Does it Spark Joy?

The Marie Kondo wave is affecting people all around the world. Photo Credits:

Grace Kim, Section Editor

The Marie Kondo effect, also known as the tidying tide, is decluttering closets and organizing homes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Marie Kondo is a japanese organizing consultant that seek happiness through organizing and cleaning. In fact, Marie Kondo has sold 4 best seller books, including The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, promoted her own Netflix Series, been featured on The Ellen Show, and helped clean out Jimmy Kimmel’s office. Mabel Ra (12) has noticed the “KonMari effect everywhere.” Based on the popularity of her methods, it is undeniable that the public has become entranced by this new form of seeking “happiness.”


For each client, Marie Kondo follows a strange pattern of asking the individual to embrace each object. While embracing each object, the clients were then asked if that particular object “sparked joy.” If it does spark joy the object is kept, if it doesn’t then the object is thanked for its service and given away. At a glance, Marie Kondo’s practice just seems like a complicated way of throwing out unused clothing and objects. Yet, the basis of Marie Kondo’s teaching goes beyond just tidying up.


Through her practice, Marie Kondo teaches her audience two essential ideas: cultivating appreciation for even the smallest of things and learning to let go. According to the official KonMari movement webpage, the basis of the movement is to “keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.” With that in mind, Marie Kondo asks an essential yet neglected question. Does it spark joy? And if it doesn’t then, why do you still have it? On a daily basis, we clutter our lives with inessential items and routines that doesn’t necessarily bring us joy. Yet, despite our unhappiness, we don’t know how to let go. Consequently, letting ourselves be stuck in the same cycle of dissatisfaction.


Finally, any object that doesn’t spark joy in the owner should be given away in order to create joy somewhere else. A piece of clothing, a book, or even a toy from one’s childhood can be put to better use in someone else’s hand rather than tucked away in a closet. As can be seen, Marie Kondo never emphasizes throwing anything away rather putting objects into good use.


Today, the Marie Kondo effect has even a greater impact on the public. Even Today News reported that second hand stores, such as Goodwills, are seeing a “dramatic uptick in donations.” Impulsive buyers are thinking twice before buying the same cardigan but in different colors. And, more people are organizing and their homes. In the end, Marie Kondo brings awareness on where human value lies and to appreciate even the smallest of items. So… Does it spark joy?