Want to spark joy in your home? Forget about your stuff and start focusing on people!
If you’ve been following the Marie Kondo bandwagon, sparking joy is nothing new to you.
But if you’re new to the KonMari method of cleaning, organizer Marie Kondo teaches others to remove anything from their homes that doesn’t spark joy.
Through her books, television shows and online videos, Kondo walks with clients through the decluttering and purging process, making sure that absolutely every item – from pencils to purses to pillows – sparks joy.
- Do I love this?
- Do I need this?
If I don’t love or need it, I get it out of my house and pass it along to someone else. My decluttering criteria is missing joy, though – mainly because of a big question I have: Can your belongings truly spark joy?
Seeking fulfillment in things?
I’ve always had a lot of belongings. With a mom who loves to shop, I learned a lot of her habits. Furnishing my home has never been too much of a stress because I always have a lot of things to choose from. And when I feel stuck and need a little something to add to a room, I scour clearance sections and secondhand stores to find interesting additions.
Over the years, I’ve made sure to keep belongings that I love and pass along anything else. Because of this, when I walk into a room in my home, I smile because it’s filled with many of my favorite things.
( Want to create a haven? This is a fantastic first step – keep and use your favorite things.)
But as much as I appreciate and enjoy my favorite belongings, do I believe they spark joy?
Not at all.
Quite frankly, I don’t believe stuff can fulfill the deep longings of our hearts. And belongings can never create joy.
Because they’re just things. Things might bring passing satisfaction and even a whole lot of glee. But joy? Joy’s something so much deeper and richer.
You may think I’m being a little too nit-picky with my choice of words, but I think there truly is a difference between happiness (a state of satisfaction and contentment) and joy (experiencing great pleasure or delight).
For example, I can be really happy during a day at Disney World. It’s a lot of fun to ride all of the rides, eat the delicious food (I miss you, Dole Whip!), and feel like the only care you can possibly have is seeing the next attraction. But I experience pure joy when I watch my children at Disney World. When I see two of my favorite people laughing, smiling, and enjoying life, my heart almost bursts with joy.
When it comes to your home, belongings definitely can add some happiness to your day and some cheer to your surroundings. On the flip side, holding onto things that bring bad memories or that you’ve never liked can certainly spark a lot of negative feelings.
But do you typically experience great pleasure and delight when you see your belongings? Does it feel like your heart might burst with joy? Maybe sometimes … but most likely not.
How you really CAN spark joy
Because stuff truly doesn’t satisfy, does this mean you’re doomed to a home without joy? Definitely not.
It IS possible to spark joy in your home, but it looks a lot different than what Marie Kondo teaches.
Instead of looking to belongings to add to or subtract from your home, think about what you can do to add joy to the people in your home.
- How can your kind words add joy to your husband’s day?
- By spending 15 minutes alone with your son – playing a game or sitting down for a cup of hot chocolate and a thoughtful conversation – can you spark joy in his life?
- If you listen to what your daughter’s been processing and jump in with a hug instead of a bunch of “I told you so’s,” will you add a bit of joy to her day?
- When you spend some time preparing tonight’s dinner, add in a couple of side dishes and simple dessert, and set the table nicely, could you create a joyful dinnertime that will refresh your family after a long day?
- How could serving your family through household chores add joy to their days? Will they appreciate having a clean pair of their favorite pants? Would they smile when they open the fridge and see some of their favorite snacks to munch on?
You know your family best. And as you study your husband and children, keep track of some of their favorite things, then surprise them with their favorites.
By taking the time to do thoughtful deeds or to speak loving words, you’ll fill your relationships – and your home – with joy.
That kind of joy – the true, deep down joy found in a soul – is what truly matters. It’s the kind of joy that can make a difference in a person’s life. Treating all who enter your home with a selfless love and kindness is the most certain way to spark joy.
How do you spark joy in your home? What do you do to make the people in your home feel special?
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All images courtesy of Deposit Photos.