The KonMari method of tidying up is all about sparking joy. See what we learned from her new Netflix show and why we can’t stop talking about it.

By Hannah Bruneman
January 17, 2019
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The KonMari movement is gaining momentum, and it’s just getting started.

In case you haven’t heard, Netflix recently launched a hit show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Marie is the creator of the KonMari method of cleaning and organizing and the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Image courtesy of IMDB

Her method is unique because it challenges you to deal with clutter by category—not by room. As you go through each item, your goal is to determine whether it “sparks joy” in your life. If the answer is yes, keep it; if the answer is no, thank it (yes, verbally thank the object you’re holding), and move on.

We’ve had conflicting opinions on the KonMari method in the past, but the new show follows Marie as she helps real families sort through their very real organizational problems. The show puts her words into action, and we see first-hand how the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing can change lives.

Below, you’ll find the moments our team most related to from the show. Whether we went all-in with the KonMari method or just wanted to find out what it was all about, we each discovered lessons we could apply to our own lives.

1. Pile Up Clothes

The first episode introduced us to a young couple with two kids. The stay-at-home mother expressed the overwhelming aspects of her job and desperation for some organizational help. Marie asked her to start with her clothes.

Her task was to gather every piece of clothing she owned and dump it on her bed. From there, she could go through the pile, piece by piece, and dwindle down her wardrobe. The look on the woman’s face when she saw exactly how many articles of clothing she had stuck with us. By seeing everything you own in a category, all at once, you can truly visualize your collection and note what might be overdue for an overhaul. Thinking about the size of our own clothing pile makes us want to head to a Goodwill donation location fast!

2. Less Things = More Family Time

Another episode brought us into the home of a growing family. The amount of time they spent trying to keep their home in order cut into precious time they could have spent with each other. Marie worked her tidying magic and left them only with essentials and no clutter in sight.

One of our editors has two little boys and found the episode reflective of her own organization troubles. Seeing how the KonMari method can result in more family time made her ready to get to work decluttering.

3. Physically Hold Each Item

One of Marie’s most questioned tactics is physically holding each item and thinking about the value it brings to your life. While reading her book, it might seem like overkill or like a waste of time. But once we saw it in action, we totally understood.

For us, holding each item makes it real and brings up important memories. Sometimes those memories don’t serve us like they used to, and that’s OK. "I have a constant 'revolving door' policy in our home that if something comes in, something must go out," says Brynn Baker. "I teach my boys, if you don't love it or need it, it's got to go, and that speaks directly to Marie's approach of sparking joy."

4. Knowing When to Grow Up

For one of our youngest editors, Nicole Bradley, the episode featuring two young men moving into adulthood really stood out. In the episode, they wanted Marie’s help with prepping their home in a way that would impress their parents and prove that they’re ready to be independent.

As someone who recently ditched her college wall art and mini fridge, she couldn’t wait to show her grown-up space to her parents. "The first time my parents saw my 'adult' apartment (after college) they were very impressed," said Nicole. "I had gotten rid of all my clutter from college and used my own money to buy sustainable decor and furniture."

5. Respecting Your Items

The secret to the KonMari method is downsizing the number of items you have. In doing this, you should carve out a specific space for each and every item. After all, if not everything in your home has a place, there is no way your home can ever be truly organized.

Marie explains this mentality as respecting your stuff. After all, you spent money on it and choose to own it, so you should treat it well. We love how passing along items to others is a way of showing respect to clothes or toys because someone else may use and love it better than you did.

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