Sparking Joy the KonMari Way

With the new year comes a renewed spirit to finally gain control over our lives. We vow to clean out, clean up, and make up – with our homes, our bodies, and our belongings.

There is no shortage of methods, advice or reference materials to point us toward successful self-improvement and home decluttering. Hygge, Wabi-Sabi, Swedish Death Cleaning and of course the very popular KonMari Method™, which is supported by four books and now a Netflix series.

the_life-changing_magic_of_tidying_up_300I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s books, but I’ve read about them and have honestly felt that her methods were extreme and perhaps just a little bit kooky. I couldn’t see myself expressing gratitude to clothing and other inanimate objects, no matter how much joy they may or may not have brought into my life.

Then I tuned in to the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix series. I’ve watched three episodes to date. I’m hooked, and no one is more surprised by that than me. For one, it’s gratifying to see that others struggle with excessive clutter and over-packed closets just as I do – bonus when they’re in much dire straits than me. Secondly, quirky as Kondo is, there is a logic to her system –  keep only those things that bring you joy (or are vital), be sure to make a home for each item, and return the items to their homes after every use. Simple enough, right?

Thankfully, Kondo’s show is not modeled on the typical American makeover shows that feature amplified stress, yelling, and grabbing. Kondo is kind and gentle. She guides her students toward building good habits rather than trying to break bad ones. She doesn’t chide or berate. She is gentle but firm in giving advice, “You’re living together, so it’s important for everyone to maintain their space, but not only that, to help each other as well…it’s very important when you’re tidying to respect each other.”

Kondo’s method doesn’t place the focus on getting rid of as much stuff as possible; it’s about appreciating and respecting the things we keep. She tells us, “The ultimate goal of tidying isn’t to have less but to be discerning in choosing what sparks joy for us and truly treasuring the items we decide to keep . . . to learn to cherish everything you have so you can achieve happiness for your family.”

Kooky? Not at all.

Oh, and today I tackled my office space – file drawer, too – I organized the junk drawer, and spent some time refolding my clothes in the KonMari way. It really does make sense. I open my dresser drawers and feel that spark of joy. Next up, my closet. Yikes!

Here’s a link to the official Tidying Up with Marie Kondo trailer. What do you think?

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