Netflix's 'Tidying Up With Marie Kondo' Will Make You Say “Thank You, Next” To All Your Junk
Marie Kondo is helping us spark joy all over again with her brand new Netflix series, ‘Tidying Up’.
Kondo first released her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising back in 2011 and has been gently helping hoarders everywhere to let go of mess for years now.
The Netflix series follows the same premise -- the Japanese tidying expert visits American families and surveys their mountains of junk with a non-judgemental, enthusiastic approach.
“I’m so excited because I like tidying and I love mess,” Kondo says during the show’s opening intro.
Much like Netflix's Queer Eye, each episode we're invited into the lives of Americans who need a little guidance in taking pride in their homes and themselves. It's clear at the beginning of each episode that cupboards bursting with unworn clothes and garages filled with extension cord rat kings are the cause of a lot of stress, anxiety and relationship tension.
“There are five pillows on that bed. Those aren’t even decorative pillows!" one husband exclaims in an episode filled with passive aggressive "babe" calling.
Kondo visits a husband and wife with toddlers, a pair of empty-nesters, a widow grieving the loss of her husband, and a couple with a whole library worth of books on their hands -- and guides them through a process that seems a lot like witchcraft at first.
The Good Witch of banishing household junk encourages us to work through her KonMari method -- sorting first through clothes, then books and paper followed by the Komono category, which is all the miscellaneous crap you've shoved into every available receptacle of your kitchen, bathroom and garage.
Kondo treats each process of cleaning like a sacred ceremony that begins with her kneeling on the floor, greeting the house, and thanking it for its protection.
"I LOVE that, " says one woman, who realises she hadn't considered the option of having a frank conversation with her messy house before.
Kondo then encourages her cleaning protégés to dump out all their clothes in one spot so they can be visually shocked at the piles of useless fabric they've acquired -- which is when the most important part of the KonMari method begins.
The families are instructed to hold their possessions close and question whether their presence sparks joy inside them -- Kondo describes it as a warm and positive feeling similar to holding a puppy or wearing your fave outfit.
"Some of you may not know how that feels yet,” she says, looking straight into our empty, yet somehow extremely cluttered souls, explaining that our "joy sensitivity" will be honed through the tidying process.
And if the item brings no joy at all, Kondo employs the Ariana Grande method of holding the object close and saying "thank u, next" as you send it on its way to Vinnie's.
While there are similarities to Queer Eye, the transformations in Tidying Up don't arrive in a magical reveal after a team of invisible contractors worked 24/7 on a dazzling kitchen renovation.
Kondo makes her pupils put in all the hard work themselves and returns to see the slow, painstaking progress they've made at the end of the week.
And yes, the first episode does feature a truly unlikeable couple, with a husband who is furious that his stay-at-home wife isn't cooking and cleaning all day.
But the show is about a lot more than families we meet -- it takes us on an introspective journey into our wardrobes and makes us take a long hard look at why we've formed these emotional bonds with inanimate objects.
Kondo will make you cry AND begin chucking out the joyless belongings that have been physically holding you back.
Watching Kondo is a lot like watching a Japanese Mary Poppins at work-- we know she could magically clean up these people's houses but what would they learn from that?
"Cleaning is not a spectator sport," Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins Returns character tells those messy British children -- and it's a line you can completely imagine Kondo saying.
It seems Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has already had a huge impact, with Twitter suddenly filled with images of perfectly folded clothes in neat drawers.
It seems no mistake at all that Netflix released the series in the thick of New Year's resolution season.
If you feel like you're ready silently fold t-shirts with tears streaming down your face, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo's is streaming now.
Main Image: Netflix