Less stuff, more joy

Less is more. That’s the latest lifestyle mantra these days. Some people are downsizing their homes, ditching most of their possessions and choosing to live in a tiny house. Others are also aiming for real change but on a smaller scale – through getting organized. And there’s a whole new trend connected to decluttering that you may have heard about: the idea of cleaning up your surroundings by getting rid of items that don’t “spark joy.” Could it be right for you? We’ve got the details to help you decide!


What it is:

If you’re not familiar yet, this method is based on the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. The basic idea is that, instead of cleaning up one room at a time, you work by category – cleaning up all the items in that category before you move on to the next and not getting distracted.

She suggests you follow this order when tidying up: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and, finally, sentimental items. You basically examine every item and decide if it gives you joy. If it does, put it away. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s an emotional approach to decluttering that focuses less on throwing everything away and more on keeping only the things that make us happy.


How it works:

If you follow this plan, then you’d do your decluttering “in one go.” But that doesn’t have to mean all in one afternoon. You could work your way through items in your home as you have time, looking at each item to decide if it’s served its purpose or if it still makes you happy. Then you can bag up the items that don’t make the cut and donate them to local charities (another feel-good side effect of decluttering).

Yes, it might seem silly or like an odd method. And you may be thinking, “Do I really need to ask if my laundry basket sparks joy?” But think of it this way: In the same way that a laundry basket can actually spark joy (because it does a heavy-duty job and helps you stay organized), piles of books you claim to love but never read may not actually be worth keeping. Often extra stuff causes you more stress and anxiety than it’s worth in sentimental value.


Is it right for you?

Decluttering and getting organized is nearly always a good idea. It can (literally) make your life easier and less stressful. It can help you feel more calm, confident and in control. If you’re serious about decluttering in a mindful way, this “spark joy” method might make sense for you.

Instead of simply bagging up your clutter, you’re forced to truly see your possessions – to examine each item based on its usefulness in your life. Am I just holding onto this because I think I’ll use it or wear it again? Does it still spark joy? These are the types of questions you’ll be asking (and answering) again and again if you decide to tidy up using this method. And why not give it a try? If there’s one thing we could all use, it’s a little more joy in our lives.



Simplify meal time, too

Check out the Healthy Lifestyles Pinterest page for easy, healthy recipes and find some joy in the kitchen.