Sparking Joy

“Spark Joy!”  What does that even mean?  I am sure you have heard about the latest Netflix series that is influencing people’s lives, Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up which is based on her best-selling book Spark Joy that teaches people how to tidy up using her method of KonMari.  Essentially it focuses on keeping only items that Spark Joy for you and discarding items that do not bring happiness, all in the pursuit of simplicity.  She even puts a quirky twist on getting rid of things by thanking them for their service to you so that you feel no guilt in letting them go.  So, this all seems well and good to help you start off the new year and clean up the clutter, but how popular has she really been?  Chartbeat’s analytics show that on January 9th, only 9 days after the show’s release, Marie Kondo’s website acquired 704,514 engaged minutes and 771,345 page views.  On Instagram, she was also trending with the hashtag #konmari with over 10,000 posts and 35.7 million impressions.  It is quite cool to think that a very specific method of cleaning your house developed by a Japanese woman could inspire so many people to make life changes.  Now, are you ready to start the new year off right with some tidying up of your own with some help from Marie Kondo?

Typically, when someone does spring cleaning, you go room by room, but the KonMari method actually encourages tidying up by category and not location.  Just to reiterate also, keep only things that “Spark Joy”.

There are 6 basic rules of tidying.

Rule 1 – Commit yourself to tidying up

Rule 2 – Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Rule 3 – Finish Discarding First

Rule 4 – Tidy by category

Rule 5 – Follow the right order

The categories and the correct order are as follows.

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

To start the process, you must take all your clothes, ALL of it and place it in the living room.  It stresses tidying all at once rather than in small steps to help you gain some perspective.  Then you will go through and sort each item to see if it sparks any joy, and if it doesn’t, then get rid of it.  Essentially you will be doing this for each category.  If something is difficult to get rid of, think if it is something you would like to take with you in your life going forward.  KonMari also has few storage rules and favors “ultimate simplicity” when it comes to storage, such as what items should be kept together, and avoiding stacking of items.  Marie Kondo believes that de-cluttering can simplify your life and help you imaging the life you want to live.

Tidying up can help inspire us to start the new year off right with less materialistic items and focus on things that give us joy and meaningfulness.  Even more so, who knew that Marie Kondo, could deeply influence a nation with her own culture?  KonMari is just one of many ideas that embody simplicity.  So, why not give it a try and spark some joy in your life?  Next week we will take a deeper look at some examples of other cultures and philosophies that also inspire simplicity.

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