Culture

The Not So Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up

As Marie Kondo and her 'KonMari' method cause another global phenomenon decluttering homes, Jamila Rizvi asks the tough question: It's the Netflix show everyone is talking about, but, does it 'spark joy'?

By Jamila Rizvi

Culture

As Marie Kondo and her 'KonMari' method cause another global phenomenon decluttering homes, Jamila Rizvi asks the tough question: It's the Netflix show everyone is talking about, but, does it 'spark joy'?

By Jamila Rizvi

To my deep horror, folding has become a socially acceptable topic of conversation. More than that, talking about folding is apparently now a compelling topic of conversation. Initially I’d hoped that these in-depth discussions of how to tidy up and store stuff would be brief. I’ve since been proven wrong. Two weeks into the new year, I’ve resigned myself to the fact I either have to get on board or invest in a bush cottage and live out my remaining years in solitude. I choose the former.

Marie Kondo is the author of several books, founder of the ‘KonMari’ method (more on this later) and a professional tidier. And if you didn’t realise that was an actual job, you are not alone. Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has sold more than five million copies worldwide and saw her named as one of TIME’s most influential people in 2015. She now has a business empire worth $8 million built exclusively on a foundation of putting stuff away.

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in

Kondo is delightful and engaging but she doesn’t seem to… how do I put this… do much. She arrives at someone’s home and introduces herself to the house with a formal greeting that for some reason makes everyone teary. Kondo then has the family members dump all their clothes in a pile, consider whether the individual items ‘spark joy’ and if they don’t, the clothes are kissed and thanked for their service, before being chucked.

The remainder of the tidying process is less explicit. Kondo gives advice like “everything should have its place” and provides cute looking shoebox things (that retail for $89 for three, if you’re wondering) to store knick-knacks. At this point in the episode, Kondo bails on the family and leaves them to their mess. She returns moments before the end of the show, to exclaim joyously over the progress and makes adorable squeaky little noises of pleasure.

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in