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Spark Joy

March 6, 2017

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.

  1. Accept every work as gospel and end up with nothing that doesn’t bring you joy (even if it is useful).

  2. 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.

[bctt tweet=”All of our possessions are deserving of our gratitude – even ones we discard – because they helped us live our lives.” username=”@tinyambitionsbb”]

Do you choose your possessions based on their ability to spark joy? Or do you use another metric?

Image Credit: Unsplash

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment March 14, 2017 at 1:13 am

    I absolutely love the Spark Joy method. Before reading KonMari, it never really occurred to me to approach things that way, but now it just seems so logical! One area it has really helped me in has been my wardrobe. I used to wear things just because I had them, but once I got on board with this approach, I realised that I wasn’t enjoying my wardrobe the way I should be and I let go of everything I didn’t like without a hint of regret. I’m also really enamoured by the idea of humanising our possessions; I think it makes us a lot more conscious of the value inanimate objects bring to our lives, and it reminds us that quality (and joy!) should always come before quantity. Like you, I’m not into the whole folding/stacking/arranging things in certain ways though, I must say…I can think of better things to do with my time!

    • tinyambitions March 14, 2017 at 6:13 am

      I completely agree Lisa! I think the other popular attitude in the minimalist community of just viewing our possessions as ‘things’ and nothing more can encourage the same mindless behaviour that got us in trouble in the first place! Rather than just discarding everything without a second thought, I think it is a much more sustainable behaviour to really think about the items we do want to fill our lives with. Which makes the KonMari method so valuable.

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.