Helen Youn, Creator of Spark Joy with Helen

She's one of the very first Certified KonMari Consulants in the world, and also happens to be a serious foodie.

"Living with intention" are words that get thrown around all the time these days, but make no mistake, Helen Youn of Spark Joy with Helen walks the walk. You'll hear how she embraced the KonMari philosophy in all facets of her life and how she finds inspiration today. Learn more, below.

You were one of the first Certified KonMari Consultants in the world! That’s incredible. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a legendary, Master level KonMari consultant. 

A lot of people assumed that as a Certified KonMari Consultant, I must’ve always been a tidy person but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I came across Marie Kondo’s book “The life-changing magic of tidying up” as an overwhelmed and disorganized new mom. Marie said anyone can learn to tidy up and if you use the right method, you only have to do this once. It seemed too good to be true, but my husband and I decided to give it a try anyway. We completely transformed our home in a span of two weeks and our home and space only got better with time. About a year later, we both ended up leaving our corporate jobs when we realized they no longer sparked joy. I found out about the KonMari Consultant Certification Course, went for training in 2016 and became the 19th certified KonMari Consultant in the world. I have been working full time in my own business as a KonMari Consultant guiding people through this life-changing process ever since!

You also love to cook and explore new restaurants in your area. What foods are you loving lately?

We’ve been doing a lot more cooking at home rather than exploring new restaurants this year due to the pandemic. I’ve been making dishes like sushi, soba noodles and okonomiyake (a Japanese dish that is kind of like a fusion between pancakes and frittatas) since we haven’t been able to visit our favorite Japanese restaurants. I also miss going out to coffee shops and bakeries so I’ve been baking more treats at home as well. I learned how to make French macarons during my city’s first lockdown this year!

Where are your favorite ways to get inspiration and recommendations?

I find inspiration everywhere! My favorite way is talking to friends and family to find out what is sparking joy for them, as the best recommendations alway come from people you know and trust. 

"My favorite way to find inspiration is by talking to friends and family to find out what is sparking joy for them, as the best recommendations alway come from people you know and trust."

What advice would you give someone who wants to get more organized in their physical space but doesn’t know where to start?

Start with visualizing your ideal life. Visualize the space you want to live in and one that would spark the most joy for you. Write down a list of what you’d like to do at home once you finish tidying up your space. You can also include some photos and words that reflect your ideal life vision for inspiration. The one thing that sets the KonMari Method apart for me when I was going through my own tidying festival is taking the time to think about my ideal life before starting. It’s no longer about which organizing system I should implement or what containers to buy, but rather, if those items even have a place in my ideal life. You keep something if it sparks joy and has a role in supporting your ideal life, not just because you might be able to use it one day. 

We love the thoughtfulness you have around living with intention. What are some of your favorite ways to bring intentionality into your life, even during this wacky time?

I love making lists! I have some personal lists and some lists we created together as a family. For example, before the Summer, we sat down and made a list of things we’d like to do to have the best Summer and wrote down things like going camping, hiking, visiting specific parks around the city etc. We do this before this year’s holiday season as well and included things like making gingerbread houses, cookies, watching our favorite holiday movies, etc. Instead of thinking about what we can’t do, I try to focus on what we can. It’s really easy to stuck in negativity especially in a wacky year like 2020 so I find having these lists remind us to do things that sparks joy.

Thank you so much, Helen! We've got our eyes on the okonomiyaki recipe in your Recipes to Try list :)

January 6, 2021

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