Why I Feel ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ Is A Short-Term (But Helpful) Fix

published Jan 4, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Denise Crew/Netflix)

As tradition holds, I rolled out of bed on New Year’s Day with no care as to what time it was and comfortably nestled into the corner of my couch. I was then faced with the annual dilemma: Do I choose to watch TV all day or should I be productive and clean the mess around me? To my pleasant surprise, Netflix provided the means to do both (or at least feel like I’m doing both) thanks to their new original, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

Kondo’s brilliant smile filled my tiny NYC apartment as I started watching the first episode, where she happily tackled the house of the Friend couple (yes, that’s their actual last name—I’m jealous) and their two young children. Over the timespan of one month, Kondo visited the cluttered household to teach and execute the KonMari method, or tidying up in five categories: clothing, books, documents, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental items.

It was therapeutic to watch the Friends pile up each of these items, then work their way through the heap by keeping what brought them joy and tossing everything else. Not only did they go through a physical change within their home, but also an emotional change as relationships strengthened throughout the massive project. I mean, let’s be real, it’s no secret that clutter can stir already-existing stress that needs proper room to breathe, therefore causing fights and disputes. (Nothing puts me in a worse mood than coming home after a bad day to an overflowing amount of dishes—my fiancé can confirm.)

So after the mess was cleaned up and the bonds between family members were formed across multiple episodes, Marie Kondo exited the residences cheerfully knowing that she left her clients in a better place than they were before. And while I shared this sense of joy as a viewer, I also had a burning question pulsing through my mind: What happens now?

Within one month’s time, Kondo managed to put her clients on the right path toward a better, decluttered way of living. Admittedly, I definitely felt more inspired to get up and clean after watching her show. But I also couldn’t help and wonder how long-term this solution truly was for other viewers and even her clients, who had their lives turned around in just four weeks.

That isn’t to discredit Kondo’s skill of decluttering and organizing, because she is certainly talented at what she does. People all over the globe have found great success when following Kondo’s guide, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” While it’s been over four years since the book was published, readers are still actively crediting the novel for changing their lives for the better.

However, Kondo’s step-by-step guide is a different beast than her “Tidying Up” show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entirely possible that the one-month transformation served as a permanent fix for the households who were graced by Kondo’s presence. Yet the hesitation to get rid of clothing and the pushback when staying on top of assignments that made appearances on the show made me think otherwise.

With that being said, I do think the Netflix original surfaces the importance of a house “cleanse” that contributes toward long-term organization and, as Kondo would say, joy. Plus, with “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” not coincidentally launching at the start of the new year, what better time to binge-watch for cleaning motivation?

While Kondo’s transformations might not last forever, there are ways that you can start and maintain a cleaner, less-cluttered life in 2019 and beyond. While you certainly can try Kondo’s pile-high method, there is also a step-by-step process that you can follow to get rid of your unwanted belongings. When it comes to sentimental items, we get that it’s easier said than done to get rid of your (or your loved one’s) most prized possessions—use this real-life lesson as a starting point.

And what better time to participate in our January Cure? Join us and our community as we organize our way through the first month of the year. New space, new you!