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Thread: Another Kondo thread: Is "Does it Spark Joy" the right Q?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Another Kondo thread: Is "Does it Spark Joy" the right Q?

    This article wound up on my FB feed and I think it's really provocative.

    "Does It Spark Joy Is the Wrong Decluttering Question"

    The thesis is, "does it spark joy" is the wrong question because it still focuses on the material object, rather than what will REALLY make us happy. There is an interesting discussion in the comments as well.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    hmm I think I've had this debate before, "does it spark joy" feels like asking me to have more of an emotional relationship with things than is simply there for most things with very few exceptions. And actually from what I've heard this is kind of a common thing with some cluttering types, that yes some hoarders love things and that's why they hoard, they COLLECT really but it can get excessive, but some clutters are almost oblivious to their physical surroundings as physical surroundings.

    Also that "sparking joy" is pretty dangerous in asking people to take "joy" in possessions, same ideology as consumerism. Besides if one is perfectionist the things one actually owns are not as perfect as the ideal thing could be, so why not change them all in for something new again? Well because it's completely stupid and materialistic that's why. But expecting one's possessions to spark joy rather than just do the job does seem likely to lead to such things. Ever seen the actual environment of some lifelong environmental types, yea their furniture etc. is ragged and worn as it was maybe bought used and kept for decades. I don't know if they ask if it sparks joy, I think they are more likely to ask: is this still usable! Maybe that is the kind of environment we should really aspire to be comfortable in.

    I think his question is better, though I don't think people are always of a mindset to ask: is this fulfilling some ultimate purpose. But if they are. Oh heck yea I could defend my book collection on those grounds!

    But I think there are reasons minimalism as he would preach it has more aspiring than actual adherents. It's like being on a diet (ok actually way less annoying but anyway) and still having to reckon with the fact you have to eat. No people may not need to be non-minimalist, but they do live in a materialist culture, and they don't always have any clear cut answer to the consumerist part of oneself that asks: why can't I ever buy anything nice with the money I have earned? Or: is it ever ok to buy something nice when I don't absolutely need it just because I want it?

    Does nice = joy? No that's actually is expecting too much of mere things.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    I don't think anything I have really sparks joy. Some items allow me to engage in activities that are joyful -- reading a great book, fishing on a Saturday morning in the rain, drinking a delightful La Croix. These all involve things -- some permanent possessions and some merely transient possessions. But the items themselves don't spark any kind of joy.

    The minimalist who is supposedly addressing the very question of this thread is Take Fumio Sasaki.

    Here is an article talking about him and his style of minimalism:

    https://www.curbed.com/2017/4/13/152...gs-marie-kondo
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Just off the top of my head....my little cast iron Griswold fry pan definitely sparked joy this morning. That cheese omelet was perfection. And my Gibson SG last night sparked joy when I finally got the instrumental down Jerry Garcia playing Bob Dylan's, " It Takes a A lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry." Yeah. Sparks Joy is fine with me. But I'll give it some thought.

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    "does it spark joy" feels like asking me to have more of an emotional relationship with things than is simply there for most things with very few exceptions.
    I couldn't get through the Marie Kondo book, because of this philosophy. The whole thanking your socks for their service thing....She just seemed so invested in these utilitarian THINGS. The description of a lot of the rituals she started as a child just made me think "this chick is whacked". Sorry, but my socks don't have feelings and aren't happy because I fold them "the right way".

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Ultralight, I read that article, and was intrigued about the book as well. The books I've seen written by ultra-minimalists (as opposed to organizers like Kondo), interestingly, all seem to be written by men. Do you think it's because women are the ones that 'feather the nest'?

    His style appeals to me, as sparse as it is. Looking at that little mat on the floor with the white cover, and the empty table nearby made me go "ahhh.." It's not for everyone, I'm sure. But it reminds me of that little ramshackle (or should I say wabi sabi) shed that I stayed in a couple of months ago--whitewashed with just a bed and chair and night table. No internet, Bad phone signal. It was so peaceful.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Ultralight, I read that article, and was intrigued about the book as well. The books I've seen written by ultra-minimalists (as opposed to organizers like Kondo), interestingly, all seem to be written by men. Do you think it's because women are the ones that 'feather the nest'?

    His style appeals to me, as sparse as it is. Looking at that little mat on the floor with the white cover, and the empty table nearby made me go "ahhh.." It's not for everyone, I'm sure. But it reminds me of that little ramshackle (or should I say wabi sabi) shed that I stayed in a couple of months ago--whitewashed with just a bed and chair and night table. No internet, Bad phone signal. It was so peaceful.
    Why are the biggest named writers in the minimalist realm all men? Clearly: Male privilege.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    "Does it help me fulfill a greater purpose with my life?"

    Kondo's trigger is much more minimalist. Heck, I don't think I could remember that phrase every time I considered whether to throw something away or not. I need something simple to help me make a choice. Reflecting on my greater purpose that many times might just make me question what my purpose even is, and I'd probably end up giving up de cluttering altogether.

    Right now Im in the process of what I call " rescuing" older vintage items and replacing my plastic throwaway stuff with things meant to last and that give me joy. For instance, out with my Keurig.....in with my Farberware electric percolator or if I'm really relaxing...Pyrex glass percolator. Out with my teflon skillet....in wih my Griswold cast iron ware. Out with my Sony digital camera...in with my 35 mm Canon AE-1.

    I don't know what that has to do with my purpose....but I know they give me joy. More joy to come when I replace that fiberglass ugly stick with a split bamboo fly rod.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    My purpose in life seems to be payin' da billz!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member pony mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Looking at that little mat on the floor with the white cover,
    That's what my bed looks like! I have a Japanese shikifuton too.

    I think it's easier for a lot of men to live in a sparse home because many don't really care about decorating or how a place looks. Just the essentials. Me, I like to see art on the walls that I enjoy looking at and personal touches around the place. Much less stuff than I had before, but pared down to the joy sparking ones.

    Does the dollhouse I've had for 25 years fulfill an ultimate purpose, or merely spark joy? Definitely sparks joy now, but will be a hassle years from now if I ever decide to get rid of it. Its ultimate purpose is perhaps to show me how creative and patient I was when I made it. (Gluing and painting over 900 shingles takes a lot of patience).

    Being surrounded by things that make me happy works for me.

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