Choosing Gifts That Will Spark Joy

When you tidy the KonMari way, you heighten your sensitivity to what sparks joy for you. This skill and mindset can make it easier to determine what might spark joy for others, too! Here are my tips for choosing gifts that will spark joy:

  • Tip 1Think about the recipient’s lifestyle. Be specific!
  • Tip 2Imagine them using the gift.
  • Tip 3Let go of the end results.
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Think About the Recipient’s Lifestyle

Over the years, I’ve observed many of my clients having a difficult time letting go of gifts that didn’t spark joy. One client had a closet bursting with unworn clothes her mother had given to her; another, plagued by guilt, had been holding on to dishes and home goods she’d received decades earlier and never used.

It was a sad paradox. The gift givers had wanted to make the recipients happy, but the gifts were making them unhappy!

I’ve given gifts that weren’t a hit before. Once, I gave a rather large toy to a family with children who lived in a compact house. I didn’t consider their storage capacity when choosing the gift, and I have a feeling it ended up being more of a burden than a delight.

Now, before I search for a gift, I imagine what would spark joy based on the recipient’s lifestyle. I recall specific details about their daily routines, living quarters, and interests: How much space do they have? What activities do they like to do? What objects do they treasure?

Once I’ve considered the details of their day-to-day lives, I can search in earnest.

Imagine Them Using the Gift

When I find an item that I think will complement the recipient’s lifestyle, I imagine them using or holding it. If the vision sparks joy, I’m on the right track. The item itself doesn’t have to spark joy for me, but having a positive feeling when I picture my loved one using it is always a good sign. Mindset is important – the feelings we have while choosing a gift transfer to the item itself.

Let Go of the End Results

Giving gifts without expectations or agenda releases both the giver and the receiver from undue pressure. The true purpose of a gift is to be received – whether or not it’s used and loved for years to come is besides the point. Of course, it’s wonderful to select gifts that spark joy, but choosing them thoughtfully – as a way to convey our feelings for loved ones – makes for a truly meaningful exchange.

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