As a professional organizer you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear about the new Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
If you’re reading this blog you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo, whose 2014 book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” swept the nation (ok, the GLOBE!) by storm.
In 2016 she published a second book, “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.”
THE KONMARI METHOD™
The premise of the books and Marie’s now trademarked “KonMari™” method include a series of steps for readers (and viewers of the show) to follow:
Along the way, homeowners are encouraged to touch every item they are considering, determining if it “sparks joy” in them. If it does, the item can go in the “keep” pile. No sparks? Off it goes!
Items to be retained are then folded in very particular ways (some make sense; others not so much) and are organized using boxes or other containers.
Finally, the KonMari method specifies the organizing be done ikki ni, which is Japanese for doing it all at once.
Sounds reasonable, right? Or maybe you’re already overwhelmed.
While there are things I like about the KonMari™ method, it has serious drawbacks for many who try to use it (if you don’t believe me, just refer to Google).
This last point is a really big one for me. In fact, it’s so important I am working on a book that delves into this topic. Watch for more details on that in the future!
In spite of these concerns, there are some things I loved about the Netflix series. Some of the stories were so powerful! I found that many of the episodes had similar themes and outcomes to those experienced by my organizing clients. Here were some of my favorite take-aways (combined from reality TV and actual reality!):
A man supporting his wife’s desire to declutter. Even though he wasn’t that excited about the project initially, a husband really wanted to support his wife. And in the end, he was delighted with the progress (and results!) they both achieved.
Gathering like items in one place to sort. It starts with all your clothes fitting nicely into your closet. Pretty soon you’ve got a surplus of clothes, and you take over the closet in the spare bedroom … and then you’re setting up wardrobes in the garage and attic too. When you allow your possessions to move outside the borders of their assigned spaces, you lose sight of exactly what you have – and that often means wasted time (searching) and wasted money (buying duplicates). Putting like items in a single spot to organize is a great way to clarify what you have and what you need.
Creating space for new experiences. One of the people on the series talked about how looking at all the shoes they owned made them rethink their values. They had spent thousands of dollars on shoes that had never been worn! Decluttering doesn’t just create physical space; it also creates an opportunity for new values and experiences. One of my clients was able to move forward with her writing business after taking charge of the clutter that was creating chaos. It truly changed her life!
Rethinking your possessions … and the way you view your life. I was really struck by an episode where a widow cleared out many of her husband’s belongings. My own organizing clients have found their joy in having a dining room table cleared off so they can eat as a family again. Another was able to reignite her creative spark because she was finally able to find her craft supplies after reorganizing her space.
It’s emotional awakenings like these that are at the heart of why I love being a professional organizer. Of course, it’s satisfying to see a client’s home get decluttered. But it’s the space clients regain in their lives that is equally rewarding.
As you watch the Netflix series (and I hope you do!), what emotions does it trigger for you? And does it make you wonder why you are holding on to things that may not serve you well?
If you’ve tried to reorganize your life using Marie Kondo’s KonMari™ method I would love to hear what you think! What worked for you? What didn’t?
And when you're ready to spark joy in your home, please contact me for a free consultation phone call.