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Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

There's tidying up, then there's the KonMari way of tidying up.
Pair this book with an Italian white wine. Details.

When the #1 New York Times best-selling book The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up was released, I was curious and skeptical about whether Marie Kondo's book really did what it claimed to do. Unfortunately, I missed picking up the first book; but when the new companion book Spark Joy came out, I managed to snag a copy. Would this book change my life? Would it help me never to relapse into clutter again? I was indeed intrigued. 

Keep only those things that bring you joy.
The theory is that once you have experienced what your home feels like when it is completely tidy then you will never want to return to clutter, and this powerful feeling will empower you to keep it tidy. 

There are 6 Basic Rules Of Tidying
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
6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Tidying up is not a haphazard activity. There is a method to the madness. The KonMari method suggests that you following this order when tidying up: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and finally, sentimental.

Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; 
cleaning is the act of confronting nature. 

If you don't understand the key difference between tidying and cleaning then your home will never be completely clean.

Marie Kondo claims (and I concur) that the responsibility of mess and clutter lies 100 percent with the individual. Things do no multiply by themselves. You buy more things. Or people give you more things you do not need. Clutter accumulates when you fail to return objects to their designated place. 

If a room becomes cluttered "before you know it," it is entirely your own doing. In other words tidying up means confronting yourself
You can clean with your mind empty, but tidying requires us to think -- about what to discard, what to keep, and where to put it. 

Tidying orders the mind while cleaning purifies it. 

Marie Kondo covers the most practical of things such as Basic Folding Techniques of folding garments. There is also advice for those who think they can't part with books. This is something the bookworm in me can really relate to. 

We read books because we seek the experience of reading. Once read, a book has already been "experienced."

Spark Joy is a powerful book that will give you the tools to never again relapse into clutter. It will help you clearly identify your values and what you want to do. You'll be able to take good care of your possessions and will experience, everyday, a feeling of contentment. The key to success is to tidy up quickly and completely, all in one go. Is it a book for everyone? Arguably, there is nothing that fits everyone. Those who suffer from chronic disorganization and those who are serial hoarders --nthe type of individuals who derive joy from collecting for the sake of it -- may require a tailored approach appropriate for their own psychological challenges. For the rest of us, Spark Joy is a reminder of what is truly important amid the materialism that we unknowingly define ourselves by. As the author reminds us:

The real tragedy is to live your entire life without anything that brings you joy and never even realize it. From the moment you finish tidying, you can begin to add a new zest to your home and to your life.

Books & Wine Pairing: Tidying up is hard work and it's important to reward yourself as you embark on this life-changing task. May we recommend a scrumptious Italian white wine, with hints of honey and melon, and colour as intense as vibrant straw reflections? Pair Marie Kondo's Spark Joy with this delicious vintage indulgence. Read the review: Tenuta Roveglia Vigne di Catullo Lugana Riserva 2012 (Available at LCBO VINTAGES#: 437004 | $23.75 per 750 ml bottle). 

Spark Joy is published by Ten Speed Press and distributed in Canada by Penguin Random House. 

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle) 

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