Sparking joy (invented by Marie Kondo) is a subjective term used to describe the process of decluttering.
When I was 10, my dad threw my brand new ice skating dress in the bin without telling me. The dress was a Christmas present from my grandad. I loved that dress. It was made of pure nylon – a mid-mustard colour, with long sleeves, a fru fru skirt and white rabbit fur edging.
I never had a chance to wear the dress, such was my dad’s keeness to eliminate it. While it sparked joy in me, my dad had other ideas. Things that sparked his joy included making things out of wood and wearing paint-splattered courdroy trousers. What didn’t spark his joy was evil nylon, made from the unsustainable plastics manufacturing industry.
I recently read an article about a boy who was asked to tidy and declutter his room. Afterwards his mum discovered his school uniform in the bin, because he said ‘It didn’t spark joy’.
I’m old enough now to spark my own joy, although I reckon only 5% of my stuff sparks joy. It’s a very low percentage, which I blame on my dad who frowned apon all things ‘frivolous’ (fun, joyful, pretty, decorative). If I got rid of the remaining 95% that is joyless I’d have an empty house.
But I recall the joy and sparks of my nylon ice skating dress and I think that I will try to rekindle this joyful feeling when purchasing any future items (while practicing conscious consumerism, of course)…