Right, fess up everyone. Who’s been watching Marie Kondo Tidies Up on Netflix? I’ll admit, I’ve found it hard to resist, but I’ve limited myself to two and a half episodes. I don’t have time to WATCH people tidy, I just need to get on it. I fear it might be a bit like cookery programmes- thinking yes, I’ll DEFINITELY make that, but I don’t, since everyone likes my Chinese Beef in Ginger so why would I risking something different? I tend to salivate more over the glorious décor than the recipes anyway. I felt so CHEATED when I learnt that Nigella Lawson wasn’t creating her shredded lamb and pomegranate salad in her West London Pad, but in a set at Elstree studios in Hertfordshire.
I digress. For the uninitiated, Kondo has taken herself off to America, land of excess, to bring her tidy tips to those who’ve accumulated a lifetime’s worth of shite. In she swoops, like an elfin Fairy Godmother, to help them rediscover who they ‘really are’, through binning their stuff. There are many cringe-worthy bits: the worst of which being the ‘group prayer,’ where they kneel and honour THE HOUSE to give thanks for its presence in their lives and apologise for not recognising its worth. I don’t know why I’m surprised; this is a woman who feels it’s shameful to pair socks. (I may have expressed my annoyance about this before.)
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here’s a bit of Kondo rumination on the appropriate treatment of hosiery:
Socks and Stockings
Some people think it doesn’t really matter if they wear socks with holes in them or tights that are pilled, but this is like declaring ‘today doesn’t really matter’. Your feet bear your weight and help you live your life, and it is your socks that cradle those feet. The socks you wear at home are particularly important because they are the contact point between you and your house, so choose ones that will make the time you spend there even more enjoyable.
Balling your socks and stockings, or tying them into knots, is cruel. Please put an end to this practice today.
See? Told you she was barking. The other irritating bit is when someone, often Kondo herself, falls over a pile of tat, to much hilarity. ‘Babe, we just have too much stuff!’ exclaimed one particularly irksome woman, after taking a tumble. I could just imagine the director staging the whole thing to inject some liveliness into proceedings, since Kondo has all the personality of one of those socks she’s so keen in folding.
The format is thus: in she trots, with lots of insincere ‘semi-hugging’, and cuddling of any infants who happen to be knocking about. (‘I’m the nice lady who’s going to put all your toys in the bin and teach you a new game called ‘organising’.) She then tries not to look absolutely appalled by the clip of the place.
I urge you to watch Episode Two, which features a deranged American-Japanese couple. God love them. They didn’t need Kondo, they needed a lifetime of therapy and an in-house Relate Counsellor. A more beleaguered looking husband you’d be hard pressed to find. The wife, who created the biggest mountain of clothing that Kondo had ever clapped eyes on, actually admitted that she shopped when he pissed her off so she could ‘hit him where it hurt.’ Fuck me.
Now that I’ve got thinking about what annoys me I can’t stop. I was apoplectic when I saw about 15 bags of clothes deemed ‘trash’ while another pile was destined for ‘good will’. Seriously? Up rocked the dumpster truck and off it went for landfill. And what had Kondo got to say about that? Feck all, so long as it was out of the way.
Happily, I think we’re doing better here in Ireland. When I dropped off very raggedy clothes into the Barnardo’s bins at Ormeau Recycling Centre, three of them were overflowing, which was heartening.
Thus to conclude, while I find her sanctimonious and irritating in the extreme, I concede that Kondo has a point. If we can move away from the mindset that stuff equals happiness, and make more conscious decisions about our purchases, we’ll be more content. I get it. Just don’t expect to me posting drawer-fuls of tee-shirts standing to attention. I’ve already got a lot of hobbies already, and folding ain’t going to become another one.