The start of a new year is typically when people make their resolutions. That’s why they are called New Year’s Resolutions. One of the top ten resolutions continually is getting organized. In addition, the organizing industry considers January as Get Organized month otherwise known as GO month. With the debut of the new show on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” this year is starting off to be the year of or at least the month of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Since the show started airing on January 1st I can’t tell you how many people have asked for my opinion and thoughts. What do I think? Do I follow her methods? Does it work with clients? Do I agree with her? These questions and so many more have been asked of me and has made me think about it way more than I would like to. So, I am finally taking the time to give you my thoughts aka my take on “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Because let’s face it, I have lots of opinions about a lot of things and especially this topic since it’s what I do every day.

Before I get into the pros and cons, I noticed a few things worth mentioning. Now I’m not sure if the way they do things in Japan are different than the way we do things here but I definitely noticed some things that made me think “hmmmm.” (Remember that old saying from Arsenio Hall? Who you might ask? Well, that’s a topic for another day.) The first thing that confused me was the greeting of the house. I find it, let’s say, interesting that she wants to greet the house as opposed to the people that live there “greeting” the house. As I watched episode after episode, I wondered what she was saying to herself during this time. Or is the greeting a form of mediation?  Not quite sure. She also uses the phrase tidying up in lieu of organizing and she mentions tidying as cleaning. Most of the professional organizers including myself never consider ourselves “cleaners.” If we are, then we are very overpriced “cleaners” then. Lastly, when you say the phrase “tidying up,” to me that implies a quick sprucing up compared to the actual organizing process which gives the impression of a complete overall.

The main thing that everyone keeps talking about is the fact that Maire Kondo insists that san item should spark joy if it is meant to be kept. The one big take away that I got from the show is that this whole idea of sparking joy is just a catch phrase. When a client on one of the episodes had a really hard time letting something go and couldn’t really say it if sparked joy, she then asked do you see it moving forward with you in the rest of your life? That is more in line with how most of the professional organizers I know work with clients.

So with that being said now I will tell you what I liked about the show. My pros. And again, this is just in my opinion.

  • The show has definitely given something for people to talk about and has probably motivated many to organize themselves and even hire a professional to help them.
  • “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” reinforces why clients need to work with professional organizers. Most people need the motivation of a professional to get them going.
  • Regardless of the size of their space, people are stressed by the number of things in their space. They need professional assistance.
  • The show also points out that organization doesn’t come easily to most people. They get frozen and don’t know what to do and need to ask for help.
  • She gets families to work together where it seems they become a more cohesive unit instead of everything being left to one family member.

Now let’s talk about the cons.

  • First off, the show portrays Marie Kondo as more of a consultant as opposed to a hands-on organizer. Most of us work one on one and very hands-on with our clients all the time. I have never myself and I don’t know of any professional organizers that give instruction to the client and expect them to complete the task by the next visit.
  • Episode after episode when all of the clothes are removed and placed on the bed you can see the terror in the clients’ faces. They are terrified by the task that awaits them and makes comments to that fact.
  • It seems that the people on the show are motivated to do the work because they are filming a show. Most people with their busy lives would probably not be able to tackle a whole house project in what seems like the 30-day time frame of the show while they are still living the rest of their lives.
  • While this method could work for a certain type of client, albeit very few, it would definitely not work for those that are chronically disorganized or hoarders.
  • Let’s talk about items sparking joy. I would say that at least half of the things we own are utilitarian and do not spark joy but are definitely necessary. My A & D ointment doesn’t spark joy but you better believe I want it handy the next time I get a rash. As well as my light bulbs when one of them goes out.
  • Personally, I am a very spiritual person. I even incorporate my core beliefs into my work with clients. However, I am not sure how my clients would react if I told them I needed to greet their home. I truly don’t know the purpose of Marie doing this. By the reactions and the looks on their faces, it doesn’t seem as if all the clients on the show understand it either. I wonder what she is thinking or doing in that silence.
  • Ditto for the part about waking up the books. I didn’t know that books slept. By the looks of things, they are keeping their owners from sleeping because there are so many of them.
  • Because most people are extremely busy these days, it seems very time consuming to thank each piece before letting go of it. I think it would be quite sufficient to thank the pile of stuff once you have finished the process as opposed to each individual item.

The bottom line is whatever motivates you to get organized is fine with me. I would imagine that people are not going to empty their whole house to find the items that spark joy but they may be proactive and actually find a professional organizer to work with. A win-win for everyone involved.

If you would like to comment on what you’ve read or need some help, please reach out to us. We are here for you.







My Take on Tidying Up


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