I haven’t exactly been quiet about my love for Marie Kondo’s latest book, “spark joy”. Quite the opposite. I’ve been bragging up “spark joy” every opportunity I get (you’d honestly think Ms. Kondo pays me… I assure you she does not -ha!).
I really wanted to spend time going through the book several times before sharing the key points that resonated the most with me. “spark joy” is very dense with information, so it took me a bit to really narrow it down (again why I recommend purchasing the book for yourself, because what speaks to me may not necessarily with you).
1. Purge by Category and Not by Room: Since sharing my KonMari journey, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people going through their own home purge/organization process. Most were following the KonMari method, but some were opting to do their own thing. For those that weren’t going with Ms Kondo’s method, they all seemed to prefer purging by room or area in their home, rather than by category as Marie suggests. In “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” it is made clear that the method involves purging by category, but no real reason for this is provided. “spark joy” confirms the reason, by making it clear that only when we really look at the volume of each particular category is it made obvious how much we should discard. A ha!
2. Purge First, Organize Later: If you’ve followed by journey, you know that this was a very vague area within “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and actually caused me a considerable amount of grief. Marie unfortunately didn’t make it clear whether purging should be done first, followed by organizing or if the two could be done simultaneously. In “spark joy” however Ms Kondo puts the debate to rest, confirming that purging is to be done first, and organizing second. Her reasoning is simply that if your home isn’t entirely purged first, you won’t know how things will be best stored and organized. Having only what you know you will being keeping with a lot more free space in your home, will make organizing a much easier task that you’ll only have to do once.
3. “For essential things that don’t bring joy, look at what they do for you”: The only hangup I’ve had when it comes to using the KonMari question of “does it spark joy?” as a measure of whether I should keep something, is when I was faced with tools and home cleaning supplies. Of course my broom doesn’t spark joy… but, what would I do without it? The reality that my broom aids in my housework and makes it easier to keep my floors clean, does spark joy.
4. Don’t Confuse Clutter for Rebound: Life is busy and sometimes we simply don’t have the time to keep our home clutter free; things build up and suddenly we find our house looks like a still shot from the show Hoarders. Fear not says Ms. Kondo if you’ve purged and gone through the home organization process then it’s simply a matter of putting back the things left out to their designated places and with a bit of effort everything is tidy again.
5. Grey Items: When it comes to purging, there are only two options: chuck it or keep it. However, sometimes it’s not that black and white and we’re undecided on what to do about certain items. If you feel like you’re undecided, then don’t hide the item – display it and reflect on the ever important question of whether it “sparks joy” and then do what speaks to you. Hiding the idea away will delay the decision process.
6. Make Your Own Power Spot: Create an area in your home that is your mini sanctuary. If space allows, designate a room or a corner area for this purpose. If you find yourself unable to make a larger power spot, opt for something smaller like a corner on your kitchen counter. The purpose is to have an area for yourself that is strictly for enjoyment and will give you a “joyful” feeling every time you spend time in the space or look at the spot you’ve designed.
7. Keep Like Feeling and Similar Material Items Together: Materials create a feeling: metal for example feels industrial and sterile, while wood and fabric feel warm and inviting. Keeping this in mind, organize in likeness for the feeling you want to create in the space you’re organizing.
8. Marie Kondo’s 4 Storage Principals:
1. Fold it
2. Stand it upright
3. Store it
4. Divide storage into square compartments