Monday, May 16, 2016

Sparks of Joy!

I just finished reading a very interesting book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying" by Marie Kondo.  Once you get used to the personification of things and ignore the mystic leanings (very few), the book is as it claims, life-changing.

I have been on what seems to have been an adult life-long journey to declutter.  I have purged so many times, usually until it hurts  and right before we moved.  I can remember hauling van loads to charity stores many times, yet things always come back and I feel cluttered again.

I am a big fan of and her "You can do anything for 15 minutes a day!"  I have participated in many of her "27 fling boogies."  I have a permanent box that I keep for discards.  I am always looking for things to purge. I LOVE to purge, however, I never made progress until now.

What is the difference?  Kondo's method is terribly simple, but you have to blindly trust her at first because what she asks seems counter productive.  First, you gather all items in a single category, all at once.  This is huge.  You can actually see how much of something you have collected.  Always before I decluttered areas.  I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see how many books you have and to see them all fit into one area after they are purged.  No more boxes hiding in the attic, garage, and all over the house.

Next, after you gather, you ask yourself a single question while holding the object, "Does this spark joy?"  This one question is critical  You are not asking yourself whether you love, need, or have space for the object.  Those questions always confused and overwhelmed me.  You are simply asking if you feel joy when you hold it.  Sounds kind of silly, but it works.  If you do feel joy, you find a space in your home for it.  If you do not, you thank it for its having fulfilled its purpose in your life and move it along to its next home.

This is very freeing to me.  I was able to purge two whole categories, media and books, without any hesitation.  I have always resisted purging these two because of a sentimental attachment.  I will continue to purge my whole house this way in the coming weeks.  I cannot wait!

Kondo's book is the best book on tidying that I have ever read.  Go read it!


  1. While I haven't read the book you mention, I have been enjoying the process of ridding our home of things that we do not need. We've made 3 trips to the thrift store already and I am working on more.

    Have fun with those sparks of joy!

    1. Hooray for you!! Purging can be quite liberating.

  2. How funny - I recently read this book and liked her approach though I haven't done it yet. Great review and testimony that it works! Very inspiring. I think it's just I need to do as I help my MIL begin to clean out her house.

    1. When I saw the book available at the library on audiobook I thought I'd just listen while doing the dishes, never expecting to be a sold out believer of her method in a few short days!! Yes, give it a go. I do not envy your job of cleaning out a house, as I remember well helping my grandparents do it. May your MIL be open to finding sparks of joy!