The life-changing magic of tidying up
'Does it spark joy (Marie Kondo)?’
Marie Kondo entered my home earlier this year through her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In a series of inspiring home makeovers, Marie addresses her clients’ clutter by producing perfectly organised sanctuaries.
Using her Konmari Method she categorically organises individual items and invites the client to determine whether or not they spark joy. Items deemed joyless are decluttered from the client’s home in large rubbish bags or copious amounts of charity donations.
‘For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either (1 Timothy chapter 6, verse 7).’
Our materialistic Western culture has resulted in us living in excess, yet we continue to be seduced into lusting after more. Marie enthusiastically encourages the decluttering of our homes and forces us to confront our overwhelming compilation of stuff – cue the Marie Kondo revolution and her army of Konverts.
Items which we are prone to hoarding are logically categorised and each item is individually assessed. The items which sparked joy are to reside in their perfectly organised home. While the joyless items prompt immediate disposal. Although the KonMari Method effectively results in a clutter-free home it does little to address the source or impact of our stuffocation.
Tidying up with Marie Kondo has quickly become a universally popular Netflix show. In addition, a quick google search reveals the sheer volume of Konverts readily sharing their experience of the life-changing magic of tidying up.
Counteracting the magic experienced by the Konverts is the dark underbelly to the KonMari Method. Universally charity shops are begging us to stop giving them our junk. Overwhelmed by the expediential volume of our carelessly donated items, charity shops are burdened by our rubbish. Our greed employs us to conveniently discard our joyless items with little thought regarding the impact on others.
Materialism is the root of our stuffocation and the kryptonite for our greed. Even while purging in a clutter detox our motives may still be of greed. As we continue to discard joyless items our pursuit for items of joy is perpetuated. This is pursuit is futile.
In conjunction with undergoing a clutter overhaul it is important to take stock of the greed present in our lives.
‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name (Psalm chapter 100, verse 4).’
Perhaps it is Marie’s appeal for gratitude which resonates so deeply with our society today. She calls for our callous attitude towards our belongings to be replaced by intentional thankfulness.
Marie’s Shinto worldview promotes dutifully thanking inanimate objects by verbally acknowledging their believed worth. Although this significantly contradicts Christian theology there is a lot to be said for thanking God for His provision and acknowledging our role of stewardship.
In Psalm chapter 100 verse 4, the Psalmist writes that we are to come before God with thanksgiving and praise. This is a call for us to intentionally demonstrate gratitude for God’s love and provision in our lives.
The life-changing and joy sparking truth
‘Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on Earth (Colossians chapter 3, verse 2).’
Unfortunately, the KonMari philosophy is fundamentally flawed. Although it is lovely to have a clutter-free and well-organised home it is not ultimately life-changing. Neither are inanimate objects truly capable of sparking joy.
The world may define joy as a feeling of immense happiness resulting from a satisfied desire. However, Christ’s joy is an everlasting promise of contentment possible through all seasons of our lives.
In John chapter 10, verse 10, it is written that Jesus came to give us life to the full. Furthermore, as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit whereby we have the fruit of joy.
Our world desperately seeks for the life-changing and joy sparking truth. We have the Good News. Christ alone is our sole source of joy and our salvation through Him is eternally life-changing. It is our job to share the life-changing, joy sparking, Good News.
Jessica is a Registered Nurse who is passionate about caring for children. She enjoys spending time in nature and reading a good book. Writing is her way of communicating with God, expressing creativity and processing ideas. You can connect with her at: email@example.com
Kiwi-born with British roots, Jessica Gardiner drinks tea religiously while her dinner table discussions reverberate between the sovereignty of God, global politics, and the public health system. Having experienced churches from conservative to everything but, Jessica writes out a desire for Christian orthodoxy and biblical literacy in her generation. Jessica is married to fellow young writer Blake Gardiner.