My good friend Anna Marie is the most organized person I know. So when she comes across a book about organizing and she recommends it, I pay attention.
It turns out everyone is talking about this book. I told another friend about the book and a friend of hers had already given her a copy.
SPARK JOY by Marie Kondo is a unique approach to decluttering your life. If you have issues with clutter, you might like to read the Look Inside feature of this book on Amazon and see if this is the book for you.
In her approach, Marie Kondo has six basic rules of tidying:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish by discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the right order: clothes, books, papers, komono, sentimental
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy
The process will be as fast or as slow as you choose. Some of us take longer to decide whether or not an object “sparks joy” and we progress more slowly.
The criterion for deciding what to keep and what to discard is whether or not something sparks joy.
Even though it may not look like it, your clutter is finite. If you commit to this process, you will finish and you will achieve that nirvana of a clutter free home.
Don’t confuse temporary clutter with a rebound.
Marie Kondo tells us that anyone who learns to tidy properly should never rebound. Do not confuse “temporary clutter” with rebound. There will be days when you are busy and don’t have time to put things away. But once you have completed her process, everything will have a designated space. Putting things in their designated space takes very little time.
I’ve only just begun. I am going in order, doing clothes first. I had no idea I owned this many T-shirts and I have to admit, they do not all Spark Joy. Still I have that nagging little voice that says I should hold on to some of those shirts I don’t like, just in case I need one for a painting day.
“It might come in handy”
“It might come in handy” is taboo. It is the enemy of tidying.
Marie Kondo says there are some tools and some clothes, that though they do not Spark Joy, are necessary to make us happy in certain situations. We can thank them for that. But only one of my T-shirts will be a painting shirt. The rest that do not Spark Joy will go, and my closet will thank me because I will have freed up space on the closet rod.
Another thing that encourages me is that Marie Kondo says if it brings you Joy, you do not need to get rid of it. She has a name for those clothes you will never wear. That out-of-date evening gown, that costume for the play. She calls those things “Cosplay” or Costume Play. We put them on, and they lift our spirits. So keep them. Wear them indoors. And, sometimes, when we try them on, after all these years, we discover they no longer give us that same good feeling. No Joy. Decision made. Easy to toss. Again, my closet thanks me for the additional space.
I am starting with my shirts. At first I made the mistake of color coding the hangers these would go on. Then I ran out of that color and had to switch colors. The rule is Discard First. Storage comes later. So, I will carry on. One shirt at a time.
Have you heard of Spark Joy? Do you need to declutter? Do you have any idea how to begin? Do you think it’s possible to go through this Marie Kondo process, once, correctly (discard first, and in the correct order) and then remain forever clutter free?
This looks like an AMAZING book. Have you read her first book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Should I read that first?
In the first pages of SPARK JOY, she says that if you are committed to tidying up, you can get going with this book alone. If you need convincing, you might want to try her first book too.
A friend gave me her first book and I’ve been working my way through my clutter ever since. Her book did help me make the necessary attitude adjustment to achieve success. I’m still working my way through the categories-I’ve finished clothes, books, and am most of the way through my kitchen- but it is very true this takes time, commitment and energy. I had to take a time out after the holidays to recharge. But this is the first organization system that really seems to work at the deepest internal behavioural level so that, hopefully, I won’t find myself having to go through this painful process again in a few years!
Thank you, Brenda. Your words encourage me. It sounds like Step One is that attitude adjustment. Let’s touch base in six months and see how far along we both are.
Good luck with your discarding!
I love the idea of decluttering – but I like my clutter! However, every now and again it gets too much and then I purge. That usually happens spring and fall.
If you LIKE it, it brings you JOY! So, it’s not really clutter.
Victoria – you are probably one of those very organized people. 🙂
marie kondo is a kill-joy!… purposefully taking away the unexpected delight and sheer pleasure of finding stuff that you thought you’d never see again amongst your treasured clutter… what kind of person would want to deprive others of that?… i think being marie-kondo-organized is overly rigid and almost entirely lacking in creativity!… (although I must admit i have her first book too… i just haven’t seen it in quite a while… but i know it’s around here somewhere… and knowing that it’s somewhere in all this clutter does spark an element of joy in my heart!)…
You make me laugh!
laughing is good for life… the older I get the more I appreciate how wonderful it is to laugh… I suppose being marie-kondo-organized is appropriate for some folk but it just strikes me as being a bit too severe and sterile… like having all your trees planted in the rows and columns of a tree farm when you could have had the beautifully ordered chaos of a forest… it’s good to make room for some wild abandon in life and appreciate the beauty that often dwells in the midst of clutter!
Hey! I’m all for some “beautiful chaos” but at this point I really Do need a bit of marie-kondo-order so I can actually SEE the forest for all these trees I’m stumbling through!
now that made me laugh… good point!