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What is ‘Spark Joy’?


Spark Joy is a book about decluttering and organizing your home that was written by Marie Kondo who has been running a home organizing business since she was 19. Kondo presents a step-by-step organization guide for everything from all sorts of clothing, household items, and different rooms in your home in general. She also provides advice to people that are not sure on what items they should keep or get rid of by introducing the “Spark Joy” method: Holding the item that you are attempting to tidy and ask yourself this question: “Does it give me that little spark of happiness?” If not, then it’s time to let it go from your life. 

Marie Kondo's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics of her KonMari method. It has already transformed the homes and lives of millions of people around the world. Spark Joy is Marie Kondo's in-depth tidying masterclass, focusing on the details of how to declutter and organize your home. 

Kondo’s method of home organizing is known as the KonMari method. She instructs her clients to organize their homes in certain ways such as sort items by category rather than location and devote an entire day to declutter your home instead of cleaning one room a day over an extended period of time. 

All methods are fully explained in the book Spark Joy. However, Spark joy is not just a book that teaches you how to declutter your life and organize better, but also is a way to let people understand that thanking the item for its service in a thoughtful way and by honoring your relationship with the item, it is easier to let it go. The goal is to have a house full of items that spark joy. 

What does spark joy really mean?


“You should only keep items that “spark joy”. You probably have heard of this phrase from either your wife or female friends. But what does it really mean, and why does it matter?  

“Spark Joy” basically means something that makes you happy. The concept of “spark joy” is to let people understand if they need certain items or not. Kondo instructs people to hold each item they are tidying and ask themselves this question: Does this item give me that little spark of happiness? If it does give you a thrill of excitement, then you should definitely keep that item. 

In Marie Kondo’s books, spark joy is a loose translation of the Japanese termときめく. Kendo of method of organizing is known as the Konmari method. This method consisted of one category at a time and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” - “flutter, throb, palpitate” in Japanese. 

What if you have many items that “Spark Joy”, but you don’t have enough space for them? Since these items have sentimental or monetary value to you, you wouldn’t want to throw it away, but what you can do is to store them at a safe place! Boxie24 offers the best pricing and services in the industry. Check out our website to see which plan fits you the most or call us at 844-337-7739 for more information about our self storage New York solution!

About the author behind spark joy.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. Tokyo native Marie Kondo is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She was born in 1984 and started her own organizing business when she was just 19. She is now living in Los Angeles, California. 

Kondo has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into several languages. Her books have been helping a lot of people on decluttering and organizing their homes by using her “spark joy” method, which encourages people to only keep items that are meaningful to them. 

On 1 January 2019, Netflix released a series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In the series, This series follows the Japan-based professional organizer as Kondo helps people at different stages of life clean up their homes and clear out the junk they don’t need.

Kondo visits various American family homes full of clutter and guides the families in the joy of tidying up their houses through her KonMari method and rearrange rooms to open up to new possibilities for your house. In a short amount of time, Kondo has become a cultural phenomenon and a household name and the life-changing magic of tidying up has truly become a big thing!

An unorganized closet next to an organized one which spark a joy

How you can organize yourself with the help of a ‘spark of joy’

More people than ever want to organize themselves and their homes, because of the convenient services offered in the market such as easily by searching for self-storage near me, moving companies, and the KonMari method, etc. If you also want to organize your home, Boxie24 has all the services you need, but first, let me tell you a little bit about the KonMari method, so you can decide what items to keep or get rid of, which will tremendously reduce your stress throughout the organizing process.

  • As stated earlier, the concept of the KonMari method is to only keep the items you love and get rid of the items that you don’t need any more by asking yourself this simple question: Does this item “spark joy”? If your answer is “No”, then it’s time to let it go. Always imagine the kind of life you want you want to live, and then filter out your possessions in line with that vision.  This would be a great method for you to deciding how to live your life. 

  • Figuring out what items “spark joy” is the first step of your home organization plan. It will make the rest of the process much easier. Many people have used the KonMari method so they can start decluttering at the speed of life and organize their homes, and as a result, their feedback has been always positive. 

Tidying doesn’t mean buying fancy closet systems or hundreds of baskets in Kondo’s theory. Instead, you should focus on what items you truly love and need rather than what you don’t need or want to throw away. By changing the mindset, you can figure out what items you truly need more easily.

  • Most people form some kind of emotional attachment with material possessions, especially sentimental things. It’s usually harder to let go of the item once emotional attachments have been formed, however, when following the KonMari method, everything you own - from something you haven’t touched in years to your favorite sweater - is treated with respect, and that makes it easier to let it go.

  • Thousands of people have taken on the challenge as it is important to declutter your life and get organized in 2019 using the KonMari method. Figuring out your “spark joy” items would be your first step of your home organizing path, but it’s also the most important step of the whole process, which will make the rest of the process much easier and reduce stress on your whole life.

  • Kondo instructs clients to focus on what they want to keep rather than what they should get rid of. Imagine you are surrounded by all the items you love, that is the moment you knew what you want to keep. By changing your mindset, you can more easily decide what are your “spark joy” items.

  • In Kondo’s world, a lot of people hit a roadblock because they feel like they have to throw something away, but that’s not the point. It’s about truly understanding what is meaningful to you and you need it in your life versus what doesn’t spark joy to you anymore and it’s time to let it go. 

Here are a few tips when using Kondo’s method to organize people’s lives.

Tidy by category, not location: 

Most people store items that fall into the same “category in various locations. For example, you probably have clothes in your closet, under your bed and in your dresser. So instead of tackling a closet or a dresser, tackle your clothes first.” In this way, you just need to focus on the clothes instead of a bunch of random stuff all at once, which will improve your efficiency tremendously.

Tidy all at once:

Don’t clean one room a day, instead, devote an entire day for tidying. If you only clean a room at a time over an extended period, it will wind up getting messy again before you clean your second room on another undecided day, which means your house will never be in a completely clean shape.

Visualize the destination:

In order to create new possibilities in a crowded room. It is useful for you to imagine what life looks like with obstacles removed. Creating your ideal lifestyle beings with the first step - imagining where you are now, and what you want to own. Consider your house as your career, and figure out what you need to discard on your way to your ideal lifestyle. 

Does the item spark joy?

Instead of focusing on what you don’t need or doesn’t make you happy, people should focus more on the items that spark joy. By highlighting the items that bring you joy, you are creating more positivity in your life. Your ultimate goal should be to create an environment where full of your lovely items, and you can just dive into it!

Tidy in order:

According to the Kondo method, the following is the ideal order in which you should tidy up, which we made into a life-changing KonMari checklist.

  1. Clothes

  2. Books

  3. Papers

  4. Komono (Misc. Stuff)

  5. Sentimental

You can then separate everything out from each category into sub-categories which will make the process even easier. For example, the category “Clothes” could be subdivided by seasons,

books by genre, and papers by sizes. Creating your own sub-categories makes it easier to

visualize what you have, what you need, and what does or doesn’t bring you joy.

All these tips from Marie Kondo require a certain discipline and time. Also, Marie Kondo does not teach us to throw our stuff away, but just to remove it from the house. What does that mean? That could mean you can store all the items that you currently don’t need in your house at the self-storage, like storage units in NYC. Maybe one day you will need certain items again, until then you will feel fortunate because of the decision you’ve made earlier.

A man and a woman transporting a chair that did not spark a joy

Spark a joy and secure your items with self storage

What if you’ve asked yourself the “spark joy” question, but can’t determine certain items whether they “spark joy” or not? If you need some time to finalize your thoughts, ask yourself ‘are there storage units near me?’If so, storing those items with self-storage would be a quick solution for you because it is secure, clean, and air-conditioned. Here is a list of advantages of self-storage:

  • High safety standards: Your belongings are safe and secured with high-end video surveillance and alarm system at all locations.

  • Moving boxes: Boxie24 boxes are sealable and lockable, we are making them one of the most durable boxes in the industry. You can even rent or buy moving boxes with us!

  • Convenience pick-up and return services: In many cases, we can offer you the free pickup as long as you are on the ground floor and we offer this service throughout New York City. We also offer 24-hour return services when available, with no contract and no storage minimums. 

  • Up-to-date storage facilities: Our facilities are clean and temperature-controlled, ensuring your items remain in great shape.

When it comes to decluttering your mind and your home, renting a self-storage unit is a great home storage solution. It saves time, has high safety standards, and convenient pick-up and return services. At Boxie24, we offer all the above with the best prices in the industry! Check out our website or contact us at 844-337-7739 to get more information.

A spark a joy experiment - Will it work for you? 

My wife and I are moving. Since I have a Netflix account and we’re in need of some organizational advice for our new apartment, we decide to watch Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up,” a show that everyone is talking about. Neither of us has ever seen the show, but I come across Marie Kondo’s name at least once a day on my Twitter feed. Marie Kondo, in case you’ve been stranded out to sea for the past few months, wrote a bestselling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" about her “KonMari” method of cleaning and organizing your home. Her website describes her philosophy as a “state of mind and a way of life” in which you keep only those things that make you happy. If an item you own no longer “sparks joy,” then you thank it for its service and get rid of it.

We decided to watch the latest episode, which involves a newlywed couple named Angela and Alishia. The first thing we notice about Marie Kondo is that she is quite diminutive, standing at practically four-foot nothing. Such an itty-bitty slip of a woman that if she were to stand still for too long, you might mistake her for a doll. And she never stops smiling. Never. She appears downright euphoric from the task of helping people get their messy homes in order. The show’s intro includes a montage of families she’s helped, many of them in tears at either the desperation of their household’s disarray or the pain of tossing objects they no longer feel joy from but are intensely attached to anyway.

She arrives at the couple’s Long Beach condo and has them guide her through their new home, showing off areas where they believe they need help. Shoes are piled up. Belts go missing. Clothes are mixed together. Closets make no sense. It causes tension. Along the way, Kondo chimes in with comments such as, “Yes, there is a lot of cloudiness here in this room.” This is interspersed with asides of Kondo sitting on a couch and delivering her wisdom directly to the camera: “When tidying, each individual should be responsible for their own space. This lessens the tension and increases their sense of trust and bonding.” Okay, it makes sense.

She gives the couple “homework,” starting with the closets in which she tells them to designate personal storage areas.  She invites them to kneel on the living room floor to formally introduce themselves to their new home. She has them close their eyes and meditate on their hopes and intentions for their home. This causes my wife to roll her eyes and laugh. She thinks it’s ridiculous. Over the top. However, Kondo says people should do this because “it’s about creating a welcoming, inviting, positive environment.”

Next, she has each of them take every single item of clothing out of their closet, determining if each still “sparks joy.” If it does, it stays. If not, it’s gone. I imagine how difficult this process would be for my wife. She’s certainly not a hoarder but also not someone who so easily lets go of her possessions. (I see self-storage space in our future.)

We continue to watch as Kondo helps the couple with their kitchen pantry. She has them categorize food items. Coffees and teas go together. Cereals and snacks go together. Pasta and flour go together. And so on. She’s also a big believer in folding clothes and boxing miscellaneous items.

Overall it seems like most of what Kondo says is merely common sense. Get rid of things that don’t make you happy? Seems self-evident. There might be a few tips here and there that my wife and I will take with us when we move from New York City. She did learn a new way to fold her bras. I learned a new way to fold my hoodies. For the most part, though, it feels fairly simple, though perhaps for other people it isn’t. A chaotic mind makes for a chaotic home.

We find Kondo adorable and funny but my wife expresses skepticism about the permanence of the KonMari Method. “That house will be a disaster again in a week,” she says. “Trust me.”  

Like many people, we’ll be using self-storage in New York to prevent our items from messing up our apartment while also keeping them close. It seems like a good way to forgo the agony of tossing any belongings just because they don’t necessarily make us as happy as they once did. We’re all for being neat but not for making ourselves feel bad over it. Don’t throw away that dress your grandmother gave you just because you never wear it anymore. Let somebody store it for you. Problem solved. You don’t need a cleaning guru to tell you that, do you?

Contributor

Lee Anderson is a writer out of Park Slope, Brooklyn. He keeps a music review blog called "Alphabet Pony".

 

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November 12, 2019

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