Five Tidy Lessons from Marie Kondo

Posted on February 21, 2019

I will admit to being skeptical about the Konmari method, especially after seeing countless memes about how ridiculous it is (“You want me to only keep 30 books? I have that many on my nightstand!”).

Thankfully, Netflix gave me a method to learn more about Marie Kondo’s method without having to commit to a whole book. It’s pretty easy for me to watch while I work out, so I figured, why not?

Ultimately, I’m glad I gave it a chance. I’m still not really 100% sold on Konmari, but I did feel like I learned some valuable lessons from watching.


Lesson 1: My family is NORMAL

It was a relief to realize that my family isn’t the only one that struggles to keep everything in order. The first episode in particular (about a family with two young children) really connected with me. I really liked Marie’s lesson to try to include the children in cleaning activities and make them fun. One of the chores my kids already enjoy doing around our house is picking up laundry, because we make a game out of it (“Laundryball” — it involves launching clothes toward the laundry basket down the stairs, and it’s a blast). There’s definitely more opportunities for us to teach our kids responsibility while making it enjoyable for the whole family and taking a little bit of pressure off my husband and me.

Lesson 2: A tidy house won’t happen overnight

Even the families that Marie Kondo (and her translator Iida) came to help had to invest some serious time to get their homes in better order. It seemed that most of the families committed about 30 days to complete the steps needed to organize their home, and the bulk of this time was without Marie present. This makes me realize that, even though it will take a time commitment, getting my home organized really is something that’s possible for our family.

Lesson 3: We have too much stuff

Our family is fortunate to have more than we need. In our case, I truly think it’s a symptom of my husband and me having grown up in families that sometimes struggled with their finances. We aren’t wealthy by any means now, but we are comfortable enough to have disposable income, and we also have generous friends and family members. We have a lot of items that are functional but that we don’t necessarily love. Our mission moving forward will not only to be removing items we don’t love from our home but also not simply replacing them with a bunch of other stuff. Even if it means having less or needing to save to buy something a little nicer, we are committing to investing in things that give us joy.

Lesson 4: Tidying up gives us room to be generous

As we work to clean out items we no longer want or need, we plan to donate those items, because it’s likely someone else will need them or want them. America’s Thrift Stores makes it really easy to do this, because you can schedule a time for them to come to your house and pick up donations for FREE.

Lesson 5: Our home is meant to be a place of joy

My favorite thing about Marie Kondo is that she really doesn’t force anyone to do anything. She simply provides a framework for tidying (keep things that spark joy, everything has a place and find storage solutions that make sense for your space) and lets the people do the rest. She encourages people to find ways to enjoy and cherish their sentimental items rather than boxing them up and sticking them in a corner. She helps them make their small spaces functional and enjoyable. She also helps couples find more time for each other because they no longer have to spend hours upon hours stressing over housework.

Altogether, I really did enjoy Tidying Up. I don’t think it’s an all-inclusive solution, and it’s probably not for everyone, but it had useful lessons that apply to most homes!

Written by Misty Matthews