Have y’all heard of Marie Kondo or the KonMari Method of organizing? I first heard about it a few years ago from my Mother in Law. She is without a doubt the most practical and pragmatic person I have ever known. Armed with the knowledge that her years are fewer rather than greater, she began the task of asking people what personal effects they wanted after she died or went to a nursing home. She began labeling the back of paintings and heavy pieces of furniture. And, in an effort to pare down, she started doing this KonMari crap. Basically, the premise of this KonMari Method is you hold the item and ask yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?” If the answer is yes, you keep the item, use it or give it a place inside your home and go about your business. If the answer is no, you’re supposed to get rid of it, give it to someone else, donate it or trash it but whatever you do don’t keep it if it doesn’t bring you joy.
Apparently, my Mother in Law isn’t the only person doing this and the KonMari Method is a real trend. According to a Today show segment, donations at thrift stores are on the rise. I am not a things person. I don’t have many do-dads or accessories in my home. I have a Christmas ornament collection. I pride myself in the knowledge that my level of stuff is nothing compared to some people I know. Yet, I still have plenty of crapola laying around that I don’t need. However, when I first head about all of these overflowing thrift stores all I could think of was, ‘I bet I could find some awesome crap at Goodwill!” Then I stopped myself because really I have enough stuff. But, this whole purge thing had me thinking about my own house. So, I just started walking room to room pondering the whole ‘does it give me joy’ thing. And, I have to say, most of it doesn’t give me joy and if we are all being honest, does any of it give us any joy?
Think about it, walk into any room right now and look at one of your most useful and mundane objects. I for one am staring at this computer screen. Does this computer give me joy? Hell no, most of the time I’m cursing it but it is a necessary tool of life. Does that couch over there give me joy? Well, sort of, it’s new and pretty and my butt no longer hits the floor when I sit on it like the old one. But, I don’t get up in the morning, sigh and think, ‘My goodness that sofa gives me joy.” When I really think about it very few things give me joy. Certain places and my relationship with certain people give me joy. My dog gives me joy. Seeing a beautiful sunrise gives me joy. But, there are very few actual things in my life that when I look at it or hold it makes my heart happy. And, maybe that’s the whole idea. If we pare down to what truly gives us joy, we won’t have much stuff. I don’t know about you but if I truly did this does it give me joy crap, I’d be living at Disney World with my own mattress, a few boxes of books and Christmas decor, my favorite coffee cups and an endless supply of River Road Coffee. I really don’t think that’s do-able. So, I’ll keep all my useless treasures and I’ll get rid of it when I am good and ready or I won’t and then my kids will have to ask themselves, “Does this give me joy?”