Have you jumped on the KonMari train? If you’ve been living under a rock (which is totally cool, no judgement), Marie Kondo is a tidying guru taking the world by storm with an incredibly simple message – if an item doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it.
In her newest book, Spark Joy, Marie explains that even if something doesn’t bring you joy in the traditional sense of the word – it might in the practical sense. She asks us to reexamine what joy actually means, or what it could mean.
For example, my screwdriver doesn’t give me joy in the same way that my favourite dress does. In fact, I’m not sure any screwdriver set could spark joy in me. But I recognize its utility and its ability to help me fix things. And this is equally as important as the warm, fuzzy feeling my favourite clothes give me.
This understanding that not all thing spark joy in the same way brings Marie Kondo’s writing back into the realm of reality for some realist’s like myself. It is easy to go to one of two extremes with KonMari.
Accept every work as gospel and end up with nothing that doesn’t bring you joy (even if it is useful).
Refuse to accept anything she says because ‘Spark Joy’ is unrealistic and doesn’t take into account things we need to live our lives.
The new book effectively neutralizes both of these extremes. You can find joy in things that are useful rather than beautiful, and all applications of this approach will lead to different results because what is important to each of us is inherently different.
There are still some things I can’t get on board with in this method, mainly the folding because I have zero folding storage options available. But what I find equally admirable and unnerving is Marie Kondo’s ability to give life and personality to the items in our lives. I really don’t want to think about how my forks feel about being stacked on top of each other in a dark drawer. But I believe this process can give us insight into how we treat our belongings.
The way she talks about items having certain energies and auras humanizes our possessions in a way that I hadn’t really explored before.
I wonder if we considered our possessions as having emotions, if that would change the way we treat them?
If every item has an energy to it (and therefore it seems alive), would we be more mindful about our consumerism and what we choose to fill our lives with?
If the things we own are a reflection of ourselves, would you be happy with that image? Or would you want to make some changes to realign your belongings with who you believe you are as a person?
The takeaway from Spark Joy for me is that all of our possessions are deserving of our gratitude – even ones we discard – because they helped us live our lives in some way.
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Do you choose your possessions based on their ability to spark joy? Or do you use another metric?
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