Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy
This week for the blog, I’d like to review two books by the same author, Marie Kondo. Both deal with the same subject, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came first and fully discusses the KonMari Method of tidying, and Spark Joy delves deeper into the technicalities of tidying and storing things in a practical way. The first book is available in Spanish, La Magia del Orden, while the second, Spark Joy, doesn’t seem to be available yet. It just came out in English this month.
But those are the technicalities. Why have I chosen to write about and share these books? Well, they deal with removing clutter from our lives in a way that I’ve never heard before, I have clutter in my life (in fact, a previous blog entry was named Clutter), and for quite a while now I have been wondering how to deal with all the stuff that I don’t use but can’t seem to let go. I have become attached to my things and I have too many things.
Throughout the process of building Poise, I tried very hard to prevent any unnecessary item from entering this space. I wanted a place of flow and harmony. I wanted a space that only contained useful things that I love to use. This is the essence of Marie Kondo’s tidying philosophy and it is perfectly explained by the title of her second book, Spark Joy. Her whole system is based on keeping the things that you love and letting everything else go. This philosophy is very similiar to aspects of Yoga, those of non-attachment and contentment and cleanliness and self-examination, all aspects of the Yamas or Niyamas of Yoga.
Throughout the KonMari tidying process, you must repeat a single question, asking yourself this question over and over again about everything that you own: “Does this Spark Joy?” If the answer is no, then you should let that item go. Her method forces you to examine the ideal life that you would like to have and to select only those possessions that help create that life. It is an in-depth and honest self-examination. Again, I say that this is a concept that lies at the very base of Yoga, as well. We are here now, for only as long as we will be, and it seems a rather careless waste to fill our homes and lives with things that don’t bring us joy.
In full disclosure, I haven’t yet started the process on my own house (maybe this weekend?!). I just read the book last week. But I am fascinated by the concept and I agree with her philosophy of how to put our houses and lives in order. Her point is simple – we must tidy our lives by deciding what we want to keep because it brings us joy. That is all. The rest we must let go.
If you find yourself in my situation, a closet full of things that you’ve forgotten you have, or a general sense of clutter in your home, or even unfinished business that you’ve tucked away in a drawer someplace – then I highly recommend reading either or both of these books. To Marie Kondo (and her translators and publishers), I thank you for sharing this idea with the world. A revelation – truly.