Value and joy

Tulips - AprilLately, I’ve heard so many people discussing Marie Kondo and her Konmari method. I know she’s not strictly a minimalist but anything that helps people live with more intention and purpose is great in my book.

There seems to be some criticism and scepticism about the ‘sparking joy’ thing. (Marie Kondo suggests that the standard to be used when deciding to keep or discard an item is to physically hold it and question whether it sparks joy for you).

I find this very helpful with clothes. I think Marie Kondo is absolutely right about this. When I was decluttering my wardrobe, I would think that I liked a piece because of its colour or shape or how good I felt when I wore it. But when I actually held it, sometimes these feelings simply didn’t hold up. There is something about physically touching an item to see how you really feel about it that is powerful.

However, I understand the criticism when this is applied to more prosaic items. Clothes are part of our identity and can influence how we feel and therefore how we present ourselves to the world. But it’s hard to feel the same level of identity when holding a spoon, a nailbrush or the folder where I keep my tax details. They don’t spark joy, but they are necessary and yes, I want them in my life.

The Minimalists speak of a concept of something ‘adding value to your life’. I find this to be an easier measure to use. It works for clothes, sentimental items and the more humdrum household items.

The important thing is to have your own way of distinguishing what is actually clutter and what is useful or important to you.

And that is why, time and again, I go back to William Morris’s beautiful phrase, used in one of his lectures in 1880 – ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’.

I have a lot of respect for The Minimalists and Marie Kondo but it’s Morris’s phrase that appeals to me most.

Do you have a phrase that resonates with you?

Have a great week 😊

  8 comments for “Value and joy

  1. May 12, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I love all three 🙂 Asking myself if an item sparks joy led me to raise my standards for what I keep in my home. Even the purely functional things can make me smile if I find just the right one, or store it in a way that pleases me. The phrase that gets an item sent straight to Goodwill is if I tell myself I’m keeping it “just in case.” I told my kids (teenagers) that in my imagination the guy who works at the donation drop off is named Justin Case.

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 12, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Karen, oh, I just love the guy at the donation drop-off! That’s hilarious! And you’re so right about how even a functional item can add a bit of joy, if it’s the right one!! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May 12, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Beautiful and useful and a few other things if married to one who is not totally on board!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 12, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      I hear you, Laurel!! Seeing as that’s also the position I’m in!! Lxx


  3. May 12, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I’ve attempted to live by the William Morris tenet for many years now (with varying degrees of success) because I found its simplicity spoke to me the first time I read it. It helps me to eliminate those things I’m just not sure about. Asking myself if I consider them useful or beautiful is helpful. Thanks for the reminder today, Lol. I’m also currently reading “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson which I’m loving. Again – so simple – who’s going to deal with all our clutter when we’re gone?

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 12, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Julie, I agree with you regarding the simplicity of Morris’s statement – and it’s just so elegant and easy to follow. I’ve heard of this book about ‘death cleaning’ and it’s on my ever-growing list of books to read – thanks for the reminder to make sure it moves higher up that list! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. May 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful words, Erin. So true. Hope you’re keeping well Lxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. May 12, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    “If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important to happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.” – Dalaï Lama. I feel the “stuff” is just a distraction from life. Happy Sunday L!🌸

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: