Daisy Andrews shares her thoughts on Marie Kondo’s satisfying new Netflix show

Written by Daisy Andrews
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Images by Netflix

Marie Kondo, 34 year old tidying counsellor, has recently starred in her own Netflix produced TV series Tidying up. After selling millions of copies of her tidy-guidebooks, her most famous being ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’, Kondo has decieded it is time to move to a new medium.

The show walks us through her tidying method, known as Kon Mari, where she teaches people how to categorise their mess and choose the right places for it, throwing away those items that don’t ‘spark joy’. Each episode of the show follows a different family who are are all tidying their homes for different reasons and at different stages in their lives. From ‘The Downsizers’ to a widow needing to clear her house from grief, to a male student couple who want to tidy to impress their parents, Marie Kondo works her magic. She starts by greeting each family’s house before she begins helping them with the tidying process, and then works through a strict categorical process, starting with clothes and ending with sentimental items when the tidying mind-set has been practised and refined.

I have watched the whole first series now and have to admit I am eagerly awaiting another. I was instantly invested in watching the tidying process take place… whether that makes me a tidying freak or not I don’t know. I’m no obsessive cleaner, nor do I spend hours watching videos of people cleaning, (although I know people do), but I certainly find it satisfying to see mess disappearing. Because of this, I knew I would love Tidying Up, however, I have to admit I did feel the show lacked that ‘wow’ before and after factor. While there were some hoarders, I didn’t feel that any of the episodes really showcased extreme cases of messy homes and therefore, the tidying process and after effect didn’t satisfy me as much as I had expected. That said, the stories of the families were lovely and it was great to see how happy they were after they had finished tidying. ‘Sparking Joy After A Loss’, in my opinion, was the best episode; it was wonderful to watch Margie, a grieving widow, recieve the closure she needed by going through her husband’s clothes and posessions. What I thought was brilliant was that Marie Kondo allowed her method to be adapted, not protesting despite her expertise, in Margie’s case so that she worked through her husband’s possessions alongside her own, rather than leaving them until last as Kondo normally reccomends. This episode was very emotional and fulfilling to watch and I would highly reccomend watching this particular one. There is comedy thrown in the series too with unwilling partners and indecisive tidiers, so it’s not all solemnity and sorting, I promise.

Marie Kondo has received a lot of criticism for her Kon Mari method with people commenting that the level of organisation is too extreme and unrealistic. The internet is taking hold of the Kon Mari method and ruthlessly mocking it through a variety of memes. Personally, I think Kondo’s tidying methods, if you have the right mind-set and the motivation, are the perfect way to organise your home. Deciphering whether something brings you joy, while difficult, is the perfect way to decide whether you keep something. Why would you want to keep things which don’t bring you joy?

The one category where I come into conflict with Marie’s method, however, is books. Being an English student perhaps I am prejudiced, but I do not understand her limit on books which only allows 30 to be kept in the home. Whilst hoarding is unnecessary and can become an issue, I do not think that books can be regarded merely as a posession or purely for their reading use. People use books to decorate the walls of their homes, their coffee tables, and shelves dotted around the house. If between us, including all our family members, we had only 30 books in our homes, they would feel sparse and unlived in. The age old expression, ‘Tidy home, Tidy mind’ defintely holds a lot of truth, yet I feel there is a line between a tidy home and a home without any evidence of life.

Nonetheless, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has certainly inspired me to want to clear my cupboards and go through my wardrobe. Particularly my clothes: my number one fault is hoarding item. (I have far too many tops and jumpers and my pyjama collection is unreasonably large.) Watching this show is enjoyable and motivating when you see the end product of organising your stuff into neat compartments. It is the perfect show for people who love to watch people tidy, who find it therapeutic, or who just really need the incentive to tidy.