Declutter By Asking One Question: ‘Does This Spark Joy?’

Declutter By Asking One Question: ‘Does This Spark Joy?’

Most of us declutter by throwing away things we simply don’t use, or rehoming items that get in the way of productivity. Try throwing away anything that doesn’t bring you happiness instead.

Photo by Serene Vannoy

Decluttering can be a stressful task in itself. We often ask ourselves if we’re really ready to let things go, or what if we need this in the near future. Chris Guillebeau supports Marie Kondo’s philosophy that simplifies the task, and even makes it a happy one: if the item doesn’t “spark joy” in your life, toss it. Chris explains:

For all the clothes you don’t wear, pass them on. At minimum, never keep anything you haven’t worn in the past year.

Go around your house and get rid of all unnecessary papers. Papers are the worst — they rarely bring joy.

Don’t worry about organizational accoutrements or professional storage products. Forget about being super minimalist. Instead, focus on holding on to things you like while getting rid of everything else.

This is a delightful decluttering strategy. I’m doing it right now.

This makes it easy to figure out which things should go and which should say. Next time you need to declutter, pick up each item and answer a simple question: Does this bring me joy? If not, and it’s also not a necessity, it’s time to find a new home for it.

A Better Organizational Strategy: Throw Away Everything That Doesn’t Make You Happy [Chris Guillebeau]


  • The hoarder’s nightmare … sometimes the clutter is the joy.

    We have a rule that if something hasn’t been looked at or touched in 2 years … it’s either sold, given away or thrown out (depending on condition and intrinsic value). This especially applies to what gets stashed in the garage.

    But there are a few things I can’t bear to lose despite not having a use for … such as an old Palm PDA which still works perfectly and has way more sentimental than monetary worth … so it has been exempted from the purges (so far).

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