Marie Kondo has made a name for herself thanks to her gentle yet no BS approach to tidying and curating a happier lifestyle. The take-no-prisoners method that has garnered both fans and critics for its underlying ‘does it spark joy?’ philosophy.
When the Japanese tidying expert first released The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, like many self-proclaimed accumulators, I read the entire book from cover to cover, donated half of my wardrobe, and happily resigned to living a more minimal lifestyle—but the ‘spark joy’ aspect of Kondo’s philosophy never fully stuck.
It wasn’t until I started spending more time at home during the lockdown that I realized how important it is to surround yourself with stuff you actually like, rather than just filling your home with practical items
Here’s exactly what went down when I put Marie Kondo’s spark joy method to work for a week—and why her methodology may just be the key to living happier.
After re-reading Kondo’s first book, I started the week beyond inspired to take my tidying journey to the next level. I enjoyed the process so much the first time around and figured shifting my efforts to what sparks joy in my day-to-day life would be even more fun. I wasn’t wrong!
Today, I decided to open up the fancy candles I had purchased in France back in February and light them up instead of the Ikea candles I normally use. I also made an effort to re-organize my bedroom and walk-in closet to showcase my favorite items. This immediately made my bedroom more welcoming, which I think will help with my ongoing process to improve my sleep hygiene and establish a better nighttime routine.
By day two, I noticed that simply rearranging my bedroom really did have a big impact on my overall mood, especially at night. I actually ended up going to bed early and reading for an hour before going to sleep—which is something I would never have done before attempting to make my bedroom more inviting.
Today I decided to take what I learned tidying up my bedroom and emulate it in my office space. I put away all the random receipts and paperwork that I had sprawled onto my desk and organized my books onto my bookshelf. I live in a condo unit, so my office doubles as my home gym. I figured if I could turn my bedroom and closet into an inviting space, doing the same in my office and gym would be smart for both my pocketbook and my overall health and wellness!
By the fourth day, I had really gotten into only doing things that sparked joy (to an extent, of course). I wore my favorite pyjamas to bed, put on my favorite athleisure for my workout in my pretty new home gym set up, and even re-organized my socks and underwear drawer to follow Marie Kondo’s specific folding method—it sounds outlandish, but when your socks and underwear are folded to look like a tray of Afternoon Tea pastries, it really does put a smile on your face and to me, it’s well worth the extra few minutes of folding time that it takes to maintain.
By the end of the week, I realized that what sparks joy for me can wind up being quite expensive to sustain for more than a week, but for the most part, I do see the appeal in surrounding oneself with things that truly make them happy.
While I won’t be burning my fancy French candles every single day, this exercise has without a doubt made me stop and think about each purchase I make, if I really need what I’m buying, and if I’m buying it because it will actually lead to a happier life. I’m planning on continuing to use her method in other parts of my house as the summer goes on.
Overall, I think Marie Kondo’s method is a valid option for anyone looking to add a dose of happiness into their home while curating a living space that’s both practical and somewhere you want to be.