How to Use Marie Kondo’s ‘Spark Joy’ Principle to Live More Sustainably

How to Use Marie Kondo’s ‘Spark Joy’ Principle to Live More Sustainably

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I don’t know about you, but I loved the Netflix series ‘tidying up with Marie Kondo’, I may have even re-watched the series several times over the multiple lockdowns as it was perfect inspiration as I moved to a new house and organised my new space. Marie Kondo’s new series ‘Sparking Joy’ takes the concept further to enrich the spaces we live and work in. From spending more time in our homes, to now moving back into the workplace and out and about more, we can use Marie Kondo’s principles to find out what our core principles are, and how to move into a future that sparks joy and is more sustainable too! Here are my 5 tips to using Marie Kondo’s ethos to live more sustainably.

1. De-Clutter (And Re-Home)

De-cluttering can be great way to start a new chapter in your life, you re-consider what you have and if it adds value. We often think ‘well there’s no harm in keeping this’ but every item we keep needs storing, moving, cleaning and maintaining, meaning it costs to keep it. Marie suggests you start with your clothing, remember to thank your clothing when it no longer serves a purpose for you and give it a new life by donating it or sell it on Shwap. When you are sorting through your possessions, ask yourself what you want to take into your future? Can you see this item as being a valuable part of your future? What value does it add? This may have changed over the global pandemic, as many of our lives have changed in myriad ways!

2. Find Your Joy Items

After de-cluttering you should look at your clothing and know what key pieces sparked joy. These are really important, to have a few items that you really love, are right for the season in your life, fit you and you are excited to wear! Now analyse these pieces, why do you love them? Is there a commonality between them? Are they bright and colourful, or more muted tones? Are they all super comfortable or made from natural fibres? Understanding your style and what your favourite pieces are will give you confidence in the future when shopping for items and investing in pieces you know you will love and look after for years to come. Loved clothes, last!

3. Take Care of Your Clothes

Marie Kondo has a famous folding method for clothes, which is practical as well as beautiful! The idea is that you are able to see all your clothing, by folding clothing and placing them in your drawer upright, things don’t get lost under other items, and your drawers don’t get messy because you don’t have to pull everything out! Her method also means you get less lines and wrinkles on your clothing, reducing the need for ironing, which means less electricity use and a smaller carbon footprint! If you want to take caring for your clothing a step further to be more sustainable – wash everything at 30 degrees, use an organic, non-toxic laundry liquid, and air dry everything.

Top tip – dry all shirts on a hanger and reshape whilst damp – you’ll be surprised how many don’t need any ironing at all!

4. Live with intent

Going through your belongings can put your intentions into perspective. One of my main goals at the moment is to live with intent, meaning that whatever I do, I try and do for a reason. This may seem simple, but you would be surprised how many things you do that you’re not sure why you do it, such as scrolling on your phone, sleeping till midday on the weekends or holding onto books or projects you feel like you ‘should’ finish which end up making you feel guilty whenever you see them. I believe being more mindful and intentional about how I live my life, makes it more sustainable, because I don’t waste time on things that aren’t beneficial to me or the planet, instead I focus on enjoying the small things that make a big difference.

5. Your connection with your clothing

A deeper connection with your clothing, and understanding of who made it, what fibres it’s made from and what it brings to your life will make you a smarter and more sustainable shopper going forwards. The more we understand about our clothing and connect it to the immense skill and labour gone into its creation, the more we’ll enjoy taking care of it and wearing it over and over again! This is sustainable style, a style that is filled with connection and appreciation. You can use these principles across everything you own, and in time you’ll find you need less to live a fulfilling life, making your impact on the earth smaller and your connection to your life, stronger!


Written by Olivia Riley.


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