I have been following Marie Kondo’s simple, clear rules for a decluttered life since way before they were written. My mother was an early adopter of order, and I the apple from her very organized tree.
But I have learned a few tricks from this modern-day “Marie Poppins,” who has turned decluttering—what I have called brooming for decades—into shelf help, an art form with a legion of newly neat devotees. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a literal how-to-heave-ho, and I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society. (Thanks to Ms. Kondo, I kiss my old socks goodbye.)
What I love most about her method is the respect she suggests we show our soon-to-be-departed possessions. If they don’t “spark joy” in our hearts, as she puts it, then we should pause to acknowledge our memories together and let them spark joy for someone else.
To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!
Curtis is an acclaimed author and actor
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