Today I am totally tired from tons of tidying up. There is a popular show on Netflix everyone is talking about called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” This sweet little soft spoken Japanese woman enters homes and helps people declutter, organize, fold and tidy up their living spaces. Her show has recently become popular even though her books were out a while ago. I first saw her on the today show demonstrating the KonMari method of folding clothes. I will admit that I laughed it off thinking my folding technique had little to do with my over-stuffed t-shirt drawers. So why am I drawn to this show now? And why have I emptied out the contents of all of my kitchen cupboards into a heap in the center of the hardwood floor with the dogs looking at me quizzically?
I am drawn in by two things about Marie Kondo. First, I love listening to her speak. While I do not understand a word and an interpreter translates everything she says, it’s sweet sounding and gentle. Imagine if she were from Long Island, New York, she’d loudly say, “Oh my gaad! Look at all of this junk, ya gotta toss it and fuggetaboutit!” Instead Marie Kondo’s words sound like tiny raindrops tapping on a tin roof. It is almost ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), the pleasant physical sensation one gets when listening to certain sounds like crackling fire, a babbling brook, or white noise. Google ASMR on YouTube and you can thank me later. I actually think Koda and Summer lapping up water from their bowl could be an ASMR. Marie Kondo’s tidying up instructions are definitely soothing to me.
The second reason I am drawn to this reality show is her simple rationale for keeping things. “Does the item bring me joy?” I love this! Think about how often we hang on to clothes, books, kitchen gadgets and stuff that mean nothing to us or even worse remind us of something far from joy. As a right brain thinker I tend to cram it and jam it all over the place. A neat and tidy room or desk is important to me, but I tend to stuff everything out of site. One look in my closets, cupboards, and drawers and my messiness is exposed. That’s what’s funny about this tv show. They let the camera crew inside and at first glance their homes look nice and welcoming. Then sweet Marie Kondo begins opening up doors and drawers and it becomes the most real reality show on tv. Watching it makes us all identify with the brave souls who expose their hoarding tendencies for all to see. By the end of the episode we watch a slow transformation take place. Sure the closets and drawers have been purged and are now neatly organized, but the real change is in the people who let go of the stuff. As instructed they thanked the stuff for being a part of their lives then said farewell. Seeing their lightness and capability to tidy up inspires me to tackle my own messes.
The clothing is supposed to be the first place to start. I by-passed that step and went straight for the kitchen. The pantry was easy, throwing out expired food, and reshuffling the boxes, bags and cans. I did that a week ago. This morning I started in on the kitchen, removing every item from the deep recesses of the lower cabinets. I discovered enough cupcake pans and pyrex pie dishes to open up a small bakery, and six round pizza pans. I got about 80 percent finished and then had to call it quits. Fatigue set in and the dogs needed a walk. Sorry Marie Kondo, another day I will have to work on the corner cabinet with all of the small mismatched Tupperware containers that drive me crazy.
I am picturing her standing in my dog toy strewn family room smiling at me, Koda and Summer. Then she tells me how great my progress is. “Arragato Marie Kondo.”