Oh, Netflix, we have to admire your timing — it was beyond clever to debut “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” at the same time of the year when people are feeling a little post-holidays consumerism guilt and looking to kick bad habits to the curb.
Kondo came into public consciousness five years ago, with the publication of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Two years later, she followed that up with Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.
Now, with her new Netflix series, Kondo’s status as the doyenne of decluttering is undeniable. Her main tenet — that you shouldn’t hang onto stuff that doesn’t bring you joy — has reportedly sparked a run on boxes, bins, dividers and other organizing products. According to Twitter, The Container Store has become a mecca of sorts for Kondo fans seeking to reorganize their cabinets and closets. (The Marie Kondo effect has also made it an amazing time to go shopping at thrift stores, which are reportedly overflowing with high-quality items donated by people reorganizing their homes.)
It might seem counterintuitive to buy stuff if your goal is to weed out things you no longer need. But it also makes sense to give the items you do intend to keep a designated place of their own.
Kondo suggests starting your purge with clothes, and this is an area where a few strategic purchases can make a world of difference. If you have limited closet space, an under-bed box with handles is a good way to store out-of-season garments so your closet doesn’t feel crammed.
If you have closet space to spare but your drawers are overflowing, a modular set of mesh drawers can help you be resourceful by making the most of the storage you do have.
And if Kondo’s cheery charm hasn’t won you over to her love-it-or-chuck-it mantra, rest assured that there is a good way to store nearly all of the ephemera we accumulate in our lives, from gift-wrapping supplies to seasonal sporting equipment.
Of course, you have our permission to save a few bucks and not buy anything to organize your life, either. I’m as easily seduced as the next aspiring neatnik by the allure of a tidy geometric drawer divider or a hinged rack that turns accessories into art.
Even so, I'm happy to admit that my winter hats, scarves and gloves spend the warmer months stashed in a big gift box that originally held a lovely serving bowl I got as a wedding present. It didn’t cost me a dime, and, yes, it “sparks joy” when I see it and reminisce. I think Marie Kondo would approve.