For a series that's about finding the quiet, resolute joy in tidying clutter and purging your unneeded shit, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is incredibly stressful to watch. Marie Kondo, for those who are neither among the more than 10 million people who have bought her dainty screeds on tidying, nor are part of the angry horde who thinks her philosophy is a blight to American households, is a Japanese home organizing oracle, not just a missionary, but an incorporated brand and strangely divisive figure. Her rise was meteoric -- Kondo only found acclaim in the United States in 2014 after a New York Times Homes writer plucked her book from obscurity, applying the "KonMari" method to the sock drawer. Cleaning professionals hate her. Those who have devoted themselves to her approach call themselves Konverts. Like any wellness brand -- SoulCycle, Equinox, Goop, etc. -- KonMari is a lifestyle representing a fundamental shift in one's thinking. It is decluttering enlightenment.
Of course, demonstrating your commitment to the method comes with a price tag: She hosts seminars, for a mere $2,400, so that Konverts may become part of her stable of global consultants. Everyone else can buy the lidless boxes (putting things into small boxes that go into bigger boxes is a staple of KonMari) for $89 on her website, at least before they sold out, or purchase one of her many best-selling books that have been translated into English.
In each episode of her new Netflix series, Kondo, ever a beam of unslakable positivity, seems to float through the messy living spaces featured while her American clients literally trip over their junky accumulations during anxious attempts to "find homes" for their belongings. Couples bicker over what's valuable to their partner and tears fall when people sort through sentimental possessions as Kondo and her translator, Iida, flit weightlessly in and out of their homes, calmly presenting a trademarked solution to every organizational woe that arises. It's a weird clash of energies -- clearly, most of the homeowners don't immediately buy into Kondo's introductory step of silently "greeting" their home -- but the KonMari method always subsumes the mess by the end. What I'm saying is: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is an insane show and you should watch it.