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Let’s Be Serious. Do You Really Need Marie Kondo to Clean up Your Life?

Marie Kondo is well known for her best-selling books on decluttering and her new series on Netflix Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Her KonMari method has inspired millions of people worldwide to purge their homes of unnecessary clutter.

Her famous organizing method follows five lessons: let go of things to make room for what matters, keep only the things that spark joy, “someday” never comes, treat your possessions as if they were alive, and understand that your possessions reflect your state of mind.

These lessons may seem reasonable and even helpful, but are Kondo’s methods really as empowering as people suggest? Or is she more of a cleaning cult leader, with her Konverts attempting to spark joy across the world in their perfectly organized closets?

Arguably, Kondo’s methods have inspired a wave of people to donate unused clothing and household items to nearby thrift stores, helping their communities and the environment.

While the KonMari method might seem a over-estimated to some, the act of decluttering is often endorsed by psychologists. The clearing of space raises self-esteem, saves time, saves money, and shifts energy. Many agree that decluttering opens people up to change, empowering many to reach their potential, while still understanding we must do so slowly.

Social experts also say that the KonMari method, or minimalist methods like it, will continue to be popular in the near future, as Millennials often value experiences over personal items.

Penelope Green, who first reviewed Kondo’s book for The New York Times, is a supporter and follower of the KonMari method. She says, “I loved her gentle animism, this notion that your things, even your socks, were nearly animate, and deserved compassion and respect. All that folding and twirling and stacking made my drawers and shelves and closets so beautiful. It was soothing to just look at everything all rolled up and spare.”

Millions have embraced the KonMari method, but some still refuse to be won over. As one artist wrote to CNN, “She’s telling you to get rid of stuff and to get her stuff — she’s selling boxes. I’ve seen it all before, it’s just another go at someone’s wallet. The latest in a long string gimmicky trends. There’s nothing wrong with having a lived-in house that doesn’t look like a dental office.

Others believe that Kondo is just another face to a fad that will eventually fade by the end of 2019 or that Americans will commit halfway to decluttering before going out to buy more things to fill the void they’ve created.

For many Americans, it’s often difficult to consider objects in comparison to living things and would likely feel strange to thank them for their contributions to their lives. It is also likely that Kondo’s background could make her methods less attainable to some American audiences.

What do you think? Do Americans need the KonMari method for a fulfilled life? Or is it just another fad? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image by RISE on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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