A new year is a time of detoxes, crash diets, and makeup-for-the-holidays resolutions. But what if this year we take a more sustainable approach to nourishing body and mind? After all, it’s the small habit changes that have the most powerful impact on our overall, long-term health.

Today we speak with the founder of Felt., and certified KonMari consultant, Cassidy Nasello, about how cleansing the space we live in can improve our happiness, productivity, and energy levels.

Splendid Spoon: Hi Cassidy! Tell us about yourself and Felt.

Cassidy Nasello: I’m a mom to two little ones (my most challenging and rewarding job to date), and that led me to reassess my demanding job in digital advertising. I realized that I wanted a career that involved deeper 1:1 connections and visible results. Applying my personal passions of home organizing to my entrepreneurial spirit, I started Felt., a home organizing company which uses the KonMari method to help people make dramatic and lasting changes in their lives.

SS: What is the KonMari method?

CN: The KonMari Method is an approach to living a life filled with only the things that spark joy, created by Marie Kondo. The method allows people to declutter in a way that’s sustainable and meaningful by evaluating the utility and emotional role that objects play in their lives, one item category at a time.

SS: How does cleansing our space help our mental health?

CN: Clutter plays two roles: 1) It serves as distraction from other potentially hard to face feelings; 2) It clouds our vision of what’s truly possible. A recent client spent countless hours “straightening up” her home and mindlessly shopping. After a full day of decluttering, we got to the root cause of her clutter: she was afraid that her writing was going to be bad. By dusk, we’d cleared enough out of her apartment that she had a beautiful writing corner to inspire her creativity.

SS: Can having a clean, zen space impact our physical health?

CN: Taking care of your environment translates into taking care of yourself. Once you remove distracting clutter and spend less time battling stuff, you can begin new self-care practices like clean eating, exercise, and meditation.

SS: How do people feel after a consultation with you?

CN: Initially they feel exhausted, then reborn, and ultimately ready to take on the rest of their life.

SS: What one simple exercise can we all do at home to cleanse our space?

CN: Empty your bag every evening and designate a permanent spot for all of its contents. Treat it like a ritual to transition from work to home, and you’ll also never lose anything again.

SS: Do you cleanse other parts of your life too? If so, what?

CN: While I made no conscious effort to rid myself of toxic relationships, I consciously did put more focus on the positive ones. As a result, I have a life filled with love and support. That’s how decluttering should be approached: focus on the things you love and the rest fades away.

SS: How often do you apply the KonMari method to your home?

CN: I’ve gone through the entire decluttering process twice in two years (pre-children and post-children). There’s no need for constant “tidying” when you’re truly honest with yourself during what Marie Kondo calls the “tidying festival.” I apply the KonMari Method of storage and folding daily. [Here’s what that method looks like! — Ed.]

SS: How else can we cleanse our space to invite in warmth and joy?

CN: When you’ve chosen what to keep, based on what brings you joy, a warm and inviting space is the natural consequence.

Tip 1: Treat your closet like a visual diary where you display the treasures that were once hidden in shoeboxes e.g. the lucky charm, the vacation postcards, the love letter from your partner.

Tip 2: Tap into your other senses with diffusers, intimate lighting and cozy blankets.

SS: Do you think decluttering is a self-care practice?

CN: Like eating clean, most of us need help with decluttering. It doesn’t happen overnight and it requires commitment and a plan. Self-care and indulgence isn’t just about splurging at the spa. It’s about recognizing on what parts of your life you want to focus, and investing in the help you need to accomplish your goals.