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Marie Kondo shares 18 life-changing gifts that spark joy

Marie Kondo’s signature phrase is deceptively simple: “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.”

The Japanese host of the aptly titled new series “Sparking Joy,” premiering Tuesday on Netflix, has inspired millions around the globe to refocus their lives, starting with organizing their homes — but now she’s digging deeper.

“True joy comes from within,” Kondo, 36, told The Post. “To cultivate a joy-sparking relationship with yourself, you must first take the time and energy to really get to know yourself and imagine your ideal lifestyle.”

She recommends asking yourself three tough questions: Who are you, what do you want and how do you want to live?

“Be as detailed as possible on your morning routine, how you want to spend time relaxing at home or time with your loved ones,” she said. “This critical step will help you understand what truly brings you joy.”

So, let’s address the elephant in the room. How exactly does Kondo achieve this level of self-reflection? She said it all started with the self-founded system made internationally famous by her first Netflix series, 2019’s “Tidying Up.”

“The KonMari Method is a method of tidying that uses a unique selection criterion — choosing what sparks joy,” recapped Kondo, who launched her consulting business when she was a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo, leading to her bestselling book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” in 2014. “It encourages tidying by category – not by location — beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono [miscellaneous items] and, finally, sentimental items.”

When she was 5 years old, Kondo started reading her mother’s home and lifestyle magazines and tried doing household chores herself. "This inspired me to start researching tidying seriously at the age of 15," she told The Post. "When I went to college, I began tidying my friends’ homes as a hobby and when word spread, I had strangers approaching me saying they would pay me for my help."
When she was 5 years old, Kondo started reading her mother’s home and lifestyle magazines and tried doing household chores herself. “This inspired me to start researching tidying seriously at the age of 15,” she told The Post. “When I went to college, I began tidying my friends’ homes as a hobby and when word spread, I had strangers approaching me saying they would pay me for my help.”
Photography courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.

Kondo famously — some might say infamously — only keeps items that light a fire in her heart, while eliminating those that no longer ignite the spark. “When you discard, thank them for their service, then let them go,” she told The Post. “This method is not only effective in ensuring you will never again relapse to clutter, but also in resetting your life so you can surround yourself with the people and things that you love the most.”

Kondo said her new Netflix series “builds on the foundations of the KonMari Method and applies them outside the home to relationships, businesses and communities … viewers can witness the positive impact and the ripple effect that tidying can have on people’s lives both inside and outside of their homes.”

However, don’t get the wrong idea: Just because Kondo promotes decluttering and a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean she’s not a giver. She finds joy in gift-giving.

“Gifts are a means of conveying your feelings for someone,” she said “Keep the person in your heart when choosing what item to give them and think about their lifestyle.” She also recommends considering their daily routine, the size of their home and their hobbies to help you narrow it down.

“If you can imagine the recipient holding the item and sparking joy and it reminds you of the other person in a positive way, you’ve found your perfect gift,” she added.

Kondo eventually left her 9-to-5 to pursue her tidying career full time, and eventually launched her own lifestyle brand. "Our mission behind KonMari is centered around the concept of sparking joy and organizing the world," she said. "We aim to deliver products, services and content that are designed to help organize your home and bring joy to your life." (Photography courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.)
Kondo eventually left her post-college 9-to-5 to pursue her tidying career full time, and eventually launched her own lifestyle brand. “Our mission behind KonMari is centered around the concept of sparking joy and organizing the world,” she said. “We aim to deliver products, services and content that are designed to help organize your home and bring joy to your life.”
Photography courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.

To help you find the ideal, joy-inducing gift, Kondo shared with us her top 19 items that bring grace, light and happiness into one’s home. Read on to hear why her most recommended selections make the most versatile and unique gifts to shop for any occasion.


For the person embracing Japanese-inspired items:

Under $25: Traditional Japanese Furoshiki Gift Wrap, $20

Traditional Japanese Furoshiki Gift Wrap
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“Furoshiki are a staple in Japanese households,” Kondo said. “These vibrant and sturdy squares of fabric are reusable and can be used for wrapping, carrying and storing everyday items.”


Under $50: Carbon Steel Japanese Garden Scissors, $35

Carbon Steel Japanese Garden Scissors
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“The right tools make for a joyful job,” Kondo said. “These Garden Scissors are made in Japan from premium carbon steel and are a major upgrade from the office scissors you may have been using to trim your flower stems.”


Under $75: Ceremonial Ceramic Matcha Bowl, $65

Ceremonial Ceramic Matcha Bowl
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“This generously-sized bowl features a traditional Shino glaze in milky white and gray and comes with a wooden box,” Kondo shares. “I love sipping matcha for a sustainable boost of energy throughout the day while still feeling balanced.”


For the one who makes entertaining look effortless:

Under $20: Japanese Rice Bowl Inspired by Kimonos, $10

Japanese Rice Bowl Inspired by Kimonos
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“I love these traditional Japanese rice bowls — they’re also the perfect size for ice cream!,” Kondo said. “Made in Japan, these curvaceous bowls are designed beautifully for easy scooping.”


Under $50: Hand-Dipped Ivory Taper Candle Set, $32 (originally $40)

Hand-Dipped Ivory Taper Candle Set
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“These unscented hand-dipped candles are made in the U.S. and burn without dripping or smoking,” Kondo shares. “When hosting, I love adding these to my table to create a joyful atmosphere for my guests.”


For the kiddos:

Under $20: 24-Piece Elephant Jigsaw Puzzle, $12 (originally $14)

24-Piece Elephant Jigsaw Puzzle
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This 24-Piece Elephant Jigsaw Puzzle is one of Kondo’s favorites for less than $20. The richly colored elephant and landscape design is a lovely step-up from traditional puzzles, while teaching your children to flex their problem-solving skills.


Under $20: ‘Kiki & Jax — The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship’ by Marie Kondo, $17.99

'Kiki & Jax — The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship' by Marie Kondo
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My first-ever children’s book, ‘Kiki & Jax,’ is the perfect gift to inspire your kids to tidy, Kondo shares. “My goal when writing this book was to simplify the KonMari Method™ by incorporating the fundamentals into an endearing story with charming illustrations so kids will love it.”


Under $20: Grasshopper Kendama Wooden Toy, $16 (originally $20)

Grasshopper Kendama Wooden Toy
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As another one of Kondo’s favorites, this Grasshopper Kendama Wooden Toy is “addictively fun,” with trying to catch the ball in one of the cups as the goal of the game.


Under $125: Tidy Home Building Block Set, $76 (originally $108)

Tidy Home Building Block Set
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“What better way to inspire your kids to tidy and encourage creativity than by playing with toys?” Kondo said. “This house-shaped wooden block set starts out as a tidy home and opens up to reveal a world of endless stacking, sorting and designing possibilities.”

Plus, the pre-drawn grid on the inside of the house “makes it clear where to put each shape back – returning every piece to its rightful place is as much fun as taking them out,” she adds.


For the ultimate KonMari devotee:

Under $50: KonMari Method Fundamentals of Tidying Course, $39.99

Marie Kondo. Photography courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.

“The KonMari Method™ Fundamentals of Tidying Course is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving,” Kondo shares. “I guide you through my tidying method in a 10-lesson series – with folding demonstrations and checklists to help you along the way.”


Under $50: Stacking Storage Box With 9 Compartments, $32

Stacking Storage Box With 9 Compartments
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Going along with Kondo’s online course, this nine-compartment-encased storage box is the perfect solution to tidying up miscellaneous items, following the KonMari Method™.


Under $75: The Very Important Papers Vault, $50

The Very Important Papers Vault
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“I always suggest separating papers into three sub-categories: ones you must keep, ones that are in use, and ones that spark joy,” Kondo said. “This paper vault was not only designed with your very important papers in mind – from birth certificates and deeds to love letters and pre-K art projects, but also makes an elegant addition to any shelf.”


For the self-care superstar:

Under $50: Polished Stone Diffuser, $32

Polished Stone Diffuser
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“Made in the Japanese city of Tokoname, this stone diffuser was created using the traditional pottery techniques the town is known for,” Kondo shares. “To use, I apply a few drops of my favorite essential oil and the diffuser slowly fills the room with a beautiful calming aroma.”


Under $75: Sasawashi Room Shoes, $67

Sasawashi Room Shoes
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“Adopting the Japanese custom of removing your shoes before coming inside is an easy way to keep your tidied space clean and germ-free,” Kondo said. “Made from Sasawashi fabric – an anti-pill blend of breathable washi paper and antibacterial, odor-absorbing kumazasa plant fibers – these slippers are ultra-comfortable and can be worn all year round.”


Under $125: ‘Choose Joy’ Organic Cotton Pullover (KonMari Exclusive), $112

'Choose Joy' Organic Cotton Pullover (KonMari Exclusive)
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“I love this vintage-inspired sweatshirt because it’s the perfect reminder to choose joy,” Kondo shares. “This comfy essential is made from sustainable fabric and goes perfectly with our matching joggers for the ultimate work-from-home look.”


For the foodie in your life:

Under $75: Brass Cookbook & Tablet Stand, $58

Brass Cookbook & Tablet Stand
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“Dinner at home is a cherished part of my daily ritual,” Kondo said. “This elegant brass stand — featuring an adaptable shelf to hold a cookbook or a tablet — enhances my cooking experience by making it easy to see recipes at a glance.”


Under $125: Solid Hinoki Wood Cutting Board, $105

Solid Hinoki Wood Cutting Board
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“Soft and oil-rich, hinoki is easy on knives, naturally antimicrobial and mold-resistant – sushi chefs, in particular, swear by it,” Kondo said. “This stunning slab was cut from a single, solid piece of hinoki and contains no glues, additives or other icky substances.”


Under $250: Japanese Carbon Steel Wok, $220

Japanese Carbon Steel Wok
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“Made from carbon steel, this wok is perfect for high-heat cooking and has been tempered and blasted to create a naturally nonstick surface,” Kondo shares. “You can cook with ease knowing that your wok will never chip or peel.”


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