Hello, I am Ai Johnson, feng shui interior consultant originally from Japan and now living in Brooklyn, NY.
My clients / blog subscribers know who I am or what I do, but you may not know me well yet.
I do a feng shui interior consulting to improve people's living (or working) environment more comfortable and balanced. I also teach feng shui interior design, too.
I use multiple methods in my program: feng shui interior design, color therapy, environmental psychology and home organization.
Today I want to share some of my point of view on KonMari boom in the world.
KonMari, Mari Kondo is a tidy up guru that everybody here in the U.S. may know now.
As a native Japanese person, I think many things of what she suggests are very basic things that we should know as a common sense (I mean, of Japanese people who grew up in Japan).
Organize things by categories, not by locations. We do the same way when we organize files and folders on computers.
Treasure things as if they are alive. As a kid, we Japanese are taught so by our teachers at kindergarten and school.
But "keep only stuff that sparks your joy"....? This one is not what we, at least I was taught through my life.
I tried her methods once, a few years ago, but soon I figured that one was not for me. (For many reasons.)
But I am not here to criticize her methods. I am here more to share my point of view on this boom.
First, "keep what sparks you joy" is too vague (at least, to me) to follow as a discipline to carry on a entire home organizing project successfully.
I think decluttering can not rely on mainly sparkling emotions but we should also consider other aspects such as functions, frequencies, usefulness, practicalities, and needs on each things.
Each aspects are very important to consider too and emotions is one of them. Just one of them.
If you live with family, it will be more complicated. Because you have to deal with not only your emotions but theirs and plus other aspects which may varies on each family members.
The reason why I say this is as a professional person who deal with people's life improvement through home improvement, I truly know that our living space reflects who we are and how we live.
But as we live, we also need to care so many other important aspects too as I previously mentioned.
It's almost the same thing as we can not run business always emotionally.
Then why KonMari appeals many people?
I think, this Spark Joy principle was so catchy to people who live in developed countries in this modern age where we live now.
We have enough stuff. We can buy anything everywhere anytime as far as we have money.
Then we hear a voice..."You do not need this and that, which do not spark your joy...get rid of them!"
I think that voice can sound so sensational.
You get my point?
In other words, people in poor countries do not care what sparks them or not.
They need food, water, clothes, stuff, job, money. They keep whatever keeps them survive.
So, this Spark Joy boom is a reflection of materialism in modern society, which is questioning us if we are fully happy. For that reason, I admit KonMari plays an important role.
Home organizing and decluttering (as well as my feng shui interior consulting service!) can be one good opportunity for you to review your life and improve your life for sure, but it can be done without getting rid of stuff even though it does not spark your joy.
As far as you value its functions, frequencies, usefulness, practicalities, and your needs, do not hesitate to keep it.