Tidying Up & Sparking Joy

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Tidying up to spark joy makes perfect sense, to anyone who is familiar with Marie Kondo. She authored the best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. Marie helps people declutter their homes and their lives, through the simple yet profound art of tidying up.

Netflix showcases the KonMari techniques in their new exclusive series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

I binge watched season one over the weekend.

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Netflix summarizes the show with these words:

“In a series of inspiring home makeovers, world renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter…and choose joy.”

Marie loves a mess! This petite woman, who possesses an enchanting child-like sense of joy and wonder, enjoys helping people let go of the stuff that clutters up their homes. Show her a room piled with shoes, books, papers and knickknacks, and she claps her hands with delight.

In each of the eight episodes, Marie guides clients through the exact same process that results in less stuff…and happier people. She begins with sorting through clothes, touching every single sock, shirt or pair of jeans, then moves through books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally, sentimental pieces.

As they sort through belongings, the key to releasing the excess requires holding each item, to see if it sparks joy. To make the process easier, Marie starts with an item that the owner feels strong happiness and joy for. If the person does not feel joy, the item is thanked, sincerely, and then placed into a give away or a throw away pile. The pieces that spark joy remain, and a specific place is created for it, enforcing the proverbial saying,

“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Sparking Joy

Marie understands something that I’ve come to understand as well. Everything is energy. And different items vibrate at different frequencies. Love and joy vibrate at the high end, frequency wise, while fear and hate dwell at the lower range. She also recognizes that clutter clogs up energy, while clearing space frees that energy to flow.

Most people are affected by that heavy, stagnant energy that clutter fosters, whether they realize it or not. An untidy room, clogged with stuff, doesn’t feel good. In episode after episode, that truth uncovers people living under stress, or feeling defeated and irritable, because of the excess in their homes. That clutter affects their lives, so much so that they consider Marie a blessing when she shows up with her boxes and cheerful advice.

It makes sense, then, that choosing to surround themselves with items that spark joy creates happier people who feel less stress. They also feel like they’ve taken back control over their own lives. Many struggled as they sorted through piles…and piles…and piles…of possessions. Some cried. Couples argued. Ultimately, they found their way through all the emotions connected with the stuff that cluttered and weighed down their lives…and let go.

The show is a fascinating peek into hearts and emotions, not an “oh my what a mess” judgment party. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspired me.

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy in My Sock Drawer

I read Marie’s book several years ago, and sorted through items in my home at that time. The thing is, tidying is an ongoing process. Once a year, typically around Christmas, I sort through clothes and books and papers and miscellaneous items, and declutter. I can now see the many benefits of keeping my home tidy on a daily basis.

Inspired, desiring to spark joy, I pulled out my sock drawer, pictured above.

Marie suggests folding the clothes that are kept in drawers or on shelves. Smooth them, then fold to make a square or rectangle shape that can stand up in drawers or in boxes on shelves. Marie loves sorting items into small boxes. Note to self: pick up more boxes and bins.

My socks are a jumbled mess in the drawer, which is so full I can barely close it. I know better than to wad socks up like that, into a ball. And yet, there they are.

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Folding Socks the KonMari Way

I dumped the socks onto the bed and separated all of them. Single socks without a match, holey socks and those that did not spark joy, went into the trash bin. The rest I smoothed and paired together, and then folded over, once or twice, depending on the length of the sock.

The folded socks went back into the drawer, standing up in neat rows. It only takes a few moments to fold socks this way. And what a difference, in the drawer.

Did my socks spark joy? Yes. I appreciate the comfy ankle socks that I wear in the summer, with sneakers. The fun plaid socks and the Harry Potter socks, purchased in London, England, spark great joy and a sense of playfulness. I even felt joy over the grungy heavier socks that I wear when I garden. These are destined for the trash bin soon, however they are perfect for wearing while I work outside. With them, it doesn’t matter that my gardening shoes get full of dirt!

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Tidying Up My Home

Satisfied with a neatly organized sock drawer, my intention is to continue tidying, until I’ve moved through all five categories, and through all the rooms of my house. While I’m not clapping my hands, like Marie, over messy drawers and closets, I feel excited about keeping the high level energy flowing through my home.

I get it. I really do. I’m sensitive to energy and a cluttered room, a cluttered home, doesn’t feel good to me and doesn’t create a supportive environment. Rather than waiting until I can’t stand the “ugh” feeling any longer, I’m motivated to tidy up now, and experience that magic. Tidying up and sparking joy? Oh yes. I’m in.

Tidying Up and Sparking Joy

Pick up a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or read my brief book review.

And, check out these storage boxes and cubes, to help with organizing small items.

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78 Replies to “Tidying Up & Sparking Joy”

  1. Love your post! Since two weeks ago my husband and I have started organizing the house just how this show suggests. I already feel the difference. And it’s funny how my 2 years old now kisses the things before to throw them away. ( as the way to say thank you)

  2. Everyone is talking about this book and show! It’s on my watch list and will be sure to watch it soon, in time to get the new year started right! Thank you for spurring me on to watch 💚

  3. I didn’t realize there was a Netflix series based on that book. I absolutely love the book and have used it the last several years to help me declutter. I can’t wait to watch the series. Thank you!

  4. I did not know there was a series on Netflix. Must watch now!! I love it when our flat is tidy. It just feels more serene and reading her book a few years ago changed how I live 🙂

  5. My husband is home right now because he just got a new job but hasn’t started yet. He’s obsessed with Marie Kondo on Netflix and has gotten so much done! I come home from work and see a new clean room every day!

  6. I tried to watch this show but quickly lost interest – I can see her points, but the system seemed a little severe! The whole “no more than 30 books thing?!” No thanks!

    1. I’d say if you have more than 30 books that bring you joy, keep them. I have more than 30. I like what she says about books. Ask yourself if the book (or anything really) supports your journey forward. If it does, keep it! If you’ve outgrown it, let it go to someone else who can use it. That helped me.

  7. I’ve been watching and tidying up as well! It’s a slow process but it’s amazing how even just the little starts can make a big difference

  8. Apparently the universe is trying to tell me I need to watch this…everyone seems to be talking about it! We have started the process of de-cluttering…perhaps I need the lessons!

  9. She is really popular right now! I haven’t read the book or seen the show, but her messages seem to be resonating with people. I’ve been practicing being more gracious, and it’s been life-changing for me. I do have a little clutter as anyone does, but I love having a gararge sale every spring to help pay for trips, so that helps. And I do the Rhea Lana consignment sales twice per year. I’d rather go places than have stuff!

    1. It’s my drawers and closets, the areas no one else sees, that get so cluttered. It’s amazing how different the drawers feel now, tidied up.

  10. I so very much enjoyed this series and I loved that it sparked joy in decluttering for my family. I love to declutter, but not everyone has been on board before. Now they are!

  11. Wow, the 3rd blog I’ve read this series about Marie and her philosophy. I think I’m getting the message this is something I should look into – LOL. I’m the type that waits until I can’t stand it anymore and then organize. I’m generally neat and tidy, just not organized. I love the thought of looking at my items from a pure joy aspect and then de-cluttering. I’m now sold on reading the book and seeing where it takes me!

    1. The book and the series are excellent! I too used to wait until I couldn’t stand the clutter any more. Marie’s way feels better!

  12. The first episode confused me. Marie and Marie walked in to what looked like a small, immaculate home. The children’s play room was not bad. I look at our eleven rooms and twenty-one years of marriage and wonder if Marie’s methods are for everyone. I am continuing to watch, though, and hope that I will glean some helpful tips!

    1. The first episode was more about what stress in the home, due to a cluttered kitchen and no one wanting to do the laundry, was doing to the family. Further episodes deal with houses with more mess. But Marie’s techniques are about so much more than messy rooms. Some people don’t mind them. It’s what the energy does to the people who live in houses that are messy, that matters. Let me know what you think about the other episodes!

  13. This is a really interesting post! I’ve only recently heard of Marie, but I haven’t seen anything from her. It sounds like she is a vibrant being filled with joy and helpful organizational ideas. Yes – to our lives being filled with more joy – even when tidying up. ; ) I’m going to follow your (and Marie’s) suggestion to organize my sock drawer in a different fashion. Thanks!

  14. I haven’t watched the shoe at all. I know with a semi lazy husband and 2 young kids my house would never stay tidy! Haha. Sounds great, just need to maintain it!

  15. I love the concept behind all this, but she intimidates me. LOL. I do need to declutter and rid myself of some things that are not bringing me joy. I may just start with the sock drawer ~ easy goal to set.

    1. I thought sock drawer was easiest too! I loved the way it looks and feels so much that it inspired me to do the rest of the drawers and the closet!

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