There’s a lot to unpack about Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. For starters, the Japanese organizing consultant has built an empire by her world-renowned books about home tidying, empathy, and she calls the KonMari method — and claims is a means to realize one’s ideal life.
This new home makeover show has been initiating interesting conversations on social media since it premiered January 1st, which makes sense due to its refreshing content. The KonMari way follows simple rules that are grounded by keeping whatever’s sparking you joy and tossing away what doesn’t. It’s a process of getting re-acquainted with your things, deciding which direction you’re going in life, and taking essential belongings as you move forward.
Kondo swears by a set of decluttering lessons:
- Komono (Kitchen, Bathroom, Garage, Miscellaneous)
- Sentimental Items
Here’s a rundown of the best practical tips from each episode of the series:
Episode 1: Tidying with Toddlers
The pilot episode features married couple Kevin and Rachel and their efforts of tidying a home with toddlers Jaxon and Ryan. Point of strife is basically hiring help for things they can do but has no time to accomplish like kitchen cleaning, etc.
Communicating with your house is the first and most important part of the process. Ask yourself, “Are we doing our house justice?”
Tidy by category, not location. In clothing, for example, put everything you have in a pile. It’s necessary to hold each piece of clothing and see if it sparks you joy. If you decide to discard it, you have to thank it and not put it away crassly.
Folding in half, thirds, and storing upright. The clothes you choose to keep should be put away decently. Regardless of the article of clothing, you can minimize for better storage and file upright so you see everything in one go.
Little boxes inside drawers. Having smaller containers is optimal for organized drawers, since they automatically give designated “spots” to where everything is.
Organize by size. When sorting through kitchen tools or things alike, it’s better to compartmentalize by size.
Set an example for the kids. Teach your children to tidy up by making it a habit to clean up after yourself.
Episode 2: Empty Nesters
Retired couple Ron and Wendy reclaims the space they once had through Kondo’s guidance.
Christmas decors/seasonal trinkets should be displayed in clear bins. Instead of the usual cardboard boxes, try and get clear containers so it’s easier to pull the items out when they’re finally needed.
Photos should be in albums, not boxes. It’s almost impossible to throw away photos, since most of us don’t print anything anymore. But if you do have duplicates of the pictures, keep the best ones and display them in albums.
Episode 3: The Downsizers
Katrina and Douglas make do with a cramped apartment with their kids Kayci and Nolan.
Shoe boxes can be used as temporary storage containers. If living with limited space, you can use old shoe boxes to place the clothes you kept and folded using the KonMari method.
Fold sheets to maximize space. Fold in half, then thirds, then half again. If it’s going to be on a deep drawer, fold in half, then store upright. For smaller storage, fold in half, then roll it up.
Do it as a family. Set yourself up to win and have everyone in the family participate!
Episode 4: Sparking Joy After A Loss
Widower Margie earns her fresh start by improving the state of her recently emptied home.
Bag in Bag. Keep smaller bags inside bigger bags, make sure that the handles are visible so they’re easier to identify.
Deal with sentimental items last. If things from lessons 1 – 4 aren’t honed properly, it might hamper your progress. However, in this episode, Kondo shifted the rules for Margie, who worked in her own pace.
Episode 5: From Students to Improvements
Partners and writers Matt and Frank strive to transform their humble loft into a more welcoming place for friends, family, and their future selves.
Neckties should be stored with respect. Fold ‘til the label, fold in half, then roll them up.
Books should reflect where you would want to go. Only keep those who really spark joy for you, and what you really wish to bring with you to a new life.
Papers should be neatly categorized. There are three variations: pending documents like letters or bills, important documents you need to keep permanently like contracts and insurance forms, and miscellaneous papers you refer to frequently like documents from seminars, magazine cutouts of recipes, etc.
Electronics should be compartmentalized. Keep little boxes inside drawers, since the goal is to see everything from the get-go. USBs and memory cards look tidier when stored upright.
Episode 6: Breaking Free from a Mountain of Stuff
LA-based couple Aaron and Sehnita try to make room in their home before having their third baby.
When you feel stuck during the process, purify the air around you. This can be done by simply opening a window, creating a sound that can cause vibrations, lighting a candle, spraying aromatic room scent, or lighting an incense since smoke tends to cleanse the air.
Baby clothes can be folded for maximum space, too. In terms of onesies, you start by folding in half, you then tuck in the sleeves, fold in half again, fold in thirds, and then make squares to store upright. For baby socks, you should place one on top of the other, fold in hand, and make as compact as possible. Baby undies, however, you fold from the bottom up, fold in half, then fold in half again.
Toys should have separate bins. If you have more than one kid, create different piles for kids and a shared bin.
Episode 7: Making Room for Baby
Expecting couple Clarissa and Mario prepare a tidy home for their little bundle of joy.
If possible, do things together. A couple working together, especially if they share similar values, make good progress.
Aim to get rid of every unnecessary paper in the house. It also helps to always remove papers from envelopes.
Arrange shoes in a way that sparks joy. Could be by color, shape, brand, or year. Heavy shoes should be on the bottom shelf, while lighter ones go on top.
Episode 8: When Two (Messes) Become One
Newlyweds Angela and Alishia sort through their personal belongings merging as they start a new life together.
When sharing a closet, pick designated sides. It’s also easier to see how much you have this way. Each individual must be responsible for her own space.
Bras should be kept away with care. Arrange in a way you don’t smoosh the cups, and do a color gradient in terms of order.
Categorize food in the pantry. The bottom shelf should have drinks or tea, the middle is for pasta, snacks, carbs, and the top is for canned goods.
Divide space for pet items and categorize by size. It’s also helpful if you keep leashes on a wall for better access when you walk your pets.
Photos from Netflix