Now, I’ve been officially living with less for a couple of years now, since being inspired by Marie Kondo’s book with the best title ever, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” and the documentary “Minimalism” by the Minimalists. But after reviewing Marie’s 2nd book, “Spark Joy”, I realised I had ‘relapsed’ and had excess stuff again. I had not been strictly asking myself, “does this spark joy?” before purchasing anything or bringing things into the house. Naughty Vetty! I thought I didn’t have a lot, partly because I have limited storage (inner city pressure) and partly because I mainly wear ‘a uniform’ (behold: the denim skirt and grey t.shirt). But I was able to part with 2 gigantic bags worth of items which I thanked for their service and dropped at the op shop with light (metaphorical, it was actually quite heavy) and love.

The order of things: Sensei Marie calls this a ‘cleaning festival’ where you look at every item in your home and decide whether it sparks joy and is kept or whether it doesn’t and can be gratefully thanked then given away or thrown out. She believes all things have energy and need to be treated with respect. Marie says to tidy in the following order: 1. Clothing, 2. Books, 3. Papers 4. Komono (miscellany) 5. Sentimental Items. She says that sentimental items can be the hardest to part with and so should be left until last to spare you from being a sobbing mess on the ground looking at ‘the way we were’. Now this is no ordinary Spring clean (pish-tosh), it’s a festival and one must throw oneself into it whole-heartedly and preferably do it all in one go, on your own and in silence.

For everything a place: Once you have only things that spark joy remaining, you can now embark on stage 2: the beautiful presentation of these joy sparkers. The Kon-mari method has a special fold for each item on clothing and an order of colour to display it in, from darkest to lightest. T.shirts become rainbow (or 50 shades of grey) parcels and socks are neatly folded not rolled together into ‘angry balls like potatoes’ as she notes. I cannot tell you how much pleasure I’m getting from my folded underwear! After all a, well ordered underwear drawer is a well ordered mind. Don’t even get me started on the Alphabetised spices. Swoon! Things that are in the closest contact to the body, like underwear and cutlery, should be treated with special reverence and displayed in an aesthetic manner. There should now be a place for everything and for everything a place.

Do your drawers and cupboards have you gasping with admiration? Do you love everything you own? If not, I highly recommend a cleaning festival. I vow never to rebound again, instead asking myself that essential question “ does this spark joy?” before I buy or keep.

 Love and light and let go with love xxx Yvette