The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

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Nikita Alexander - February 7, 2019 Nikita is Happy Beds' sleep and lifestyle content writer. A fresh English Language and Literature graduate, she loves classical literature, sunny city breaks and blogging about music events.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Everyone’s talking about the art of tidying up and the impact it could have on your life, all thanks to the hugely entertaining Netflix show by the Japanese organisation guru Marie Kondo. The series is exclusive to Netflix subscribers and includes eight 40-minute episodes of Marie Kondo visiting various family situations where she transforms their lives by helping them organise their homes. The series visits families, students, retirees, newlyweds and even a grieving widow to ensure every viewer can relate to an episode in some way with their own situation. Whether you’re fresh out of your parent’s house or an established family home, Marie can help you!

The series, entitled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, inspires people into organising their own homes through visually transforming homes into clutter-free and tidy spaces. The process always seems to show the families becoming much happier after the process, which is something we can all take away from the experience. Digging into their past, Marie Kondo provides a platform for the homeowners to address feelings and past experiences, allowing them to come out the other end with both a cleaner home and mind. Honestly, it all gets quite emotional at times! If you don’t have time to watch the full series then never fear, we’ve summarised the programme and the top Marie Kondo tips right here.

The Marie Kondo Method

Marie Kondo’s home visits to her clients follow an almost ritualistic method. The truth is, the Marie Kondo series is about more than tidying up a mess. She gets to know the individuals and digs into their past and psychological state to identify why they hold onto belongings and have a tendency to clutter their homes. More than just a ‘cleaning lady’, Marie Kondo takes her clients on a learning journey of how they can live more organised lives inside and outside their home. There’s a reason she’s now recognised worldwide with an endless waiting list for her services: she brings people together through the art of tidying and truly appears to change lives.

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Marie Kondo begins by getting to know the family and home, asking questions and even performing a short meditation to kickstart her vision; it’s all very spiritual! The clients show Marie around their home while she asks questions about their lives and their tendencies when it comes to organisation. She finds deeper meaning and patterns in her clients to identify the cause of their tidying flaws. Many of the clients open up to their past, going on a spiritual journey of finding a new way of life.

Once the deep stuff is out of the way, Marie Kondo splits the tidying into stages based on categories: clothing, sentimental, kitchen, books, etc. She then helps the clients sort through each category, setting ‘homework’ along the way for times when she is not with the clients. When sorting through their belongings, Marie asks her clients to pick up each item and decide whether it ‘sparks joy’ in them. A now signature action for Marie Kondo, the idea for something to ‘spark joy’ in someone determines whether or not the belonging is worth keeping. The clients go through a process of picking up each item and asking themselves whether it means anything to them.

If it does, it stays, and if it doesn’t, then into the throw-away pile it goes. Supposedly, when you hold a belonging in your hand, if you don’t feel a noticeable pleasant feeling inside you then it is simply not worth keeping in your home; sounds quite straightforward, doesn’t it? So much so that anyone can have their very own konmari bedroom in no time, all thanks to the art of tidying up.

Will they wear that item of clothing again? Will that book bring joy to you again? This Kondo-inspired thinking allows the clients to eliminate excess clutter. Clients were constantly finding forgotten items that they hadn’t seen in years but when it came to throwing it away, they were hesitant. This stage of evaluation helped give the clients the push they need to throw unnecessary belongings away. This got quite emotional for some as they had to come to terms with moving from a certain stage of their life and letting go of concrete items that no longer had a purpose. The turn-out of belongings thrown away from each client was astonishing and truly made a difference to each home and mindset of each person!

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The Little Push You Might Need

I think I speak for all Netflix-ers when I say that watching the series sparks a bit of motivation in us to get up and tackle those cluttered cupboards of ours. Watching homes transform and lives seemingly benefit from an organised home, we long for that feeling for ourselves. After just one episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I was itching to commit to a massive clear out to cleanse my mind and home.

Throughout the show, Marie Kondo presents short cut-away tutorial scenes where she shares tips and tricks for a quick solution to a more organised home. Tutorials vary across each episode and include clothing folding methods, how to store accessories and techniques to make the most of small storage spaces. It was nice to pick little tricks up along the way that we can all apply to our homes. Marie Kondo taught me how to fold clothes the correct way as they do in stores and my wardrobe has never looked prettier.

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What We Learned

The main idea that Marie Kondo addresses throughout her series is the importance of keeping belongings to a minimum in your home. When rooms and cupboards start becoming over-crowded with unused belongings our homes become untidy. She stresses to each client that if you don’t use something or if it doesn’t bring beneficial value to your life, throw it away, but not before thanking it first! Hoarding useless and unused items are the cause of a messy home and removing these belongings is the key to cleanliness and order.

Every single client throughout the programme found boxes and bags of unwanted and unused items to throw away by the end of the process. The number of belongings thrown away was astonishing! You could truly see the impact that removing them would have in a home as storage space was freed up and surfaces were clear. It really makes you wonder about all the unused and forgotten items that are lying aimlessly at the back of your wardrobe, under your bed and beneath the sink. Every home has enough storage space; no matter how small, what really matters is what you choose to fill it with.

As the clients organised their belongings and said ‘thank you, goodbye’ to the unwanted items, their minds and homes began to clear. But beyond this, their everyday lives became much easier. Marie Kondo taught the importance of storing rarely used items in a tactical way, whilst giving the everyday items an easy-to-access home. For example, place seasonal plates at the top of the cupboard in hard-to-reach places while keeping the regularly used cutlery in an accessible area. Customising your storage and home layout in relation to your everyday routine is the key to keeping the home tidy and organised. Every individual’s routine is different, so every home should have a different organisation system. It’s all about finding your own.

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