Pretty much everyone has heard of the Konmari book about minimalism and cleaning and only keeping things that “spark joy.”
Detractors often say that some utilitarian things are just not going to ever spark joy. Now, we believe in small well-made tools to the extent that we’ve recommended people give tweezers and pencil sharpeners for Christmas. These little luxuries really do spark joy for me whenever I have to sharpen a pencil or tweeze an errant hair or open a jar or what have you.
What, of course, makes them spark joy, is the memories of using pencil sharpeners that don’t sharpen right, or tweezers that take a lot of effort. Or jar openers that take too much hand strength. And on and on and on.
Often people will say, “Toilet paper will never spark joy.” And I submit that those people did not grow up with crappy toilet paper. One of my guilty pleasures in life is buying really nice quality toilet paper. Toilet paper that doesn’t melt upon contact with water. That doesn’t scratch. That doesn’t take handfuls and handfuls per use. (It’s a guilty pleasure because I know it’s not the best choice for the environment, but I buy it still!)
So… how to make sure even your mundane objects spark joy?
- Use crappy cheap versions of the object
- Find the best version of the object
- Use that instead
- (dispense with the crappy versions if you’re Konmari-ing)
Of course, if you haven’t suffered, you’ll never know the joy. I suppose that if you do get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy then you’ll have a lot of unsharpened pencils until you get a new sharpener, at which point, its eliminated absence will cause new joy to be sparked. So…
Ah, the cirrrrrcle of hedonic adaptation.
Do mundane objects spark joy for you? Which ones?