It’s the New Year, and that means everyone is making resolutions. A top one on everyone’s to-do list? Declutter the house. And Netflix is releasing a new how-to show just in time to help.
“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is a therapeutic show that will both inspire and relieve you. In it, Kondo visits couples who have trouble with clutter and disorganization in their home and teaches them how to prioritize what they need.
Kondo’s philosophy, entitled Konmari, is pretty simple: you need to only keep the things that, in her words, bring you joy.
On the show, Kondo tackles enormous amounts of clutter with energy and excitement that would leave most people breathless. Simply put, she loves organization, so looking at messes makes her feel excited and challenged instead of overwhelmed and stressed (like the rest of us).
But there’s another side of her philosophy that makes it about more than just purging: Kondo says it’s important to be grateful for what you have. She encourages people to take the time to say goodbye to the items they no longer want and even to “thank” them for the memories and the usefulness they’ve brought to their owners’ lives. After all, just because it no longer brings you joy doesn’t mean it never did.
And she knows that there’s some value in holding on to certain things (even if they technically qualify as “junk”) for sentimental reasons.
So, it’s not without compassion that she approaches people’s messy lives to help them reorganize and feel more relaxed.
Kondo does have a very specific philosophy, and not every part of it will necessarily be for everyone.
“Photos can be stored in a box,” she says in one episode. “My recommendation is to store them in an album. This makes it easier to enjoy the memories.”
That might be better classified under “to each his own.”
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take her organizational tips to heart, even if you aren’t as interested in her philosophy.
It’s a message that’s got the internet up in arms for more than one reason. People love her message, but they also want to poke a little bit of fun at it. As soon as the series was released, Twitter erupted with tweets about the awesome — and ridiculous — aspects to Kondo’s organizational philosophy.
“I’ve watched the first episode of the Marie Kondo show — the one where the guy angrily demands that his part-time working wife, who raises their two toddlers alone, do more laundry — and clearly, KonMari doesn’t work, because by the end of the episode he’s still there,” tweeted @sadydoyle.
Other people poked fun at the viral reaction to the show, with people everywhere making resolutions to get decluttered, get organized, and change their lives.
“people on twitter r acting like Marie Kondo is about to hoof down their front door and throw away their favourite jumper,” tweeted @imteddybless. “forcibly fold their nan into a cupboard. alphebatise the children. relax gang. nobody cares if u like ur shit how it is” [sic]
While KonMari might not be for everyone, the people who draw inspiration from it are pretty happy to find new ways to organize. As for others who watch it without any intent to get their house together, well, they say they find it relaxing to watch the petite host expertly fold clothes.
Clothes are a big deal on “Tidying Up,” with Kondo helping people see exactly how many clothes they own.
Americans own a ton of clothing — as Kondo shows people, piling item after item on a bed — throwing out about 13 million tons of it every single year. Much of that clothing goes into landfills. In fact, fabrics and textiles are about 9 percent of our garbage that doesn’t get recycled.
Maybe that’s the message that the people who aren’t interested in KonMari can take away from the Netflix show: ways to live sustainably and frugally even if they don’t want to fold their clothes using Kondo’s neat, careful method.
Clothing is a great, easy way to declutter, give to others, and live in an environmentally friendly way all at once.
By donating to secondhand clothing stores — and by buying second hand as well — people can make much more space in their homes without putting extra textiles into landfills. Maybe in decluttering, Kondo’s main message will come to mind. They might find that the clothing items they’re left with after cleaning the closet out are the ones that bring them joy.
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