Marie mania

A review of Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”

Marie mania

Mira Sidhu, Editor

To me, there is no better therapy than cleaning my room. Something about organizing my living space helps me organize my thoughts as well. So, when I stumbled across Marie Kondo’s Netflix series “Tidying Up,” I was ecstatic to binge watch the show.

Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant and author from Japan, and before her Netflix gig she was most well-known for her book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The book, which was a best-seller around the world, details the KonMari method of organizing, from which Kondo has made her fame. In her method, Kondo applies principles of the Shinto religion to determine what clutter to keep, and what to throw away. If an object doesn’t “spark joy,” it’s not worth keeping, according to the KonMari method, as the spiritual energy an object has can affect the owner.

The basis of “Tidying Up” involves Kondo visiting the homes of American families to help them declutter. While walking them through her KonMari method, Kondo supplies the families and viewers with basic organizational tips as well, such as how to fold clothes so they don’t wrinkle and take up minimal space. The eight-episode series is overall an informative, lighthearted, and inspiring show.

What endeared Kondo and the show to me the most was that her goal was to genuinely improve the lives of her clients, not simply clean their houses. In the show, Kondo works with widows, new parents, newlyweds, and all kinds of people who have had a major life change. Her methods focus on creating livable, happy spaces that best fit their lives and individual needs, not keeping up appearances to flaunt a perfect life. That’s part of why I deeply admire the KonMari method – what “sparks joy” is not necessarily something that has specific monetary value and should be kept, but rather has personal value, like a photograph or other keepsake. Kondo also understands that an organized space looks different for different people, and she puts the wellbeing of her clients above the appearance of their homes.

I also found the KonMari method extremely useful and easy to follow (as far as chores go, of course). Like Kondo suggests, I started small by reorganizing the drawers of my bureau. It was shocking to see how much stuff I’d been holding onto that I didn’t need or had no use for. The KonMari method helped alleviate the guilt that comes with throwing things away (those tricky “oh, but it was a gift,” or “but I might wear it someday” feelings). When I finished, not only did all my clothes fit in drawers, but everything looked and felt so clean. In summary, the experience was purifying and gratifying.

Kondo doesn’t deserve the flack she’s gotten online that mock her “sparks joy” catchphrase or her minimalist approach. What I see is a kind, genuinely caring woman who wants to share her methods to help people tidy up, both their physical and mental spaces. With the KonMari method, cleaning actually is therapy.

For more information on the KonMari method and products, visit “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” can be viewed with Netflix streaming services.