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How to Spark Joy

Joy - A feeling of great pleasure and happiness (Oxford English Dictionary)

Have you been watching Marie Kondo? I have and I’ve been KonMarie-ing all over the place!

It's a work in progress I have to say, but it is improving my storage. I just wonder if I can maintain it. My husband is still waiting for his lesson in folding!

I was thinking about her concept of “sparking joy”.

Marie advises that you hold an item and if it doesn’t spark joy for you, you should thank it and let it go. This even applies to books and some people got very upset about the suggestion that you might throw away or donate books.

I’ve read various de-cluttering tips over the years, but I do think there is something in this. I remember reading (in relation to clothes) that if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.

But I’ve kept various things because of the memories they hold.

I have my old Levi 501s from when I was about 17 (and they were second hand then…. sorry vintage!) They got so ratty that I cut them into shorts. They haven’t a hope of fitting me now but I still have them as they remind me of that time of my life.

I have an old formal dress from 1993 and my husband has kept an old velvet blazer that I used to wear as a student (in fact it had been my mum’s). So there are certain things that I won’t part with.

I’m sure there are loads of things in my house that I have kept for other reasons….

I might need that someday.

I paid so much money for that that I don’t want to give it away.

Loads of papers that I’m not sure about parting with, even though they are practically useless and out of date (college notes anyone?).

And what about birthday cards? Recently I’ve been chucking them, even the kids’ ones.

And don’t get me started on kids’ artwork and “certificates”. Those really pull on the heart strings. I feel so guilty getting rid of that stuff. There was a clay Christmas decoration made by my kids when they were in creche that I chucked this year as it was going crumbly, but even that made me feel slightly guilty.

So as I said, it’s a work in progress, but it has made me more mindful of what to keep and what to throw away/donate.

It got me thinking about what sparks joy and what doesn’t?

In relation to stuff.

So, is it worth applying this concept in other areas of life?

If it doesn’t spark joy, thank it and move on?

What about relationships/friendships? If a relationship doesn’t bring you joy, should you move on?

If your job doesn’t spark joy in you is it time to look elsewhere?

If you are no longer rushing enthusiastically to your spin class, should you try something else?

I suppose there are other things to consider….

Relationships can be worked on and improved (Hell, even Michelle and Barack Obama went to couples’ counselling!)

You can’t just up and leave a job when you have financial responsibilities.

You need to persevere through some things to get to your goals (no pain, no gain etc).

If you haven’t already you should check out “spark joy” on Twitter where there are some hilarious memes…. Marie Kondo says throw out all your relatives if they don’t spark joy. My electricity bill didn’t spark joy in me, so I got rid of it etc.

But if something is really not working for you, or is even causing you the opposite of joy, then you probably should consider cutting the cord?

I would agree with Marie here: if you do decide to part ways with something, or indeed someone, you should pay some gratitude for the service it’s given you (or he/she has given you) and for any joyful times or indeed, lessons learned.

In the immortal words of Arianna Grande “thank u, next”.

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