I’ve always been so organised and good at decluttering, or so I thought. There always seemed to be possessions I was clinging onto that I just couldn’t let go of, and I didn’t know why. That old dress that I didn’t particularly love but couldn’t seem to get rid of and the mugs in the cupboard that I’ve never liked but felt guilty to throw away.
I learnt 2 little words some time ago. They have significantly decreased the amount of possessions I was holding onto. But they’ve introduced more to me than more free space in my home and less possessions. It’s more than just objects. They’ve introduced to me a whole new way of living. A new way of seeing everything around me.
What are these life-changing words?
Marie Kondo very kindly introduced them to me with her KonMari decluttering method in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. Little did I know that beginning to declutter my home would have quite such an impact on the rest of my life too.
You see, only keeping hold of things that ‘spark joy’ is applicable to everything in your life, not just the physical objects around you. Once you begin to see how incredible it is to only have things that bring you joy in your home, you will want to continue this new-found lesson to change everything in your life.
I began to clear out my emails, unsubscribing from anything that I didn’t need or want to be subscribed to anymore. I was fed up of receiving countless emails every day I had to sort through. Why not give myself an easier life and drastically reduce the number I had to look at every day?
I started to clear out my laptop. I’ve got so many documents, photos, music, and sites bookmarked. It can be hard to find things when there are so many different folders on my laptop containing so many things I don’t need and photos I don’t even like. It’s so time-consuming going through everything and it’s something I’m still working on, but the feeling of relief is already starting to show.
Perhaps one of the most important things I came to realise is the importance of surrounding myself with people that ‘spark joy’ and to not concern myself with those that don’t.
I do find that sometimes this can be easier said than done – there are some people in my life who I consider to be toxic but who I am unable to completely reduce ties with, for whatever reason, and so the best I can do is to limit the amount of joy I lose through any involvement with them. When they say things to try to bring me down and spread negative energy, I choose to keep my head high, laugh it off and head straight back to those who support me.
I fell out quite some time ago with someone who was close to me. It hurts to not see them and speak to them anymore. I knew that it was a toxic relationship and that it was best that I no longer saw them, but at the same time, through the years we had had so many good times, so much laughter, and so to lose that was incredibly difficult. I even reached out to them, ready to attempt to forgive and put the bad things aside and to try to move forward. But they didn’t want to accept the olive branch I held out.
At the time, that was incredibly hurtful and I was very upset. However, I can now see that, even though there were so many happy moments, that person was toxic on so many occasions – unsupportive, letting me down regularly, not having my back when others would say unkind things. I’ve come to realise what a relief it is that I no longer have to deal with any of that. I can remember the happy times fondly and be grateful that the negative energy is no longer in my life, and instead focus on people who truly do spark joy.
The spark joy ethos has helped me to see things in complete clarity for what they are. It’s helped me to move on from things and people that were holding me back, it’s cleared my home of anything that I didn’t truly love, it’s pushed me to minimise and simplify, and it’s constantly moving me towards a home and life filled solely with things I adore.
Living a luxurious life may be seen as purely owning expensive, luxe items. But that isn’t the case. It’s about a great deal more than that. A luxe life, to me, involves a home filled with my favourite things, being surrounded by amazing people who support and uplift me, and more free time in which to treat myself and enjoy the moment. And those two words ‘spark joy’ do so much to encourage that.
Two very small but extremely powerful words.