Marie Kondo method of tidying up has swept into the St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS – It goes beyond spring cleaning. Some are calling it a lifestyle change.

At the start of the year, Netflix launched a show starring best-selling author Marie Kondo trying to “spark joy” through the art of tidying up. And it's sweeping St. Louis, along with much of the world.

“Focus on joy, what brings you joy, and how you can get more joy in your life," says Lisa Dickmann, the only consultant in Missouri that’s certified in Kondo’s method of tidying up.

"We just start by greeting the home. We want to show gratitude for what the home does for you every day.”

Her client, Diana Aranda, is settling into a new home with her family. But before they start tidying up, the KonMari method says you must first make a mess.

'We take all the clothes and we make a big pile. That’s how we begin," she says.

When organizing she suggests starting with clothes, followed by books, and then papers. Next, tackle miscellaneous items and finish with sentimental things. She says go item by item and ask yourself if it sparks joy, if not let it go and thank that item for its service.

Once you’re done sorting, it’s on to folding.

"You fold your clothes like Origami so that they stand up vertically. This allows you to see everything and to make an easy decision,” Dickmann says.

You should apply this concept to all your belongings but it may bring up a lot of emotions. Dickmann uses her counseling degree to help her clients sort through it.

"In a counseling session, we may talk about the problem but here we are confronting the problem. When you tidy, you are confronting yourself and sometimes that’s uncomfortable," she says.

Dickmann admits this concept helped her deal with the loss of her baby girl.

“Doing the KonMari method has trained me to be able to let her go with gratitude," she says.

A perspective she held onto while sorting through her daughter’s things.

"I truly loved the dress that she wore and it gives me this wonderful feeling. One of my favorite possessions is her dress and it didn’t bring me down; it just brought me love."

Dickmann says there really is life-changing magic in tidying up. Whether you're moving off to college, moving into your first home, expecting a child, or downsizing.

"You know you want to be prepared for that next chapter in your life," she says.

While some of your items may no longer spark joy for you, they may spark joy for someone else, and donation centers are seeing this joy come full circle.

"They enjoy coming in and searching for that treasure. I think there's as much joy on the shopping side as there is on the giving side," says Mark Kahrs, Mers Goodwill's vice president of retail.

Kahrs says typically donations drop off in January and February, but they're feeling the joy this year.

"Our donations are up 15 percent for this year, which equals about 35,000 dropoffs," he says.

And the more money they earn through sales, the more adults they can offer free high school classes at their new Excel Centers throughout Missouri.

This phenomenon seems to be a sparking joy and changing lives; one tidying at a time.

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