POLL: Does decluttering your home really spark joy?

HouzzAU Polls
February 6, 2019

Marie Kondo has been teaching us all how to declutter our home, only keeping household items that spark joy.

We want to know your thoughts! Vote and tell us in the comments below.

Yes, it sparks joy
No, it doesn't work for me

Comments (34)

  • Graham Maxwell

    Doesn't work for me

  • fungry_04

    I wouldnt say "sparks joy" but if my house is organised its like my mind is organised.

  • Lyn Huppatz
    I don't know if it is joy but it certainly gives a lot of satisfaction and peace.
  • PollyG

    I found it therapeutic rather than joyful. Moreover, I have maintained it and repeated it (to a smaller extent) each year since. I was never a hoarder, but my longterm tidiness hid how much stuff I had.

    Ever since I've followed the one-in-one-out principle and recently added the buy-once-and-buy-well principle. This means no more cheap and cheerful temporary purchases, rather I save for items that will last me years - and the wait to save for it often makes me realise I don't need it after all!

  • kbodman14
    Cathartic rather than joy, A day of being Sherlock Holmes is better. On fridge I have a list of missing items, eg a screw driver. The joy of rediscovering my useful tool, better than tidying the linen cupboard.
  • suancol

    Doing it earlier would have saved a massive amount of energy prior to selling and after moving house.

  • PRO

    Buy once and buy well is the advise I give my clients. It is the motto we use when selecting what we sell in our store.

  • Double D
    Yes it sparks joy for me...I try to keep it that way, but my linen cupboard always returns to its state of clutter after a few months, one of my greatest indulgence is buying linen, I would love more storage space. However my wardrobe is well organised at the moment, even colour coordinated,and if I buy something new I donate something I don’t wear to charity, I’m still trying really hard to declutter, but sometimes I just seem to move it from one room to another. Wish I had a bigger house then it wouldn’t look cluttered at all (lol)
  • deewb

    this is a flawed philosophy. I do this sort of work for a living. It is one thing to have things ordered and accessible its another throwing things out because they don't bring you joy. There are plenty of things that are of practical use in maintaining a home or yard that don't bring joy, they're just plain useful. I bet the moment you throw something out, the next week you'll find you need it.

  • hendo2002

    The philosophy has helped me let go of some things I was no longer attached to or needed. However, the thing that disturbs me about this trend is the amount of waste it is generating. I have tried hard to repurpose and rehome items that are still of use but I no longer need or want. Freecycle groups have been fantastic for rehoming useful items and I have derived satisfaction from this. I also have applied a more structured approach to buying now, thinking first if I need it or if I have anything already that is similar that I can use just as well. It has made me much more mindful. The philosophy of a well organised and functional home makes me very happy, chucking everything out and dumping them on kerbside hard rubbish collections or dumping at charity bins makes my blood boil!

  • olldroo

    A decorative item in the home would "spark joy", a potato peeler doesn't, it is a necessity, so exactly what are we talking here. I have only ever bought things as I've needed them and based my purchases on the practicality of them (and that includes clothes, jewellery and such), so clutter has never been an issue to me, having a clean and tidy home has just been a way of life to me and of course I never had the money to throw away on unnecessary purchases anyway.

    Pity I hadn't realised 20 years ago there was money to be made writing books about this .............. now THAT would have "sparked joy".

  • spmm
    Hang on I enjoy my potato peeler!
    — grandparents, parents and their attitudes to reuse and not throwing things out has stuck. So I have learnt to buy carefully as I do have trouble throwing things out - ‘plenty of wear in that’ regarding a shirt I particularly disliked wearing. I bag up a good quality load each year on Boxing Day and give it to charity.
  • krc33

    Initially, yes. Then the remorse sets in, "what did I do with ....", "I hope I haven't thrown out ....", "oh, no, why didn't I just hang on to .....". Humans are sentimental people, certain things bring about emotions, memories, a time and place in your life, people, relationships, love. If only everyone had a big enough shed to store everything, to hand down toys, books, furniture that you will never be able to replace. I think I would love to live with basic needs but ultimately, as a parent, you end up with a lot of keepsakes and I wouldn't have it any other way - that's life.

  • Susan Clark

    There is a 'joy' (or satisfaction, or sense of well being) that comes from selecting which of your very pragmatic kitchen items are kept and which are donated elsewhere. I recently kept several good knives and gave away one perfectly functional food processor, with not a hint of regret. Similarly with potato peelers and egg whisks. It doesn't have to be a decorative or sentimental item to 'spark joy'. Personally, I got quite a bit of joy out of identifying the number of pairs of undies I didn't need to spend money replacing and the number it was time I did.

  • Nivannii Rose
    Joy, joy, joy. I love the feeling of freedom that the extra 'load' has been lifted gives. It's like losing ten kilos! At least for one day, everything is clean and in it's place and there's no housework to do!! Wonderful feeling.
  • Renata G

    It certainly does for me. "Spark Joy" may be a form of translation that may also mean "bring satisfaction, relief, freedom etc"

    I have been organising my home and other friend's using KonMarie method for few years now. The best result for me stays in my linen cupboard. Sheets, quilt covers, pillow slips stand on linen shelves instead of laying horizontally. This makes it easy to pick any colour or pattern without disturbing the whole pile. Any newly washed linen does not go to the top of pile, but stands beside the others in a colour co-ordinated fashion. Marie Kondo brought joy to my home :)

  • ducks43

    For me joy is rain after a prolonged drought, the smile on a child’s face, a green garden, beautiful music. Getting rid of things one doesnt need is being sensible. Using 1 in 1 out is efficient practice and satisfying, not joyful.

  • suancol

    Many people comment often negatively on this decluttering style without having read the book. I did not think I could learn anything by reading it until I did. Her book is an amazing combination of philosophy, psychology and decluttering and brings much understanding and joy during the reading. Borrow it and return it and one less thing to find a new home for. Delightfully short book to read resulting in a few hours of tranquility.

  • chrissyink

    Nooooo not an ounce of satisfaction. This idea that decluttering brings joy is a brain washing farce. Where would we be without the delights of Iris Appfel? Iris please never declutter as you would become yet another souless robot conned into thinking we‘re not supposed to have a lot of stuff. One man‘s clutter is another man‘s goldSo keep all of your gold if you like it.

  • Dee Reddy
    Decluttering brought joy when we renovated last year. But we’ve kept heaps of precious things that are loved. Right now I’m going through a phase of re-cluttering! I’m bringing out all the old clothes and earrings and jewellery I used to be obsessed with and am finding interesting creative ways to make old new again. So much more satisfying than a soulless empty boring home IMHO. ☺️
  • berbieharmsen

    I am a bit of a hoarder and so Marie's style doesn't suit me. I'm not an untidy hoarder, I just get more cupboards. I did take a huge amount of good clothing to the charity shop as I finally realised that I would never be that size again but it has hardly made a dent. I have kept some that give me joy but still don't fit. I will have to cull in stages. I always seem to want the very thing that I throw out, but I have come to the conclusion that if you don't know where to find it, you may as well not have it. I have used some of her folding tips, but I am more inclined to fold to fit the cupboard or drawer I am using rather than to stand stuff up. Also I hate having only 2 or 4 of something so I will never be able to shrink to that.

  • Venessa Hopkins
    There is nothing more joyful than a tidy organized space ✨
  • HU-30492665

    This was a huge life lesson for my teenage daughter, who has struggled with trying to constantly clean a bedroom full of clutter. We watched the Marie Kondo series together & BOOM! Over two days, she removed 8 huge bags of "stuff" from her room (without guilt) that she had been holding onto. The message here is that while it might have been initially a big throw out, it has changed her "thinking" around accumulating things she doesn't like or need. Going forward, she will now not buy (or be given) clothes or things she doesn't like. For her, this will actually result in LESS waste for her entire life. And for me - I realised all the clothes I was hanging onto that I didn't like were just a big, cluttering, guilty drain on my energy - guilt that I had purchased them, guilt that they didn't fit, guilt that I wasn't wearing them. I've moved them on, & I love that I now only have clothes that spark joy & an uncluttered wardrobe. It has made such a difference to how I feel & what I will purchase. Again, less future waste. I think this is one of the most positive messages, going forward, to reduce waste, that "less is more". That we only have things we love. Surely, this perspective is a wonderful message when we're drowning in the clothes & "stuff" that we accumulate, that we don't even like or need. The simple philosophy of "sparking joy" did it for my family. We have a cleaner house, less stress & now less waste. Totally worked for us.

  • Jennifer Bradley

    "Joy" is not for me, the right word. I get satisfaction from having my house organised, but I own many things that I'm glad I have, but "joy" I do not feel for them. Clothes are sorted most seasons and I give wearable stuff I no longer need to charity, but I also keep some because the fabric is too good to abandon. I re-design and use fabrics I like and yes, many of them give me "joy" (it's one of the main reasons I sew). But my kitchen is full of things I use frequently, but not exactly joyfully, even though I enjoy cooking.

  • Jilly Possum

    I bought, read and discarded the Marie Kondo book. I found her method of rolling stuff up for storage very impractical. I do love decluttering and tidying, though. Being an anxious person by nature, I find clean, tidy, clutter-free surfaces and storage places very soothing.

    However, I find I don't always do this for myself; I reckon it should always be done for the right reasons to be effective. When we were clearing out Mum's house to sell, my brother sneered at the ridiculous idea of keeping printed books (so passe in this digital world). I took a load of them to the tip shop and still regret not keeping some particular ones for my future re-reading pleasure. The tip shop people received them very enthusiastically, though, so I think they went to good homes.

    A cousin visited me and took it upon himself to inspect inside my food storage cupboard. Not having had anything to do with him for 35 years, I politely bit my tongue about his rude behaviour, and tidied it up once he was gone. I still find myself thinking how much he'd like it now, instead of being pleased - for myself - that it's so much cleaner and easier to find stuff in.

    How much of our housework is done for this reason - to impress others?

  • PRO
    Uncluttered surroundings, uncluttered mind in my opinion!
  • Ally Shardlow

    I love a organised home, my girlfriend said I'm obsessive but has asked me to help her with all her clutter. I love to have everything in place but still have a lived in home, I use different types of storage so I can keep things in cupboards neat and tidy. Nothing worse than having to get down on hands and knees and toss things out to find 1 item. Look looking at any information on new ideas.

  • Narelle Auld
    Absolutely decluttering not only makes clear spaces in the house - but also in your mind. I can travel and live for months out of a suitcase and I get home and just want to keep that same feeling of lightness. All my family and friends know to only give experiences as presents - not ‘stuff’. When in Asia I see delicious family meals made from a one burner gas appliance and I think what the hell do we have in our Western kitchens. Why do we need excess towels and bed linen - we usually wash and dry these in one day and reuse them. To clear my wardrobe I get 3 small garment racks - and label them Work/Play/Winter and hang my favourite things on them ...and live off them for a while without going to my wardrobe- (which mind you is usually still full???!!!!) then without thinking too much I put all left over things from the wardrobe in a bag and put in the garage and then if I haven’t touched them anything decent goes to second hand shops (but even they have too much stuff). Buy or gather less with things of quality and sustainability- keep few special and meaningful items or things that you have really thought about and need . Often choosing one item can remind you of a special time or a special person more than a cupboard full of things. Live well everyone. x
  • PRO
    La Fuente Imports

    I've been practicing this since 2003...and yes, it easily works at creating the JOY factor. Everything is energy so work with it to create the positive energy you wish to experience. It's not particularly complicated. When you know, you know.

  • redoredone

    In the past, having purchased too many things because they "went with" the décor, it gives me great satisfaction in my current uncluttered home, to use only things that are functional or meaningful to us.

  • Littlethommo

    Definitely - except for the time it takes to do it as so often I find something not seen for years, especially objects like photos or the hoard of mags and catalogues I saved 'in case I need to look at them again' and then I inevitably pause the cleaning out process to sit down and re-read them! And then too often they go back into the cupboard again anyway!

  • Jen Osborne

    To the people who say utilitarian objects don't bring 'joy,' maybe go a month without your potato peeler, colander, toilet brush, cloth hangers etc and see how happy you would be to have those things back in your life!

    The method didn't bring joy per se but a real sense of peace in my house. I can now relax without the feeling in the back of my mind that I should tackle the linen closet or such.

  • berbieharmsen

    I am currently downsizing and so am also finding things I haven't seen for years. As my accommodation is still being built I have stored some things I thought I wouldn't need

    and am already inconvenienced by that. I have been able to discard stuff I don't why I kept

    in the first place and although it doesn't actually bring me joy, it is a weight gone and makes

    life easier.