Netflix’s new series “Sparking Joy” is based on the life-changing organizing methods of Marie Kondo. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend tuning in! Kondo’s approach to organization is simple but effective: If something doesn’t “spark joy,” get rid of it. And yes, that’s why I decided to call my blog It Does Spark Joy — to remind myself of this important principle daily!
After watching all six episodes of “Sparking Joy,” I was inspired to get rid of some excess belongings and organize the rest in a way that makes me happy. If you’re looking for some tips on getting started, here are seven organizing lessons I learned from the series.
Tidying up Clears Your Mind
The first step to an organized home is a clear mind. Kondo says that to find out what you want, you need to get rid of what you don’t want. This means taking the time to go through your belongings and deciding which items “spark joy” and which ones don’t. It sounds daunting, especially in the beginning when you had no idea how “spark joy” even worked, but it’s worth it in the end.
When I first heard the term, I decided to try and see what happened. I went through my closet and got rid of half of my clothes! It was liberating to get rid of all those things that I no longer needed or wanted. And it’s not just clothes — you can apply this method to anything in your home, from kitchenware to books. Just ask yourself if the item in question “sparks joy,” and if not, get rid of it.
Coming back with a less-cluttered house, I could feel my mind clearing up. It was a lot less stressful to live in an organized environment, and I didn’t feel as overwhelmed by all the stuff I owned.
Understanding What “Sparks Joy” Really Means
Again, it can be challenging for first-timers to get what “sparks joy” means. Kondo gives the example of a pair of old shoes that you might be attached to because they bring back memories of a happy time in your life. While it’s perfectly fine to keep items like this, she says you should only do so if they are comfortable and you enjoy wearing them.
In other words, don’t keep something just because it has sentimental value. If it doesn’t make you happy when you look at it or use it, get rid of it! It might be tough to let go of some things at first, but in the long run, you’ll be happier for it.
Storage Space Is Key
One of the things I struggled with the most was finding a place for all my stuff. Even after getting rid of half of my clothes, I still had too many items for my closet and dresser. Kondo’s solution is to invest in some good storage solutions.
She recommends using clear plastic boxes so you can see what’s inside, which makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for. You can also use shelves, hanging organizers, and other storage solutions to help you keep your belongings in order.
When everything has a designated place, it’s a lot less stressful to put things away. And when everything is organized and easy to find, it’s a lot easier to keep your home tidy.
You Don’t Need as Much Stuff as You Think
One of the most eye-opening moments for me was when Kondo went through a family’s belongings and showed them how much they had. In one scene, she pulls out 27 pairs of shoes from the mother’s closet! The family was shocked, and I was too. I realized that I had way more stuff than I needed. Even though I had gotten rid of half of my clothes, I still had more than enough to get by.
It’s easy to accumulate things over time, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need all this stuff. If you can get by with fewer items, you’ll be happier, and your home will be less cluttered.
Sorting by Category, Not Location
One of the most helpful tips I learned from Kondo was to sort by category, not location. For example, instead of going through all your clothes in one go, start with just your shirts or just your pants. This makes the process a lot less daunting, and it’s easier to see what you have and what you need.
It’s also helpful to group things together by category. For example, all of your kitchen utensils can go in one box, or all your books can go on one shelf. This way, everything is easy to find, and you don’t have to search through many different places for what you need.
Take it One Step at a Time
When I first started decluttering my home, I was so excited that I wanted to do it all at once. But this is counterproductive and can lead to burnout. Kondo recommends taking it one step at a time, which I found very helpful.
Start with one room or one area of your home and work through it until you’re happy with the results. Then move on to the next room or place so that you won’t get overwhelmed and you can focus on decluttering each space properly.
Decluttering your home can be a lot of work, but it’s important to remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you try to do too much at once, you’ll get overwhelmed and give up. Take your time and focus on one space at a time, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to keep your home organized.
You Can Even Organize Your Day!
One of the things I loved about Kondo’s show was that she showed how decluttering could be applied to more than just your home. She also talked about how you can use these techniques to organize your day and make sure you’re using your time wisely. By decluttering your schedule and getting rid of activities that don’t bring you joy, you can free up time to do the things you love.
For example, you can create a “daily routine” where you list out the things you need to do each day, like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and making your bed, so you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out what you need to do next.
You can also declutter your schedule by getting rid of activities that don’t bring you joy or take up too much of your time. For example, if you don’t enjoy going to the gym, you can cancel your membership and find another way to get the exercise you want.
By decluttering your home and your schedule, you can free up time and energy to focus on the things that are truly important to you.