rather learning how to be with our things, our clutter in ways which awaken a deeper organizing presence. 

As we develop vital organizing skills, we access an organizing presence to spark vibrant aliveness, belonging and creative inspiration. 

Here is the blind spot……

Clutter’s secret lover is perfectionism.  Rigidity’s unbending nature creates stuckness, more cluttered states and repetitive cycles.   Overwhelm is typically lodged in this disorganized relationship.

If we have a rigid reaction with our cluttered states, we cut ourselves from developing a critical stabilizing floor needed to access growth, security and well-being.  If we are too complacent with our cluttered states, we freeze and become vulnerable to abject chaos.   

The work is developing a practice which invites ourselves to our organizing life in powerful, insightful ways which expand resourceful connection, gather clarity and claim aliveness.  Learning to work with our clutter offer a vital key in reorganizing our life. 

My clients who struggle with clutter also struggle with overwhelm and perfectionism. 

They lock themselves out from more resourceful organizing capacity.  They tend to attack their problems from the same mindset which creates their problems.  This yields no new results. 

All our clutter and cluttered states needs a new organizing framework.

As you build stamina and capacity to rupture the spell of overwhelm, you create needed internal space to find a new organizing presence.  Present organizing presence is needed to build a thriving, vibrant life.   


If you crave a new organizing process, GRAB the FREE Training HERE. 

Angela McKinney is a life coach whose teachings span a global client base and are regularly featured in leading media outlets. Untangle & Thrives mission is to help people emerge from the shadows of hiding and gather skills to organize a thriving life.  Through in-person coaching, online classes and newsletters, she gives clients the skills they need to reorganize the whispers of their tangled parts to access vibrancy, visibility and aliveness.  

Angela Mckinney
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