Here We Go Again: Spark Joy

Spark Joy

Marie Kondo follows up The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up with the illustrated guide Spark Joy. I found Spark Joy to be more helpful than the first book. It's still filled with some woo-woo ideas about what makes inanimate objects happy, but also some practical advice.

What frustrated me about Life Changing Art was how she glossed over the category komono (miscellaneous). Other than clothes, papers, books, photos, and sentimental objects, everything else falls into this category. That's a pretty broad category! Spark Joy gives more detail on how to tackle things like dishes, bathroom items, electronics and the like. She also provides ideas about how to store all the things that "spark joy." I actually rearranged my closet with these ideas in mind. There are also illustrations for her folding method.

I'm not sure if Marie Kondo was addressing some criticism, but she does seem to emphasize that she doesn't want people to throw out everything they own. Even though this seems to be her own goal. There is some cringe worthy examples from her own life, however.

"I have bid farewell, at least temporarily, to countless things that didn't bring me joy and, to be frank, the absence of a discarded item never caused a catastrophe. There is always something in the house that would serve as a substitute.
...After discarding a hammer because the handle was worn out, I used my frying pan to pound in any nails."

Nooooooo! This would be a divorce worthy offense in my house. Using my frying pan, an expensive wedding present, as a hammer? No. Lady, buy the right damn tool for the job.

I think if you are Konmari'ing your life, Spark Joy would be a nice addition to your decluttering library. If you find Marie Kondo a little much, maybe you could try Claire Zulkey's recommendations instead.

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up


  1. I'm so glad to read this review and hear that this one is filled with more practical advice. I loved Life Changing Magic, and I haven't "relapsed" at all - I just think I didn't fully purge the first time, and I need motivation to finish the project.

    I bought Spark Joy and I wanted to start it in January, but life was WAY too busy to have time to actually DO the work to go along with it. So I realized I needed to hold off until I can devote some time to the apartment while reading it. I know it will put a fire under me to do the work, so I wanted to make sure I started it at the right time! Can't wait. :)

  2. I feel as if this is what the first book should have been. If she had to use a frying pan to hammer a nail in, then she made a bad decision to toss the hammer out. Why not buy one that isn't worn out? Did she address her marriage and family in this one or was it written before the baby came? Her kid is like 9 or 10 months old now so probably right before.

  3. It is nuts to use a frying pan as a hammer. That's crazy! Having the proper tools for the task in front of you is, in my opinion, really important. In general I like Marie Kondo and her ideas, but this frying pan thing is a bridge too far. :p

  4. I agree with you on the miscellaneous category. I also thought the folding directions were confusing and had to watch a video on Youtube to figure out wth she was talking about for folding underwear.

  5. I didn't know she had another book! Just added my name to the library hold list.

  6. Don't home improvement manuals tell you that you should never find a substitute for a real tool? Huh. Maybe she should just find a hammer that brings her joy. Seriously, why would you throw out a hammer? I loved the first book but her rationale sometimes leaves me confused and with my eyebrows raised as high as they can go.

  7. hahaha I love this and everyone's comments so far! I wasn't a convert to the Konmari method after reading Life-Changing Magic -- so I don't plan to read the follow-up book or learn the correct way to fold underwear, but I actually DID start rolling my socks instead of pulling the opening of one over the other to keep the pair together!


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