Marie Kondo Has Betrayed Us All
She went viral after her Netflix doco inspired millions around the world to turf anything and everything that doesn’t “spark joy” in our lives.
But now Marie Kondo is going viral for a whole different reason -- as she’s launched an online store that sells some mighty questionable stuff.
For those who don’t know, Kondo is famous for pushing the KonMari method of decluttering. Through her 2011 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her 2019 Netflix documentary, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, she's spawned a movement that saw donations to second-hand stores swell with an unprecedented amount of our unwanted junk.
Now, the woman who was on a “mission to spark joy in the world” by decluttering is keen for us to add that clutter back -- in the form of overpriced trinkets from her curated collection of “essentials”.
Marie Kondo, sparking joy. (Image: Netflix)Here’s the thing about Marie Kondo: her book, philosophy and movement is about more than just tidying up. It’s a way of life that encourages us to think about the way our choices and our environment affects our life.
Her whole ethos promotes the clearing out of our personal environments, including all of the clutter and negative energy that might be lurking -- an idea we can all get on board with.
However, while she encourages us to only hold onto the things that spark joy, her newfound and blatant commoditisation of this philosophy is truly wild.
Keep in mind: this is the woman who encouraged a grieving widow to let go of her dead husband's belongings.
And she is now peddling the KonMari shop, which sells peculiarities -- I mean, essentials (her words!) -- such as…
Leather room shoes (are these shoes for walking in… rooms?). They bill themselves as “a step above slippers”, though I'm not entirely sure how. Priced at US$206 (AU$303), they’d want to have more strings to their bow than simply protecting my feet from my floor’s soft buttery carpet in order to justify that price tag.
There's also a hand-forged US$180 (AU$265) cheese knife -- because obviously, you can’t cut $4 supermarket Brie with a butter knife.
Or a black wooden tea container, an item so fragile it can only be washed with a non-abrasive sponge and cannot be placed in a microwave or dishwasher, selling for just US$200 (AU$294). What, are you just going to leave your Tetley bags sitting inside the cardboard box you bought them in like an animal?
And my absolute favourite item on the list: the essential computer brush. Fashioned out of anti-static goat hair on one side and lightweight vegetable-based fibres on the other, it’s the most premium useless thing you could ever spend US$35 (AU$52) on.
She’s a bit of a genius, really.
Kondo has spent the better part of a decade telling us all to clear out all of our overpriced, borderline useless, on-trend crap… so we can now replace it with new overpriced, borderline useless, on-trend crap.
Talk about playing the ultimate long game.
The irony behind her bold move to sell stuff, when her whole ethos has been about encouraging people to rid themselves of stuff, hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans.
They've taken to Twitter in droves to point out the massive inconsistency behind her new shop, prompting the Queen of Decluttering to offer something of a justification.
Kondo told the Wall Street Journal (through a translator) that she conducted a “joy check” on all products for consideration, which involved handling them and determining their meaningfulness.
“Of course, I don’t use every product, but all the products are founded on KonMari’s world view, if you will, which really encourages you to choose what sparks joy for you and really cherish what you buy and what you surround yourself with,” she said.
Now, she’s taking her advice to the next level, and pocketing a very pretty penny for it.
That said, you never know. A US$30 (AU$44) handwash-only bamboo tea whisk might just be that elusive unit of joy-sparking guff you never knew you always needed.