Carousing the internet for non-porn related matters as I do once a month, I came across the current home organization trend based on the NY Times best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
The trend’s apostle is Marie Kondo, a home-organization guru (read: insanely OCD person) from Japan who published her aforementioned book at the perfect time. As I obviously knew, we’re in a global trend of downsizing, which is fantastic news for my love life (small penis joke achieved). The way that Ms. Kondo’s home-organization technique works is actually pretty straightforward. As one article put it, the heart of the approach revolves around domestic purging. In other words, get rid of any and all shit that you don’t need.
This can be an understandably daunting task. I mean how does one figure out what to keep and what to get rid of? Well, there are some general rules (all manuals and extra cables must go), but how you figure out what you keep is this: Take everything out of the area you’re trying to organize, and then pick up each item. If it gives you the “spark of joy” when you pick it up, you can keep it. If not, it gets trashed (or preferably donated). For example, the shirt that you never wear but kept just ‘cause you’ve had no reason to get rid of it gets the axe. It’s just a source of clutter.
The book goes on from there, but it all starts with spark-of-joying your stuff. I’m due for like ten seasons of spring cleaning, and once I read about it, I knew that I had to try it. If only for the fact that I could say “Imma spark-of-joy the sh*t outta my sock drawer” in my best Kanye impression (which oddly sounds a lot like Anderson Cooper).
The takeaways from spark-of-joying my sock drawer are as follows. Using the Kondo method of folding (shown here) is a surprisingly zen task. On the surface it’s super tedious (folding in increasingly smaller rectangles instead of just stuffing one sock into the other), but the deliberateness of doing it was calming. The space you gain in your drawer is surprising (my socks went from overflowing to not even taking up all the space in the drawer. But mostly I learned I have way too many socks that I don’t care about.
Having feltthis spark of joy, I became emboldened and moved on to my closet. Soon a pile of sparkless, joyless clothes were ready for donation. My closet resembled what I imagined Kondo’s must look like (where the kimono came from, I’ll never know). I felt the spark of joy inside. I had drunk the Kool Aid. The Kondo fever had set.
I broadened my horizons. There was much more than just stuff in my life that was clutter. What’s the point of spark-of-joying my underwear when my life was still cluttered? So I spark-of-joyed my friends (sorry Gary, there’s just no spark). I spark-of-joyed my roommates (cat one can stay, human one’s got to go). I spark-of-joyed my work (spark-less. Done with it). That’s when the epiphany hit. Kondo didn’t go nearly far enough. There are so many things in our lives that we don’t even realize are clutter that we can spark of joy! Taxes? Eff that! Bills? I spark-of-joy you to the bowels of Hell! Commuting? More like spark of sadness, amirite!?
My comprehensive spark-of-joying may mean that I am now a homeless vagabond who does a lot of de-cluttered napping. But by getting rid of any and all things that didn’t give me the spark of joy, I have achieved organizational nirvana. That being said, if you could spark-of-joy over some neatly-packaged change, I’d really appreciate it.