There is something weirdly dark about Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
The Japanese organizing guru's new Netflix show, says Alison Willmore, "places Kondo’s relentlessly cheery domestic advice against what sometimes feels like a roiling American backdrop of late capitalist panic and crushing internalized expectations. It’s hard to believe that organizing a house will be able to address the anxieties and old wounds that some of the clients, through polite smiles and grateful tears, lay bare onscreen. Still, every episode ends with the carefully edited conclusion that it might, and that they won’t know until they try." Willmore adds that the "aura of moral righteousness that has over time become attached to minimizing and to minimalism has always seemed unearned to me," and the show is not about abstaining from things. "As a life advice show, especially next to its warmer, fuzzier Netflix sibling Queer Eye, Tidying Up is discordant in a way that takes a while to pin down," she says. "So many of these snapshots of family lives burble with a quiet but persistent distress over what it means to make, have, and share a home these days, and to feel secure in it. At the core of the show is a wistful promise that if you could just get things in your house right, for once, then so many weightier and seemingly intractable stresses would surely just melt away, shed alongside all those clothes that no longer fit. It’s a reminder that keeping things highly organized can be just as much about maintaining control as never throwing things away."
- The Marie Kondo method is great -- unless you're a highly advanced, vintage-collecting, stuff-accreting fashion head
- Tidying Up is inadvertently about women's invisible labor
- Kondo's method was supposed to be liberating, but ended up becoming a battleground in one person's marriage
- It would be great if more makeover shows adapted Tidying Up's candor, putting their advice to the test in real-life situations
- Kondo sparks haters: "Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo"
- Stop saying that Tidying Up wants you to get rid of your books!: "Marie Kondo does understand the magic of books–which people would know if they actually watch Tidying Up"
- Twitter users show off how Tidying Up has changed their lives, while other denounce the show for promoting waste
- What to do with all your stuff that doesn't "spark joy"
- How America tidied up before Marie Kondo