Review: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo

The reality series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is both inspiring and delightful. I have a very neat house with a home for every object, but even I managed to find ways to improve things from watching her work.

I don’t watch many reality shows. This one is different. I simply adored Marie Kondo from the first moment. She shines so brightly and with such enthusiasm. She’s supremely likable. I’d watched a few of the 8 episodes before I began to understand what she was doing for people. Her method of finding what sparks joy is transformative.

Finding the objects that spark joy is really about how you want to move forward with your life. How do you want your life to feel and be? The objects you choose to carry forward with you define that.

The format of each episode was the same. Marie and her translator went to a home. They talked to the family there and saw what needed tidying. Then Marie gave them assignments. The first was always clothing. Everything was piled up in a big pile. The person had to touch each item and decide if it sparked joy or if it could be done without.

They worked their way through different spaces and things (like paper) until the job was done. Often it took weeks, sometimes only days.

Marie visited couples facing retirement, couples with children, couples expecting children, a widow with grown children, two different LGBTQ couples. She took a positive, encouraging approach with all of them. When they got stuck, she offered ideas to help them move on. Each episode was peppered with short segments offering general suggestions for the viewers. Those ranged from how to organize your pets supplies to how to fold a hoodie.

One caveat. Everyone in the household has to be on board with the idea of tidying this way. You can’t do it alone.

The series is on Netflix. If you can’t get that, Marie Kondo has two books out. I know my friends who have read these books have gained a lot from using her methods. They are Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. (affiliate links)

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