Tidying up with Marie Kondo was released on the first of January, just in time for all of our resolutions of getting organized and sorting our homes and lives out. As a follow up from her New York Times bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie teams up with Netflix to visit an array of families, all in the Los Angeles area who are struggling to keep their homes tidy. In some ways, the show is a mirror for us all to reflect on as we enter the first week of the New Year. Many have likened it to the 2018 hit, Queer Eye.
A recurrent theme throughout all the episodes is the idea of keeping only the things that “spark joy” in the families and individuals Kondo visits and discarding items that don’t (after thanking them, of course). This light-hearted, non-judgemental approach to organizing and cleaning makes the show almost soothing to the viewer.
One thing I admire about the series is how the simple act of tidying up their cluttered houses brings different families together in their own different ways. In the second episode, Kondo visits the Akiyama couple; underneath the rubble of Christmas decorations and old clothes, they discover Ron’s father’s journal. Inside are stories detailing the attack on Pearl Harbor and the World War 2 internment camps. While Ron and Wendy do not actively live with their parents, it does manage to unite the two generations of Asian-American immigrants.
Netflix releasing Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on New Year’s Day pic.twitter.com/PWwWIv84Q8
— Jack (@jackaronan) January 1, 2019
Each episode contains brief moments in which Kondo gives the viewer “lessons” on tidying up, as the title suggests. For example, in episode one, she introduces us to the concept of keeping only things that “spark joy” within us. Her calming voice and overall demeanour are reminiscent of Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting. Rather than teaching us to paint, however, Kondo attempts to make decluttering and organizing less of a stressful experience.
“The point of this process isn’t to force yourself to eliminate things. It’s really to confirm how you feel about each and every item you own,” Marie tells Alishia in Episode 8. This light-hearted approach to cleaning up is probably what separates the show from other shows such as Hoarders and Supernanny.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo does not seem like it would be the most exciting show on Netflix, it nonetheless does not fail to “spark joy” in us viewers, bringing us back for every episode. Rather than “mindless television,” I think it’s a meditative experience in which Kondo not only helps you destress but also guides the families in the show and the audience watching it become tidier in the New Year.
In a society where material possessions are gathered until they lose meaning entirely, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is a breath of fresh air and gratitude which sparks as much joy for the viewer as it does for Kondo and the families she visits.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is available to stream on Netflix.
Featured Image Via Netflix.