Ideas for simplifying your life from Marie Kondo - Spark Joy   

Ideas for simplifying your life from Marie Kondo - Spark Joy   

If you have not stopped to take a look around and thank some of the things that you use daily to make your life easier, it may be time to start! According to Marie Kondo, lovingly connecting with your belongings can spark real joy, and bidding a fond but firm farewell to the things that you do not need any longer can actually make you happier and more effective.

In her book, ‘Spark Joy: an illustrated master class in the art of organizing and tidying up’, Kondo encourages people to discard the things that don’t spark joy. Unfortunately, many of us are actually weighed down by possessions and therefore not really aware, or perhaps cannot see the things that can bring joy into our lives. It is not difficult at all though to identify the objects and things that bring you joy. The moment you touch something valuable to you, you will know its importance straight away.

Clutter does not spark joy
While a tidy and clutter free home can help to spark joy in your life, many people are often not willing or are emotionally unable to part with their things. De-cluttering is hard, there’s no doubt about it, because people often form emotional attachments to their possessions. But tidying up is essential to keeping a clear headspace and a clarity on what matters in life. In Mary Kondo’s perspective, tidying up means actually confronting yourself and what’s important to you, while cleaning implies confronting nature.

Kondo claims, if you are struggling to get rid of anything, it can only be because you are attached to your past or are afraid of your future. So if you come across something that does not spark joy, but you are unable to get rid of it, consider stopping for a moment to ask yourself why you are having trouble discarding the object; are you afraid of the future or are you holding on too tightly to the past?

Important life lessons from Marie Kondo’s ‘Spark Joy’

1. Sort by subject
If you sort your belongings by subject, rather than clearing out room by room, it is easier to decide which belongings to part with. Mary Kondo suggests starting out the process by sorting out your clothes, then books, the documents, miscellany and lastly photos and mementos. This means you will have practice at discarding items before you come to the ones which are typically the most difficult to part with.

2. Concentrate on what you want to keep
Part of what makes the decluttering process so difficult is deciding what to keep and throw away. To make it easier, you should focus mostly on what you want to keep because you must only select the things that bring you true joy. Think about it for a minute. If you only keep the real ‘joyful’ items, imagine what you would discard!

3. Organize what is left
After joyfully determining what you want to keep, throw away, sell or donate, you then need to organize what you have left. The key to organization according to Mary Kondo is organizing everything in drawers so that everything is well arranged. Try not to stack anything because stacking remains unfair to the items at the bottom! And finally, imagine a life and a home that is de-cluttered; room for all the things and activities that bring you joy. Wealth is defined as a ‘plentiful supply of a desirable thing’ or ‘an abundance of valuable possessions’. Spark Joy into your wardrobe, your home, your office and see more clearly how your life can be filled with abundance of desirable things.



Sally is the Founder of LifeBuddy. She is an Organisational Development consultant and is a Practitioner with the Association for Business Psychology.