Tidying up with Marie Kondo



4 November 2015; Marie Kondo, Author and Organising Consultant, Marie Kondo, on the Society Stage during Day 2 of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit

Courtney Reel, Copy Editor

With spring quickly approaching, the season of spring cleaning is coming too. There’s no time like the present to watch the new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author, who assists many families in tidying their homes. Motivation can be hard to find when you are a sentimental hoarder like many Americans. There is something so satisfying about seeing a messy house transform into an organized one. This is Kondo’s specialty. Throughout this series, Kondo tackles many homes cluttered with unnecessary mess. She helps families achieve their goals of tidying up their houses by consulting with them and instructing them on how to organize their chaotically messy homes. Lucky for the families who seek the help of the professional tidier, Kondo cheerfully exclaims, “I love mess!”

This tiny Japanese woman travels to various homes with her translator in the hope of tidying up the homes of her clients. The show features American families but uses captions to translate what she says when she speaks or is trying to explain a specific method for organizing. Kondo’s quirky personality and as well as her broken English add to the charm of the show. She often starts out each episode by greeting the house that she is helping tidy. Her philosophy is very much centered around gratitude. She encourages her clients to only keep the belongings that “spark joy” for them and to throw away or donate the rest. She often goes through different sections of the house with this method, the first being the clothing in the household. When deciding whether or not something sparks joy, she encourages them to pick something they wear often and love to know what that feeling is like. As they make their way through the clothing she wants them to thank each item that no longer sparks joy for them.

The strategy of starting with clothes is meant to train her clients to recognize the process of separating what “sparks joy” for them and what doesn’t. More often than not, the clothing is the easiest for clients to get rid of but tidying sentimental items such as letters, photographs, or books become increasingly difficult to part with. Often, she is able to walk the clients through the process and achieve the goals they are seeking after. Her strategies for tidying may be unconventional to some, but by doing this she hopes to relieve some of the overwhelming feelings associated with cleaning a house. This show is a wholesome and relaxing show to watch and may even motivate to go on a tidying journey of your own.

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