Last week we reviewed the series premiere of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The episode featured Rachel and Kevin Friend, and it revealed just how transformative the KonMari Method was for them. Acclaimed author and expert organizer Marie Kondo helped the couple reevaluate what brings them joy, and they completed some next-level tidying as a result.
Today we’re discussing the second episode of the hit Netflix series. It stars Ron and Wendy Akiyama, a retired couple who have recently become empty-nesters. With newfound time on their hands, it makes sense the pair would join forces and declutter their home.
While this episode showcases a very different family from the first one—retirees rather than a couple with young children—I consider it equally profound. In fact, I walked away with some new and powerful insights.
Pare It Down Before You Pack It Up
If there’s one thing I can point out about this episode, it’s that Wendy Akiyama starts out with a lot of clothing—the most Marie has seen out of all her clients. Piles and piles of clothes cover a spare bedroom from floor to ceiling!
Fortunately, Wendy recognizes that scaling back will change her life for the better. So, per the KonMari Method (and with help from Marie herself), she makes a mountainous pile of all her clothes and starts sorting through them.
Creating a huge pile of clothing looks time-consuming and overwhelming but Marie explains the pile is supposed to be shocking! This really puts things in perspective for Wendy. Another part of the process that stands out is the importance of paring down the amount of clothes you plan to keep before you can even start organizing.
Hold Each Item to See If It Brings You Joy
Much like his wife, Ron Akiyama has his work cut out for him. He tells us that initially, he only agreed to appear on the show to make Wendy happy—but the KonMari Method ends up changing his life for the better as well.
Ron’s main focus during this episode? His baseball card collection. He and his kids spent decades accumulating the cards, and countless boxes are stacked haphazardly throughout his workspace. Marie, of course, suggests that Ron go through the cards individually and determine one by one whether they spark joy.
By taking this approach, Ron determines he only needs to keep 10% of his collection. Talk about a major change! And, as a result of the KonMari Method, he says he’s experiencing significantly more joy in his life. “If I now have 10 baseball cards as opposed to 1,000, I’ll cherish those 10 baseball cards,” he says.
Marie Kondo’s Approach
In just six weeks, Marie ends up helping Ron and Wendy not only reclaim their possessions, but also their lives. I love that the couple can now use Marie’s strategies on their own to keep their home welcoming and clutter-free. Also, I appreciate Marie’s take on sentimental items. She suggests we store precious keepsakes such as photographs in an accessible format like an album so that we can get the most value out of them.