Oh, Marie Kondo, where do I begin? It seems like so much has been written about this Japanese organizing juggernaut since she first introduced the idea of how to “spark joy” back in 2014 in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I read her book shortly after it came out and really liked parts of it. I liked how Kondo wrote of her own organizing journey. She wrote about growing up in a family that didn’t like tidying quite as much as she did, and how she evolved her organizing techniques over the years.
The essence of the Kondo-credo is that your belongings have a “life of their own” so to speak. That they are in service to you, and you should use and appreciate them while you own them. And when your use for them is over, “thank” them and then pass them on to someone, or somewhere, else. She says that you should only keep things that “spark joy.” Of course that is a highly subjective description. What one person finds “joyful,” another may not. I heard her giving an example of describing the “sparking of joy” as the feeling of holding a new puppy for the first time. As a dog-lover this immediately resonated with me. I think her intention is for an emotional connection to be made to an object that ascribes it a high enough value to be kept, used and cherished.