Marie Kondo and You

Marie Kondo and You

Alright, it’s time to talk about what is undoubtedly the most exciting topic you will investigate in this or any other lifetime: Cleaning house.

Okay, so that was a bit of an overstatement. We’re talking about the kind of housecleaning that those looking for sobriety tend to need to do—whether that’s getting the wrong people out of your life, making amends, or literally making your apartment into a dwelling and not a temporary squat. In essence, it’s a kind of spiritual cleaning as well, removing the clutter that no longer serves us or has become an active impediment to our new, healthier life.

Here is where Marie Kondo comes in. If you haven’t read her books or have seen her Netflix show, Kondo’s methods break down like so: She consults with people dealing with often severe cases of clutter and disorganization. She anthropomorphizes the clutter and invites her clients to ask questions of each item, one by one:

Does this spark joy?

If the answer is resoundingly “yes,” the item is kept. If the answer is “no,” the item goes. There are some tips around developing a cleaning schedule, maintaining an organizational framework as a family, and checking in months later to ensure habits have taken root.

Still, at the heart of the cleaning process is the question “Does this spark joy?” As you watch the series, you see regular people agonizing over shirts with holes and Tupperware with no lids. Actual tears roll down their face. Yet none of it seems ridiculous when you think about all the things we keep or hang on to as addicts. Things that have never served us well, like exaggerating our pain to obtain 10 times the medication to control it. Lying about our hurt and our resentments, choosing to retreat back to where we can use by ourselves. 

Moreover, just like sentimental objects can spark joy, sentiment may attach us to unhealthy people, places on routines. Just as we would sweep out ants that converged on an unseen apple core on our porch, we need to recognize that what sparks pure joy should serve us in the long term. Nothing about another person is as important as your sobriety, particularly when they might not be the best companion on your sober journey.

You’re not an irretrievable mess and never were. But you have to clean house to keep the clutter from coming back.


Be happy, joyous, and truly clean at Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California. We are a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint—it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138

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