Tidying up With Marie Kondo

Helping You To Spark Joy


Elton Moy

Joy Lin’19 discovered the positive impact of the KonMari Method.

Cluttering is a huge problem in people’s homes that everyone is all too familiar with. It is a problem that bothers us constantly, from the piles of clothing to the messy desks. Inspired from shows like Hoarders and Clean House that help people to organize their clutter, comes a new series that teaches the same idea with a completely different mindset.

‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ is a Netflix series that centers around a woman, Marie Kondo, going into people’s homes to help them declutter. She uses her method, dubbed the “KonMari Method,” which entails only keeping items that spark joy.Although this show has the same concept as other decluttering cult classics, this show doesn’t treat cleaning up as a one and done process. The way that Marie Kondo helps is not only through material means, but through a spiritual journey.

As she enters a person’s home, her perky and positive personality lights up the room, making the family she is helping automatically feel optimistic. As she looks around, she gets a feel for the energy of the home, coming up with a unique plan to tackle the jumbled situation.

She understands the power that an object has in someone’s life and how it is even more influential when the object holds sentimental value.

She first gathers the family and asks them to thank the house for being their home, their safe space, and their shelter. Her gratitude sets an example for the approach a family should take to cleaning up after themselves and improving their lifestyle.

After her leadership in a thankful ceremony, she divides the cleaning into five parts from easiest to hardest. In order, they are clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and momentos. Starting the work with clothes, she makes each member of the family collect all of their clothes in a pile and separate them based on how often they wear them and whether or not they spark joy.

Bringing the family on a spiritual journey that is done through decluttering, Marie helps them to understand the importance of living in a clean, tidy space, giving a sense of stability and comfort to the home.

She then applies that same concept to other categories— going through books, paper, miscellaneous items and then finally getting to momentos. Coming to the most difficult category, she lets the family take their time and understand the memories that were captured in each keepsake.

Marie not only sees practicality, but also the impact of emotion on a family. She understands the power that an object has in someone’s life and how it is even more influential when the object holds sentimental value.

Unlike counterparts to her show, Marie factors in a family’s life and their journey into the future in her cleaning plan. Her show is a window into how a family should live in harmony and happiness. Every object in your life should be able to spark joy.

While watching the show, Joy Lin ’19 tried out the “KonMari method” and found that the results were therapeutic. She ended up donating much of his clothes to people who needed it and was able to organize her closet.

“No one has ever come up with such a distinct and creative way to organize. By focusing on our relationships with the objects we own, Marie has shown us how everything in our home should spark joy.”