Tidying With Toddlers
Sparking Joy After A Loss
From Students To Improvements
Breaking Free from a Mountain of Stuff
Making Room For Baby
When Two (Messes) Become One
I hate mess, which is ironic as my work desk is a cluttered, chaotic jumble of documents, notes and folders. When it comes to the home though, nothing gives me more satisfaction than a clean and tidy room. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is not a wholly original show, especially for Brits who may remember the comedic take on this premise called How Clean Is Your House. In that show, this concept is grabbed by the horns by no-nonsense Kim and Aggie who fall headfirst into some of the dirtiest, grimiest houses imaginable to help people clean up their acts.
Using the KonMari method, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo brings a wave of calm sensibility to the art of tidying up and decluttering your home. Marie Kondo, for those unaware, is a best-selling author who released several books around ways to tackle mess that has resonated with millions of people around the world. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo sees the softly spoken Japanese consultant visiting various houses and apartments around the US, helping people save space and tidy up. The concept is really quite simple – any item that brings you joy you keep. Any item that does not, you throw out. It’s a simple enough concept and one that’s clearly effective given the success this lady has achieved in her career.
Each episode follows a similar approach, beginning with an introduction to each family. After learning of their situation and what mess means to them, Marie visits the houses equipped with a calm sensibility and her translator. Together, they give the family helpful tips and tricks on saving space, avoiding clutter and sifting through untidiness. From here, it’s up to the family to go it alone as Marie leaves the family to stew over the methods offered and make amends themselves. After a few days she returns with more helpful tips and hints before finally visiting one more time to see the big transformation at the end.
Although the structure of each episode is pretty similar across all 8 homes Marie visits, the inclusion of helpful hints for us at home actually makes this a lot more engaging and worth sticking around for. Most of these feel akin to the self help videos on YouTube but as Marie speaks into the camera, she discusses how to save space, arrange your cutlery and even fold clothes and bed spreads in a manner to save as much room as possible. As the rest of the episodes tick by, there’s more and more of these helpful tips that spring up, encouraging you to watch everything on offer.
There are distinct differences between each episode too, despite the structural similarities. From downsizing from a house to a small apartment to the stress of needing to clear room for a baby on the way, Tidying Up makes a real effort to try and bring as many different situations into the fold to make this resonate with a large group of people. For the most part it works well too, with the specific episodes on Tidying With Toddlers and Making Room For A Baby resonating with myself. For others though, there’s likely to be something you can take from this series, even if you’re a clean and tidy person already.
Having said that, if you’re looking for something with a bit more bite and humour to it akin to How Clean Is Your House, you’re unlikely to find it here. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is a gentle, calming program, one that takes a unique, practical approach to tidying up using the KonMari method. The inclusion of helpful tips at home and a familiar structure across each episode gives Tidying Up With Marie Kondo a distinct pace that makes it easy to jump in and out of. If you’re looking for something easily digestible with a few neat little tips to tidying up, you can’t really go wrong with Netflix’s latest reality show.
Verdict - 7.5/10