The one thing we're all missing about Marie Kondo's infamous question "Does it spark joy?"


There’s no denying that Marie Kondo is an absolute decluttering genius.

From the moment her series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo quietly dropped on Netflix on January 2nd, thousands of viewers descended into a mass cleaning frenzy, decluttering their homes and following Kondo’s ever-popular KonMari method.

With her tidying method being so simple and easy to follow, it’s no wonder so many people decided to take on Kondo-ing their homes as part of their New Year’s goals.

But while the method has been undoubtedly popular, there’s just one part about Kondo’s rules for tidying that had some viewers feeling confused.

Watch the trailer for Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo here. Post continues below.

You see, ever since Kondo rose to fame with her best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she’s been known for four words.

“Does it spark joy?”

The premise is this – if an item you have sparks joy in you, keep it. But if it doesn’t, it’s time to get rid of it.

“You feel [joy] when you hold a puppy, or when you wear your favourite outfit,” Kondo explains in the first episode of the Netflix series.

“It’s a warm and positive feeling.”

Is Marie Kondo’s tidying up life changing when you have kids? Post continues below.


But it’s the fact that Kondo recommends using this phrase when decluttering everything from clothing to books to kitchen utensils that has some viewers rolling their eyes.

After all, how could mundane items such as underwear and kitchen utensils truly spark joy?

If you’re wondering how your socks can possibly spark joy, it seems something may have been missed in translation.

Twitter user Piper Anderson has eloquently explained how Western viewers often confuse the term ‘spark joy’ with the image of child-like excitement, for instance, the image of children visiting Disneyland for the first time.

Piper went on to explain that the question of whether an item sparks joy doesn’t just come down to whether it gives you a sense of child-like excitement.


If an item sparks joy for you, it should give you an urge to use it, an urge to read it, or an urge to wear it.

It’s an item that gives you confidence that it’s going to work for you and your life.

It’s something you can’t imagine living without. Or rather, one you actually can’t live without.

The question of whether something sparks joy doesn’t just come down to child-like joy – it’s about needs to.

After all, who can live without a few pairs of socks?!

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