As a professional home organizer, watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the new original series on Netflix, is a bit like a chef watching Top Chef, or like a real estate agent watching House Hunters on HGTV. It’s fascinating to see the different strategies and methods that Marie Kondo employs. At Simplify Experts we have organizing processes that are tried and true. Many are very similar to what Kondo teaches, but in small ways Kondo has a different take on how she goes about tidying. There are lots of ways to skin a cat, as they say; so instead of comparing organizing strategies, I’d love to share 5 reasons why I love the show.
The couples, families, and individuals on this show are real and authentic. They are young couples with small children, retirees, downsizers, widows, and couples just starting out. They share their real feelings about their families, their homes, their hopes and worries. They share honestly how clutter impacts their lives and how they would like their lives to change. They speak honestly about the hard work it takes to complete the tidying process. They share how they feel once they’ve decluttered and organized. They cry. They laugh. Their homes look like the homes of real people everywhere. They are like so many of the clients we’ve worked with.
This show does a great job of showing the empathy professional organizers have for their clients. Marie Kondo has a little ritual in which she says, “hello” to each new home. While we don’t share that practice, we are definitely honored to be invited into our clients’ homes. Professional home organizers truly do love tidying up, and they do not see clutter as something to judge a person by, but as a challenge to conquer and help make a significant impact on the client’s life. That contagious smile with which Kondo approaches each new situation… yeah, our team has that too.
Tidying Up Takes Time
Decluttering, tidying up, whatever you want to call it – it takes time to complete. Years of accumulation takes significant time to undo. In one episode, the final visit from Kondo was on day 58 of tidying. That is not to say that this client spent 58 days in a row tidying! Not at all. It only goes to illustrate that there is no quick fix. Your home and your belongings deserve the time it takes to handle each item and decide which items you want to keep. This is actually one area where Simplify Experts does things differently than Marie Kondo. We work with our clients one-on-one in three-hour increments; we go through all the items with them. We feel that this “body double” model, as we like to call it, is essential to helping our clients stay motivated until they achieve their goals. Also, most clients don’t have a lot of time—so the more hands working, the faster the project goes.
The Entire Family Learns
In our book Declutter and Thrive, we identified The Caregiver as one of the five personality types which struggle to stay organized. Yes, you moms out there. You do it all! Literally. The kids call you at work to ask you where their things are, right? On the show Kondo has everyone working. The kids are learning to fold their clothes. The husband is participating in organizing the kitchen cabinets. The whole family sorts through an extensive collection of DVDs. Both husband and wife work on memorabilia together. Keeping a home organized shouldn’t fall to just one of the family members. Everyone needs these skills. The more buy-in the entire family has, the better the results. Hint: watch the show as a family, then call us to get help.
Clutter is Common
The last thing that I love about the Marie Kondo program is that it shines a bright light on the issue of clutter. It normalizes something that most people face and yet for many it is a debilitating source of shame and anxiety, preventing them from enjoying their home, their family, and ultimately their life. I truly hope that someone out there, after watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, will reach out and get the help they need to live their best life. All of us professional organizers are out there for you, just a quick a call or click away.
Author: Vlasta Hillger