Review: Spark Joy by Marie Kondo (+ my experience)

sparkjoyPublisher: Ten Speed Press
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 291 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help, House & Home
Rating: ★★★★ ½

The real tragedy is to live your entire life without anything that brings you joy and never even realize it.

One of my favorite books as a teen, that I read over and over again, was Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens by Julie Morgenstern and Jessi Morgenstern-Colón. In fact, I still have a copy of it that I just cannot part with because I love it that much. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of organization tips and simply being organized. For me, it makes my life easier and mentally makes me happier. So I have been following the KonMari Method closely for the last year through blogs and YouTube videos. It took me a while to jump on board, and I never actually read the original book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the sequel, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up does a great job of summarizing the method while also including some new information. And there are illustrations!

The book is divided into three parts and I feel that it guides you through the process slowly without feeling overwhelming. You are expected to go through every single item in your home, from clothes to food, after all, and decide on the items that “spark joy” and only keep those, so the pace is nice. Marie Kondo makes it clear that this is a slow process, but it’s well worth the effort. This isn’t an hour or two of cleaning your house before guests come over; this is a complete overhaul that is intended to be the last time you will ever need get rid of a lot of stuff at once. Pressure? Absolutely. But the book is full of encouragement and tips to help keep you from getting stuck. The illustrations are helpful as well, but I wish there had been more. In some ways, the title is a bit misleading because there aren’t that many illustrations overall. Still, the ones that are there are helpful and I loved the style of them.

My personal KonMari journey took me a while, but it has been well worth it. The clothes was the easiest part for me, and definitely the best place to start, but then I hit a wall with books right after that great start. But I decided that the important part for me was no longer having a box of books in my closet. All of my books now fit onto two bookshelves and that is it. If there’s anything I need to continue to work on for a while, it’s papers and the KonMari folding method. Everything else I’ve been doing a good job at keeping to a minimum and being sure that I use everything that I own, as well as only keeping things for as long as they spark joy. When I was younger, I hated getting rid of things because they cost money or I felt bad if someone gave it to me, but this method makes it clear that less things is less stress. It’s true! I feel much better when I get rid of things that I simply don’t need in my life. It’s understandable why some people may not like the method, or think that it’s too easy to say that simply cleaning will change your life, but then you realize that things bog down every part of your life and mind. Now, I’m not sure yet if the quality of people or experiences in my life have changed since tidying, but I like the idea Marie Kondo presents in her books.

Overall, I love the KonMari Method, and I would definitely recommend using Spark Joy to kick start your own journey toward minimalism that doesn’t feel too restricting. My only complaint with the book and method is that I don’t care for the folding method too much, but it’s something I’m willing to work on later, and I wish that this book had more illustrations. The illustrations were helpful and more would have been even better in showing me what things should look like as I was organizing.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. It took me about 8 months to complete this entire process and finally get this review posted, and I would say it was worth the time spent.


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