After finishing last months blog on organization I set myself up with the task of watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. I had this great intention of jumping right into the series somewhat eager to see if it lived up to all the hype. However, after about a week of dragging my feet I realized I was a little leery about watching the series in fear that it might send me over the deep end regarding my current organizational habits. I’m a little to tired in the never ending depths of January to rip apart my house more than I already have post holidays. None the less, I promised myself not to feel like a slacker while watching the series and it was one of the most refreshing mental breaks I’ve allowed myself in quite a while.
So if you’re pressed for time or questioning what you’ve read about the series elsewhere, I’m here to give you the positives, negatives and CliffsNotes version of everything you need to know regarding the KonMari method.
To start, one of the main appreciations I had after watching the nine episode season was that each background of the homeowners was purely authentic and all were in various stages of life. Maybe I was just expecting the episodes to be more along the lines of Hoarders: Buried Alive but I was refreshingly surprised. Appropriately, the first and longest episode starts season one off with a family that has two toddlers and more laundry than a five star hotel. The remaining episodes focus on a widow, empty nesters, newlyweds, third baby, new baby and so on. All the families and homes were realistic of real life and overflowing with all. the. things.
The beginning of each episode reviews the five categories of the KonMari method. Clothes, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental items. I’m sure you’ve heard at least a hundred times that the KonMari method sets you up to keep items that spark joy and remove items that do not. Well, what I learned investigating this a bit further is that it isn’t some crazy out of left field marketing scheme. It’s actually an ancient tradition connected to the roots of Shintoism. Maybe it’s the nerd in me but I would have loved a little background or highlight on this during the series!
Each episode focuses on obstacles in the organizational process. I’m totally on board with dragging everything out of closets and draws to see how much you actually have and to really assess its functionality, joy sparking enthusiasm but I’ve got to draw the line at folding my socks. There’s that deep end I mentioned earlier. At any rate, pulling everything out of the depths of your home to be visualized in order of the categories listed above allows you confront yourself with the amount of belongings (likely unnecessary and under-used) you possess.
Not once in this series does Marie Kondo suggest to anyone that they need to relocate to a bigger or smaller home. She doesn’t rob anyone of working through their own emotional ties to their belongings when they have trouble parting with items they don’t need anymore. Marie gives the tools and insight to help accomplish the task at hand ultimately leaving the homework up to the members of each family.
In all honesty, when Marie Kondo reviews her clothes folding method in the first episode I totally scoffed at it. Then I immediately tried it out on one of the t-shirts in the clean laundry pile sitting next to me and realized she’s onto something good. The clothes folding is done in an easy method that allows items to be not only stored upright to create more space but makes each item visible. This literally eliminates clothes being buried at the bottom of a pile quickly to be forgotten about. Taking the extra few minutes to fold clothes according to the KonMari method actually ends up creating more free time in the long run. It’s an oxymoron that works in favor of parents everywhere.
Essentially I could probably wright numerous parts to this blog going over everything I took away from the series but to save us all time I’m going to highlight the main takeaways.
- Staying tidy is a family affair. Involve children. They learn from what you do, mimic behavior and learn to value, appreciate and cherish what they have as well as what they are giving away. Becoming and staying organized is truly a life skill.
- Being unorganized is a vicious cycle. Unorganization provokes anxiety, creates tension in relationships and leaves little time and energy to actually contribute to organizing due to the overwhelming task that looms ahead. The longer clutter and accumulation of belongings grows, the heightened the state of anxiousness becomes.
- Remind yourself that in the thick of tidying up the craziness will only get worse before it gets better. When you confront yourself with all of your belongings your life and house are turned upside down. You’re not only confronted with the physical state of your life but the emotional and mental as well. Grieving is easily avoided by holding onto physical items or shopping frequently to experience instant gratification and short term positivity.
- Successfully becoming and maintaining an organized life provokes mental clarity. There’s an aspect of relaxation when your life becomes manageable.
As a fairly organized person watching the series it appeared that there was a relatively large gray area with blurred lines dividing hoarding and over shopping. I’m intrigued to see if future seasons hone in on these habits more or maybe that’s just another series and blog altogether.
Lastly, the one thought I couldn’t help but constantly refer back to while watching each episode is how, dare I say, wasteful we are as consumers in this country. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss the yearly Mackenzie Childs barn sale but the amount of unnecessary belongings we convince ourselves that we need and hang onto is absurd. I’m guilty as charged in this regard so I point the finger at no-one. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo was a refreshing reminder that I’m not doing to bad but certainly open to the challenge of minimizing my material footprint.