A Life That Sparks Joy (My Take on the trend of Tidying Up)

Marie Kondo and Konmari method

Okay, if you’re into anything trendy then you’ve probably already heard of the show and book, “Tidying Up” or you have heard of Marie Kondo and the Konmari Method. If all of this sounds foreign to you, then don’t worry because technically it is!

Konmari method and Marie Kondo is straight from Tokyo where this adorable and quite classy powerhouse started her own organizing business at age 19. From there she basically developed her own method and idea that you only keep the things that spark joy in your home AND on top of that, she has a whole system of how to fold clothes and the order in which to purge and so on.

Now I know you’re probably thinking that you already know how to fold clothes, so unless the method actually folds the clothes for you, you probably don’t want to hear it. But hear me out. I’ve incorporated this method into all three of my children’s rooms and was able to have multiple empty drawers, empty spaces and a whole empty shelf simply because I folded our clothes differently. Yes, my mind was blown too.

But honestly, I’m not here to talk about the logistics of her method other than if you ever wanted to do something trendy that “everyone is doing,” then this is totally the thing you should do.

You see, I’ve long been infatuated with the idea of minimalism for around the last year or so. Constantly it seems as if I’m dropping bags off to donate or adding bags to our shed for a good ole’ fashioned garage sale. Constantly I fight the urge to not just dump all of my kids toys out and send them off, but the realistic person in me just does a little here and there. My closet has dwindled down drastically over the last year and it feels SO good.

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My take on the Konmari method

You see, I don’t like a lot of things. Too much stuff makes me anxious, makes me crazy and frazzles me. It doesn’t spark joy for me to open a closet that is too full to even look through and it doesn't bring me joy to walk into my kid’s rooms and just see toys EVERYWHERE.

But hold on a second friend. This is just ME. This is just me and I know this isn’t everyone and there is NO right or wrong here. Also, hashtag blessed because we are…I’m thankful for the obnoxious amount of toys my kids have. Minimalism or essentialism isn’t for everyone and that’s okay!

But what I have learned is that my life sparks joy when there’s less “noise.” And by noise I mean everything from too much stuff to too many obligations to too much time indoors and not enough time in the sunshine. My life lacks joy when there’s too much takeout instead of home cooked meals and when there’s what feels like no time in the day to do anything because all day long I am just picking up STUFF. Stuff that perhaps if we didn’t have so much, there would be less strewn across the floors.

I’ve noticed now when I shop that I seriously contemplate over an item if it’s not one that I went there looking for. For instance, I went to Homegood this week looking for two new pillows for our sofa and baskets for our laundry room. I had the cutest shelf in my shopping cart at one point that I contemplated so long over, I even went back to look at it after checking out. Truth was I wanted it, but the real truth is that there was no real spot I could justify putting it AND on top of that, it somewhat goes against my less is more. I don’t want to buy things because they’re cute, I want to buy it because there’s a need for it and that need will bring me joy.

A life of less with Konmari Method

While this may seem like crazy talk, a lot of research out there shows us that we’re all over obligated, overly anxious and our kids are “bored.” The bottom line is that too much stuff for many people, creates too many internal problems. Kids thrive with less toys that are open play verses battery operated with annoying sounds and lights and people thrive when there’s less clutter.

Everyone has a different meaning of what sparks joy for them. Some people enjoy a cozy home filled to the brim and that is okay my friend. We are all different. But what I do hope you can take away from this post is that you can find the ability to find what sparks “joy” for you. If you think a life and home with less stuff will spark joy, then I pray you go all Konmari on it. But if you know your life will spark joy in some other way, then by all means you do you.

I’m just here to share with you that sometimes being trendy has its perks. Empty drawers and clean spaces are a huge bonus to me as well as only keeping the things we love and use. I challenge you to spark some joy today and figure out if your home and all of its spaces are sparking joy in your life.

Tips for the process:

+ Make a list of what you want to accomplish, example: kitchen, kids’ rooms, your closet, etc…

+ Work each day on a new task from your list so you don’t totally overwhelm yourself

+ If you know for sure you have no plans to resell the items, then take them immediately to a good donation place

+ Pull everything out from the cabinets, drawers, closets, etc… to see what you REALLY have

+ Make your goal to simply have less and more organization

+ Give yourself grace if it’s a longer process or if it’s overwhelming, because it can be

+ The idea isn’t to function with barely anything, but to function with just the things you love and truly need

+ Learn the Konmari method of folding and you’ll be amazed at the space you save!

+ If your home is in desperate need of change and decluttering, read her book and go through all the steps of the Konmari method - since I declutter regularly, this was different for me personally

Tidying Up and Marie Kondo