You can’t decide what to do with your old pair of jeans. You’ve had them for awhile, and they looked great on you a few years ago, but your body has changed and they don’t fit so well anymore. They’re not quite in fashion right now, either, but trends change with the wind, and you could see the style catching on in a few years. You really are trying to clean your place, though, and getting rid of some unused clothes is probably a good idea; how do you decide? The answer, according to Marie Kondo, is to hold the item close to you and ask yourself: “Does it spark joy?”
In our lives, we so often hold onto things that have outlived their usefulness, but it’s worth asking yourself: what is useful? There’s the utilitarian element of usefulness; does this object still serve a purpose or fulfill a need? You might not feel joy when you hold an old set of tools, but if it’s the only toolbox you have, it might be worth keeping. An old photo, on the other hand, might not be usable in a traditional sense; it’s not like you could sell it for money, or use it practically for much more than fire kindling. When you hold it, the memories flood back; it serve the purpose of bringing you joy.
There’s an argument that bringing joy to your life is the most useful property anything or anyone can have. Someone might live their life as a perfect ascetic and still be full of joy; another can have a life full of possessions and still not find meaning. A philosophy of cleaning based on what brings you joy is one that encourages mindfulness and introspection; you’ll keep what really makes you happy, and discard what doesn’t.
Cleanliness has its own psychological benefits; things that we can’t use and that don’t bring us joy are, in essence, clutter. Clutter distracts from what’s real and important in our lives; when our minds or homes are filled with clutter, it’s hard to find what we need, both physically and spiritually. When you look around your home and find it’s filled with non-things, you might see this as a reflection of your life; when every item in your home brings you joy, your life is quite literally filled with it, too.
Cleaning a whole house and discarding the joyless can be a daunting task; it must be something you commit yourself to, both mentally and physically. Once the task is done, it’s important to remember not to let clutter assemble itself again; only make purchases that bring you joy or use, and don’t be flippant about buying new things. This upkeep is important, and one good way to maintain it is hiring a fully insured home cleaning company; they can help you keep the clutter out of your life, so there’s more room for what sparks joy.