The art of tidying up has sparked many serious meditations on the neurosis of our time. John Donne wrote that memory is salvation and Charles Dickens illustrated this thought wonderfully in his cluttered and yet simple and light charged stories; this realization of the power of memory is the difference between the neurotic misfires of tidying up and the miracle of grace. The gritty materialism of places and things is very important because it provides the ingredients to remember what we love the most to the point we aren’t reminded of anything else. So, it’s good we are thinking about how things can spark joy, so long as we recognize where the joy is coming from– this is the joyful destination of our memory and should be cherished above the vessel we take to get there. If you merely cherish the things in and of themselves– or demonize the things and fiendishly get rid of them– then there won’t be any joy to spark.