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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It may be the dead of winter but it’s never too early to start thinking about spring cleaning. But, when it comes to decluttering, sometimes it can be difficult to let go.
Does it spark joy? That is the question at the root of an increasingly popular method of decluttering.
It has led to donation spikes at local thrift stores and as Eyewitness News found out, the human psyche may also the benefit from this philosophy too.
If there is a magic in tidying up then millions of Americans are under Marie Kondo’s spell.
“I’m supposed to be looking at everything and saying, ‘Does it bring me joy?’” said Susie Walsh.
“I haven’t seen the [show] but I read a book about that,” said Lamont McKeller.
Kondo is an international best-selling author and star of the new Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” where she demonstrates the Komario Method of decluttering the home.
“It’s like piling up your stuff and taking account,” said Danielle Floyd. “Like, do I really need this? Do I not need this? Am I excessive?”
With this method, one must take a look at all material items in the home and ask, “Does this spark joy?”
If the answer is no, then it has got to go. If the answer is yes, then it can remain but must be stored with care.
Kondo suggests compact folding of clothes, then storing them in an upright position so that it is always visible and accessible.
“I do like the idea of you can see everything that you have,” said Floyd, who recently watched the show.
It is one thing to see everything but another to actually feel it.
“A lot of this movement is about simplifying and reducing uncertainty and equivocality,” said Dr. Donald Hantula, a professor of psychology at Temple University. “Deciding to decide becomes a big problem.”
With the amount of “stuff” that the average American accumulates, Dr. Hantula said that our brains are susceptible of becoming paralyzed by the choices at hand.
“There’s research that has shown if you give people a small set of choices, maybe say between a dozen items, they are more satisfied with their choice than say if you gave them two dozen items to choose from,” said Dr. Hantula.
He added a simple determining question is best – and it sounds familiar.
“A very simple bright line like, ‘Does it bring me joy?” said Dr. Hantula.
At the same time, joy is in the eye of the beholder.