My Take on the Spark Joy Obsession
I don’t think there has been a more talked about decluttering method in recent years.
Pretty much everyone now knows about the #SparkJoy Movement and a lot of people are watching the new Netflix Series.
There is even a manga version explaining the concept (Wait …. What?!).
If you’ve been living under a rock, and don’t know what I’m talking about, you can find all the details here.
Disclaimer – I have read all the books and watched the series and I quite like this method. I have not, however, KonMari-ed my whole house, but I’ve used the philosophy to declutter and organize certain areas. I have plans to keep going with my KonMari adventure in the future.
Why Asking Yourself If An Object Sparks Joy May Help You Declutter
Simple Question. Brilliant Idea.
Like a lot of people that enjoy a tidy home, I can be really good at organizing. That means that our house is tidy and pretty much clutter free. But if you were to open cupboards or storage boxes and bins, you would most likely find some objects that are well organized, but unused and maybe unloved.
What you learn with this approach (or any decluttering worthy process) is that the objects you hold on to, but don’t spark joy, keep you in the past and prevent you from moving forward.
The items I kept may have had a particular feeling or wish attached to them and I easily justified keeping them because: a loved one gave it to me, I got it at an important time in my life, or it could still be useful, if only I could find the time to get to it.
But did they spark joy? Not always. More often than not, I felt some sort of obligation to keep them. But once I started asking myself if the items brought me happiness, it was easier to let go.
So out the door went the cute but uncomfortable pieces of clothing I was holding on to. Same fate happened to many half-read self-help books I was never going to finish and SO MANY mementos and souvenirs that didn’t really bring me any joy, but were just there.
Basically, that simple question helped me release the guilt I felt for parting with certain objects. It was LIBERATING!
What Else Should You Know About the KonMari Method?
Decluttering By Category And Not By Room
I’ve made many decluttering passes in this house, but never went about it by category. Once I did a few categories (clothes, books), it made a lot of sense though.
Decluttering by category instead of zones helps grasp the amount of stuff one has (and sometimes the ridiculousness of that amount). I feel like it makes it easier to let go of items, when you see ALL OF IT in one big pile
Still hesitant? Just try a sub category like out-of-season clothes or just your tops.
Folding Like a Ninja
Marie Kondo, has a very particular way of folding clothes and other fabric items. She’s very adamant about this important step. Sincerely though, all I can think about when I see this folding method is mini ninjas folding origami – Hi-yah!
All jokes aside, it’s a very helpful trick that lets you see what you have, saves space and if you already use drawers or boxes for storing your clothes, executing the KonMari Method of folding clothes will be super easy.
I’ve personally implemented it in some sections of my closet, but not all. And in my personal opinion, that’s OK. Again, you have to do what works for you, but to know what does, you have to try it.
Doing It All In One Go
KonMari promises to have no rebound … once it’s done, it’s done!
According to this method, you have to do it all in one tidying marathon, over a short period of time. After that, it’s just maintenance or everyday tidying like putting things back where they belong.
The power in this approach is that there is no space for second guessing and motivation to fade out. Once you’ve reached that perfect balance of only having things that you truly love, you will never want to go back to a cluttered space.
It’s pretty effective, if you want my opinion.
What I Love About The KonMari Method
Marie Kondo doesn’t prescribe to a specific number of things you should own or not. This is for you to judge.
Numbers can certainly be a great guideline, but they are not the end game. This philosophy might be more your speed, especially if you’re not into minimalism.
The other thing I really appreciate about her teachings is that she believes (and so do I) that anyone can learn this skill, which may not come naturally or has never been taught to you before.
Some people think that you’re either born tidy or not. But in reality, just like anything else, it may come easier to some humans, but everyone can learn how to be tidier and organized. Just like you know where to put all the utensils in the kitchen, and probably learned that from your mama, you can learn to assign a home and return all items to their proper place in your space for EVERYTHING you own.
There are parts of her method that were a little bit too woowoo for me, like waking up books before you begin and thanking every single item you discard. I did however, understand the respect for your belongings behind these actions. And so I let go of those parts and concentrated on her main theme, which is to focus on what you’re keeping and not what you’re discarding.
So Should You KonMari?
First, I would recommend you read the books first. I’ve seen a few people say they are doing the KonMari Method, but have clearly not taken the time to understand the teachings behind it.
Once that’s done, if you feel excited and motivated, than yes definitely!
I think this philosophy is well worth trying.