Does it Spark Joy?

01 Feb Does it Spark Joy?

If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” you’re familiar with the phrase, “Does it spark joy?” In my opinion, this one simple query has revolutionized the organizing process for many. The concept is to apply this question to each item that you own to determine if you should keep it or discard it.

As anyone who has tried to de-clutter knows, our “things” can have a psychological hold over us. Kondo understands this and reminds us that, “when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” So, if you’re in the process of de-cluttering and something doesn’t spark joy, yet you find yourself unable to discard it, ask yourself which of the two reasons it is, and Kondo says, “you’ll begin to see a pattern in your ownership of things.” Subsequently, as Kondo so eloquently states, “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” And this is the ultimate goal of the organizing journey, isn’t it?

Ready to begin? Before you do, Kondo advises that you first visualize your space uncluttered. Having a clear vision in mind will help you achieve your goal. Likewise, she recommends going through the de-cluttering process intensely and completely, in one day if possible. This method, she asserts, will completely change your habits and way of thinking, and has far better results than attempting to tidy a little every day. Sound daunting? Then, consider asking for help from a friend or professional organizer.

Visualization? Check. One full day set aside? Check. “Does it bring me joy?” question on your lips? Check. Next, get ready for an innovative approach championed by Kondo…de-clutter by category, not room. The recommended order is clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, then mementos. Mementos are last because they’re sentimental items. The idea is that by the time you reach this point in the process, you’ll be so completely on board with your new lifestyle philosophy, you’ll be prepared to make tough decisions quickly.

Although you may not agree with everything in Kondo’s book, it would be worth reading it if you’d like to learn more de-cluttering / organizing philosophies and unique hints (dubbed the KonMari Method). It may give you ideas, motivation, or completely change your life. At the very least, it should spark joy!