It’s been two and a half years since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo brought the world’s favorite organizational method to our screens, and in that time many people have experienced dramatic changes in their environment. Due to the pandemic, we shopped online more than ever before, we converted corners of bedrooms and living rooms into home offices, and we spent one too many hours in our living spaces. The arrival of Marie Kondo’s new show, Sparking Joy, could not have come at a better time.
Sparking Joy brings back the concepts Kondo introduced in Tidying Up, and in her books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy — concepts like greeting your home and expressing gratitude to things you get rid of — and employs them beyond dwellings. The show’s three episodes each feature different spaces: a garden center, a coffee shop, and a church. As Kondo works with the business owners and leaders, the spaces are tidied, but so are the lives of the people she teaches. Paying attention to items that “spark joy” causes people to decide what aspects of their lives cause joy, or where that joy is missing.
Single mother Lorri is the focus of Episode 3, in which her home and church are tidied up. Kondo’s advice of grouping similar items together in organizational boxes or bins works in both Lorri’s home and church space, but the bigger lesson to be learned is that tidying can make one remember one’s own importance. Treating a space and one’s belongings with respect can foster an environment to treat oneself with respect. It is a valuable reminder for former principal Lorri who puts so much of her energy into sparking joy for others.
In Episode 1, Kondo helps Logan and his dad Jim clean up their family nursery, dusting off literal cobwebs, and organizing seeds. The process also allows Jim and Logan to talk about their relationship and the future of the business. What on the surface seems like a way to “tidy up” reveals itself as a much more emotional undertaking. Kondo, too, gets more personal with the audience in Sparking Joy. She lets the viewer into her own home, introduces her family, and shows off what methods she uses to spark joy in her spaces. “The separation between home and work, and work and community, has shrunk,” she says. “It felt only right that I share with viewers my mix of home-professional life in Sparking Joy with so many people going through a similar balancing act.”
The subject of Episode 2 will be most beneficial for those who have swapped a commute by car or public transit to a commute from the bed to the desk. Coffee shop owner Joanna’s business is just around the corner from her home, and she uses a room there as her office to handle all of the administrative work. Joanna’s home office may feel familiar, with stacks of miscellaneous paper on different surfaces throughout the room and an open closet packed with clothes on the wall opposite her desk. Using Kondo’s organizational methods helps Joanna transform the space into an inspirational work-from-home sanctuary.
Kondo recommends picturing how that aspirational space will impact your life. “Visualize your ideal lifestyle,” she notes. “This will help you keep your focus on why you are tidying. The goal of tidying isn’t to just be organized, it is to improve your personal or professional lifestyle.” Sparking Joy provides plenty of new tips and tricks to spur that visualization process. Start up an episode, prepare a “donate” box, and get sparking!