The Marie Kondo Phenomenon: Sparking Your Ultimate Joy

Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” was something that I heard about in passing and on social media. I hadn’t thought about it very much because I couldn’t see the fuss about organizing more than I already did. I thought it was another trend that would seamlessly pass. Plus, it seemed like another thing to add to the to-do list, but my wife, Kerri, expressed a small interest in it. I know her well, so it was a subtle hint that she would love to read it. I went against my selfish wishes and purchased her a copy of the book. To be honest, I was expecting a shoulder shrug, and an “it was okay” from my wife, but she committed to following the sequential steps that Kondo speaks about.


I remained skeptical listening to Kerri telling me about the latest fad before purchasing her a copy. We are clean, tidy and sharp enough already, I thought. I knew where everything was in our household; it had a designated area. Overall our living space was comfortable, and easy to live in—it’s not too much, not too little. Just how I like it. What more could we possibly do to help tidy up our place?


I became more in tune as she began reading the book, finding myself asking more and more questions concerning how exactly we were supposed to tidy up our already—so I thought—tidy place. I was wrong, very wrong. I began watching what she was organizing, following Kondo’s suggestions with quick and neat tricks like putting her purses inside of her other purses, so it reflected an appealing look where it was stored while saving plenty of space.


I came home to a pile of my clothes on our bed. It was the dreaded purge that I feared. Kerri told me to choose the clothes that I wanted to keep, and that the rest were to be donated. I reluctantly agreed, holding back my lower scale hoarder that is nested deep down in myself. It wasn’t until my Kerri’s request that I even considered I might have these tendencies. I did have a million things that I just didn’t wear—a symptom of a busy life, I thought. Dropping off the clothes at the charity, I felt a massive weight lifted from my shoulders that I had no idea was there.


With the remaining clothes, Kerri showed me what we were going to do with our finalized wardrobe. She began making them perfect squares then rolling them up into cylinders. When she rolled them, the logos showed allowing us to be aware of which shirt it is. It was such a simple technique yet so clever.


Her next project was the cabinets, which I stayed behind the scenes and watched because I only owned mugs. Kerri asked me similar questions from before about what I used, and what I didn’t use—I didn’t use them as  much as I thought. She stored our extra mugs and glasses away in cardboard boxes, something I had a difficult time watching, knowing that meant I had more dishes to wash. Eventually, I began to catch on that she was doing the same thing that she did in our closet without clothing items.


Following this was the living room, then the bathroom, and lastly, our entryway closet. Before we knew it, our one bedroom studio apartment felt like a two bedroom sprawling condo. Kerri informed me that it’s more about using the same technique to organize everything in each room. All of the pieces to the puzzle came together. I should’ve just been asking all along, but I was a bit shy because of my anti-fad mindset.


Lastly, Kerri shared that Kondo is adamant about habitual behavior like placing your work bag and keys in the same place, so we set up designated areas for certain items. Kondo thanks her items for what they do for her, a way of showing great respect. I thought her sentimental value towards her items was exciting and admirable. We began treating our items differently. In the aftermath of the master class, I was shocked and pleased. Our home was that much more organized. “It made our home feel bigger, cleaner and more livable. Her work is simple but very effective,” said my wife. I have to agree. Marie Kondo’s new phenomenon is the real deal.