A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is an unscripted reality series starring Marie Kondo, the Japanese author whose book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was an instant best-seller in 2014. The Netflix series shows the author instructing various families and couples on her proprietary "KonMari" method of organizing one's belongings. Viewers hear personal stories along the way, about the emotional issues that can stand in the way of keeping a clean home. Kondo speaks limited English, and much of her conversation takes place through her translator, Iida. (Subtitles are present during the occasional, brief instructional scenes that star only Kondo.)
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What's the story?
TIDYING UP WITH MARIE KONDO is a new how-to reality series from Netflix featuring acclaimed author Marie Kondo sharing tips and techniques on keeping one's home neat and organized. Each household presents a new challenge: there's the widow struggling with conflicting emotions over emptying out her husband's closet, the young same-sex couple who fear that their unkempt home will cause their families to take their relationship less seriously, a family of four trying their best to squeeze into a too-small apartment, and more. The families all follow the same basic tenets of Kondo's "KonMari" de-cluttering method, which involves sorting belongings into one of five basic categories, and only keeping those items which "spark joy". At the end of each episode, Kondo revisits the families to see how successfully they have applied her techniques and to discuss how the changes they've made to their homes have changed their lives.
Is it any good?
This tranquil and inspiring series is proof positive that not every home organization show needs to have the grim, can't-look-away bleakness of an episode of Hoarders to be addictive viewing. Kondo has a soothing and nonjudgmental presence, and while her methods may seem simple enough, watching her students struggle to understand why they've formed certain attachments to outdated belongings or what's really behind their inability to get everyday chores accomplished makes for an oddly compelling experience. It's worth noting, too, that while Tidying Up with Marie Kondo never explicitly uses the "F" word (that word being Feminism, in this case), our host makes it utterly clear (in her gentle and pixie-like way) that she believes in an egalitarian approach to home-keeping, and that every member of the household plays a part. Even if you're not ready to go full "KonMari" on your own home, you're likely to pick up some helpful ideas and inspiration.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way Tidying Up differs from a show like Hoarders. Is it the overall tone of the show? The organizing approach that is used? Why does Kondo's method seem to work so well, even with people who seem initially hesitant to let go of things?
Did watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspire you to try any of her de-cluttering methods in your own home? What was your favorite tip shared in the series?
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