Spark Joy or Dan-Sha-Ri: The outcome of two different organizing methods are very different.

Updated: Jun 2



中文版 ▶ 怦然心動與斷捨離:兩種整理方法成果大不同



What does “Spark Joy” means?

If you have read the book “The life-changing method of tidying up” by Marie Kondo, then you should probably know the term “spark joy”. What’s the feeling of “spark joy”?

Put it in a simple way, “spark joy” means that it makes your heart beat faster, or you could say that is the feeling of “like” or “love”, for example, I love pink, I will attract by anything in pink; if there are a pink iPad and blue iPad, they are all iPad, but I will choose pink iPad because “pink” makes me “spark joy”.


The FOCUS and the importance of organizing by “spark joy” or we should say “Konmari method” is not “discard”, but is to “keep”.

When I first organized I used Konmari method, the essential task of organizing, of course, is to discard first, but the point is not “discard”, it should be to “keep” things that make you “SPARK JOY”.

I have few shorts, skirts still in my closet after few decluttering which I love so so much, but the point is I can’t wear them at all, they are too small for me, but they make me spark joy! So I kept them.



What is “Dan-Sha-Ri”?

"Dan-Sha-Ri” (Japanese word) was invented by Hideko Yamashita in Japan originally, and she actually owns the trademark registration for “Dan-Sha-Ri” which I think it’s pretty cool.



I found it difficult to understand her concept of DAN-SHA-RI when I read her book, I read twice of her book to understand the meaning of “Dan-Sha-Ri”. Some examples she wrote in her book were really funny, like she describes “unorganized room” as “constipation”, or described people living in a cluttered environment as “catfish”, it might sound funny at first glance, but if you keep reading it, I think she described it very well.

DAN-SHA-RI is a Japanese concept which breaks down as follow:

DAN = Refusal of unneeded things

SHA = Throwing away unnecessary things you already own

RI = Let go from your obsession with possessions, focusing on yourself in a more spiritually rather than materialistically. 「斷」DAN — “Refusal of unneeded things”

What are unneeded things?

  • When we are shopping, what’s really in our mind is not whether I “need” this item, but is more like that you “want” it.

  • Unneeded things are things that you don’t use at all, for example, if your relatives or friends give you a something which you don’t like or you don’t need it, and you know it will be no use for you, but still, you accept it due to culture or personal reasons.

  • Things or gifts you received from your friends which weren’t really useful or suitable for you, but you accepted it as it is a courtesy or base on the culture.

  • Flyers or free gifts when you passing by in the shopping centre, although you know that you don’t need it.

  • You buy products from the supermarket not because you need these products, but because it’s on sale, you think is a bargain that makes you feel you have to buy it.

Therefore, DAN means that we don’t buy things we don’t need, we don’t take things we don’t need, in a simpler way, we won’t buy it because it’s cheap or gets it because it’s free.

「捨」SHA — “Throwing away unnecessary things you already own”

What are unnecessary things?

  • Things that are stacking in your home which are useless, useless means that “now”, “ at moment” is not being used.

  • Sell or donate unnecessary things in your home.


「離」RI — “Let go from your obsession with possessions, focusing on yourself in a more spiritually rather than materialistically”

When we consistently doing “DAN” and “SHA” these two process, we will detach from the attachment to objects, and when we throwing away the attachment to the object, we will achieve the state of relaxing and ease. Gradually, you will no longer buy unneeded things and accept or collect unnecessary things, you won’t hoard too much inventory, and you will only keep things you need and things that are actually using. No matter how high the price or how rare the items are, if you don’t need it, then you won’t buy it.

The word “DanShaRi” means to let go of possessions, but also free yourself from them, it’s a lifestyle that focuses on the inner happiness by decluttering in life which results in a lighter and free-er person and a simple living.


What are the differences between “Spark Joy” and “Dan-Sha-Ri” organizing methods?

Both “Spark Joy” and “Dan- Sha-Ri” organizing methods are all start and base on “self”. “Spark Joy” or “KonMari method” make choices base on their own feelings, for example, this item makes me spark joy, although I’m not wearing it or using it because it makes me spark joy, so I’ll keep it.

On the other hand, “Dan-Sha-Ri” is the way of thinking that put more focus on “I am using it” rather than “this item is often used”, the subject is always “I”, and the focus is on the timeline. the way of thinking is whether or not that I need this item “NOW”?

Therefore, even though this item has brought me many memories, but I am not using it NOW, it can be discarded or donated; if you think to donate or discard this item is a bit pitty, or maybe one day you will use it, these thoughts are not subject to “I” but “items”, the main character should be “you” /”I” not the “item” itself, and it’s not focusing on the timeline “now” either.


Dan-Sha-Ri is to live in the present and to make the best use of things.

Taking myself as an example, I initially organize by Konmari method, I kept few shorts, skirts and few beautiful coats that make me spark joy, but I can’t wear the shorts and skirts, because they are too small for me, and the beautiful blue coat which I never wore after I bought them, and it’s too small for me as well. If I am going to use “Dan-Sha-Ri” organizing method, then these unfitted skirts, shorts and coats should be discarded, and the reason that I couldn’t discard them is due to … my obsession with these items.

In other words, these items that make me spark joy, it’s probably not suitable for me (they’re too small), or NOW I am not wearing (using) them (I’m too fat).


As the number of times your organizing increases, the more you’ll understand yourself, the more you understand yourself and the more you’ll know what you really want.

After few times of organizing, when I see that beautiful blue coat, I remembered the first time I bought it, I thought it would be nice to wear it, but I never wear it after I bought them, what’s the reason? It’s because I couldn’t find the right time to wear it, and I couldn’t wear it now, because it’s too small, so the question is: will I wear it in the future? um…the answer is NO. Because I know if I am going to wear a coat, I will wear another black colour coat as usual, so I let go of that beautiful blue coat.

And what happened to the spark joy skirts and shorts? They’re still in my closet, well … I had more, but I reduced to only 2–3 skirts, although they are too small for me, I think it might be a good idea for me to lose weight, so these skirts will be my inspiration and motivation for losing my weight, when I see them, it will remind me and keep me up.

If you want to keep something that spark joy for you which you obviously are not using it now, think about it whether these items can become your motivation or inspiration for you?



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