Home Improvement: How To ‘Spark Joy’ By Decluttering

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

March 14, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — If you’re looking for that little extra inspiration when it comes to springtime decluttering, Marie Kondo might just be your answer.

Kondo, a native of Japan, is an organizing consultant and author, and her four books on the subject of decluttering have sold more than two million copies altogether, according to her Wikipedia page.

Her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” has been published in more than 30 countries. It was a best seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 2014.

Kondo was listed as one of Time’s “100 most influential people” in 2015.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

Her method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together everything you own, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things which “spark joy” (tokimeku in Japanese, literally “flutter, throb, palpitate”), and choosing a place for everything from then on.

Salt Lake City resident and company manager of Pioneer Theatre Company John Geertsen read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and said he appreciates the directness of the book.

“Kondo approaches tidying up as a whole process,” he said. “She steers the reader away from a drawn-out method and makes you seriously consider what you need to keep.

“I am not self-help book reader,” Geersten said. “They are a bit too self-aggrandizing of most of the writers. After hearing a few friends rave about the book I checked out the first chapter when I saw it at the library. The clear writing and purpose of the very short book prompted me to purchase it.

“It has been an excellent tool. By no means am I the perfect example of everything she says to do, however, I do feel more at home. Less stuff has made for a more pleasant living space. And I can honestly say that the things I have gotten rid of have been forgotten. I think that speaks volumes to the fact that I didn’t need those objects in my life.”

Kondo said to TheAustralian.com newspaper that she has been interested in organizing since childhood. In junior school, she ran into the classroom to tidy up bookshelves while her classmates were playing in physical education class.

Kondo said she experienced a breakthrough in organizing one day.

“I was obsessed with what I could throw away,” she said. “One day, I had a kind of nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I came to, I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying telling me to look at my things more closely.

“And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying.”

Other books that are winners in the spring-cleaning process for your home are:

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

“The Complete Book of Home Organization,” by Toni Hammersley, which tells you how to organize the 30 main spaces of your home, including the living and dining spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms, guest areas, baby and kids’ rooms, utility spaces and garages, entryways and offices, patios and decks, closets and pet areas. The book also helps you keep track of your pantry, holiday and craft supplies, weekly menu planning, keepsakes, and schedules.

“Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves” by Emily Henderson, contains 1,000 design ideas for creating the most beautiful, personal, and livable rooms

At the heart of “Styled” are Henderson’s 10 easy steps to styling any space. From editing out what you don’t love to repurposing what you can’t live without, to arranging the most eye-catching vignettes on any surface, you’ll learn how to make your own style magic. 

“The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful” by blogger and self-taught decorator Myquillyn Smith. This book is all about embracing reality ― especially when it comes to decorating a home bursting with children, pets and all the unpredictable messes of life.

In “The Nesting Place,” Myquillyn shares the secrets of decorating for real people, which has everything to do with embracing the natural imperfection and chaos of daily living.


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