About our Guest Blogger
I'm super exited to have guest blogger Susan Stewart review Episode 1 of the Netflix special 'Tidying Up with Mari Kondo'. Susan is a Professional Organizer who offers home and business organizational services in the St. Louis Metro Area. She also produces audio tutorials that share her collected knowledge gained from helping her clients get organized. I can't think of a better person to review Episode 1.
It’s the thing everyone is buzzing about. Donation centers, recycle centers and consignment stores are seeing an uptick. People are clearing out the clutter and I could not be happier!
Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has a new series on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. This week I excitedly sat down to watch the first episode with my husband and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
Overwhelmed with Laundry
The first episode features Rachel and Kevin Friend, a family of four with two young children. The Friend family is overwhelmed with all that comes with having young kids—especially laundry. This is so relatable! Even the most organized of people are overwhelmed with the chaos that ensues when they have young kids in the house. Kids are little tornadoes!
Rachel and Kevin tell us that they fight about cleaning and ever since they’ve had children, Rachel has had anxiety about being organized. Rachel confesses that she struggles with the laundry and has hired someone to do it for them. This is a sore point in their marriage and Kevin shares that he thinks it is something they should be doing themselves.
The chaos is taking a toll on Kevin as well. At one point he says that he felt his wife and kids were getting the worst part of him because of the mess. I found this to be not only believable but moving as well. You could see his discouragement as he recognized the effect the chaos and disorganization was having on his family and marriage.
Kindness and Relatability of Marie Kondo
Enter Marie Kondo. She is the opposite of what people imagine a professional organizer to be. Big and scary she is not. Petite and sweet she is. Overbearing she is not. Kind but firm she is.
While every professional organizer has his or her own style and personality, I love that Marie is a positive representation of my profession. I also delight that she relates to her clients and tells them she understands what they are dealing with. I think it is important that your organizer understands you. I know Rachel found it comforting to hear that even Marie is too tired to do the dishes at night and sometimes and leaves them until the morning.
After an initial walk-through, Marie begins the process with a quiet moment of thanking the house for doing its job. While some might find this odd (and not something commonly done in America), I think it is a practice that helped center and prepare the family for the process ahead. I was impacted when Rachel shared (through tears), that she wanted to appreciate what she had instead of wanting more. What a beautiful statement with which we can all relate.
Organizing and Sorting Clothing
The first thing Rachel and Kevin tackle is their clothing. Marie suggests that they gather all of the clothing in one giant pile on the bed. This process is meant to help them feel the magnitude of what they own and be ready to declutter. I believe this process would be effective in doing that but, I don’t feel like it would work for most of our clients. Many of them have so many clothes that piling them in one spot would be incredibly time consuming and overwhelming.
Imagine if Rachel’s entire room had been piled with clothes! Or imagine if just as you finished emptying your entire closet on the bed it was time for your organizer to leave? So, although I do embrace the idea of grouping like items together before the editing process, I typically do it in smaller chunks or sections of the closet.
Sparking Joy and Making Decisions
One of the cutest moments of the show was when Marie described what sparking joy felt like and she made this adorable “ping” sound. She invites Rachel to hold each piece of clothing and ask herself it sparks joy for her. I think is a great idea. Other questions like how long has it been since you’ve worn it, do you love it, are you keeping it out of guilt, are also helpful. Do what works for you. We are all different. And as far as thanking your clothes as you release them? It’s not necessary but may help release the guilt you feel when letting go.
Folding and Storing Clothing
Next comes the folding process. One of the things Marie is best known for is folding things in a certain way and placing them upright. I agree that when things are upright, they are typically easier to see and retrieve, as opposed to pulling a shirt from the bottom of a pile. But know that there is no “magic” in this practice.
The real magic is in being able to locate and retrieve your items quickly and easily—whether hung, folded, or rolled. And your system must be easy to maintain or the whole thing ceases to work. So ask yourself if you would rather hang, fold or roll something to put it away. Consider how much hanging space you have and how important it is that your clothes are wrinkle free. Think about you what storage options are available to you such as drawers or shelves. All of these factors will help determine the best method for you.
Cherish What You Keep
Marie’s main message is to cherish the things you have and to release the things that are no longer valuable to you, bringing greater simplicity to your life. It’s a great message and its impact on the Friend family was evident by the end of the show. As Kevin and Rachel worked to simplify their lives by living with less and organizing what they had, they began nagging at each other less and felt happier in their marriage. While our organizing methods may vary slightly from Marie’s, I think we can both agree that our work is life changing.