Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

A few years ago, Marie Kondo made a splash with her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. A Professional Organizer from Japan, Kondo exhorted her readers to get rid of any possession that didn’t “spark joy”. Her method of folding clothing vertically allowed for easy viewing and retrieval of items in drawers. (See my previous organizing tip: To Fold or Not to Fold.)

Kondo is back in the news with her eight-episode Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, which debuted on January 1. While I’ve only watched the first episode so far, I see some advantages of this show over other organizing shows from previous years.

Kondo demonstrates her method to the clients in the show and gives them guidance while she’s there, but it’s up to the clients to do the work, much of which occurs in between sessions. On other shows, the clients are sent off to a hotel for the weekend while the organizing team gives the home a makeover and then brings the clients back for the “big reveal”. In reality, Professional Organizers work closely with their clients. We don’t organize for them — we help them to become organized.

Kondo treats the clients with respect and compassion. She doesn’t belittle them or make fun of their stuff, as the organizing teams on other shows have done. One mark of Professional Organizers is that we pride ourselves on being non-judgmental. That is one of the things that makes hiring a professional different from asking a partner or friend to help.

An article in the Washington Post speculates that Kondo’s new series has inspired many furloughed government employees to use their downtime to get organized, claiming “Donations at Washington-area Goodwill centers were up 66 percent over last year for the first week of January.” I’m happy for any show or book that brings Professional Organizing into the national conversation and gives people an idea of what it is like to work with a professional.

If getting more organized made it to the top of your list for the new year, check out Kondo’s show. If you want some personalized help, get in touch with me or find a Professional Organizer near you at www.NAPO.net.

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