You’ve Watched Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, Now What To Do With All Your Stuff That Doesn’t ‘Spark Joy’

Kira Simpson

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the new Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” a minimalist, decluttering show based on her popular 2014 book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

Kondo’s book and new series are based on the principle that an organised, tidy home will bring a sense of calm and happiness to your life.

She’s certainly timed it right, with January being the month of ‘new year, new me’ where we attempt to rid ourselves of bad habits and stuff that are no longer serving us.

Maire Kondo Sustainable

The KonMari Method

The book and series encourage people to purge and organise their homes so they can live better lives using her six-step KonMari method.

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
  3. Finish discarding first
  4. Tidy by category, not by location
  5. Follow the right order (clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, sentimental items)
  6. Ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?”

It’s solid advice. An organised home means less stress and more time, and there’s certainly something to be said about ridding yourself of the things that you no longer love. One of the key tenants of the KonMari principle is first asking yourself whether an item brings you joy. If the answer is no, remove it from your life.

But before you say thank you, next to your unwanted stuff, perhaps you should be asking yourself these questions.

  • Why did I buy this in the first place?
  • What am I going to do with it now?
  • Will I just fill the gap with something new once it’s gone?

Your stuff doesn’t just disappear once you’ve given it a kiss and thanked it for its service.

Reuse, Recycle, Rehome

Marie Kondo has certainly inspired a mass decluttering movement, the likes of which we haven’t witnessed since The Minimalists hit the sustainable living scene.
I’m all for living a clutter and stress-free life but once the purging is done and you find yourself holding an item that no longer ‘sparks joy’ consider these options before throwing it away.
  • Sell your unwanted items on resale sites such and eBay and Gumtree. You know they’ll be going to people who want them, and you make some extra cash.
  • Swap with neighbours or friends. Revert back to the old barter system, “I’ll give you this if you give me that.”
  • Giveaway to those in need. Givit is a fantastic not for profit site that works with impoverished and marginalized people empowering their clients and improves quality of life by obtaining the items they require through the website, at no cost.
  • Recycle. TerraCycle has a list of organisations and drop off points so you can recycle your unwanted items from electronics to large home goods, in a safe and responsible way.
  • Donate, but use this as a last resort. Under normal circumstances, op-shops receive a boatload of crap every year they have to sift through, most of which end up in landfill. Since ‘Tidying Up’ aired, Australian Op-shops have been inundated, and they’re struggling to manage with the extra load.

For Marie Kondo Inspired Tips, Check Out These Posts

The Curious Button – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up [Marie Kondo Book Review]

The Mindful Momblographer – The Eco-Friendly Magic of Tidying Up

RestitchstanceWhat Marie Kondo Taught Me About Conscious Consumerism

Honestly Modern – Spark Joy: One Simple Change to Organize Your Space

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability expert. She started The Green Hub as a blog in 2015, which has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education sites dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.