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Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

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Wow, there must be something wrong with me but I really liked the first family and thought they were sweet. Did I even watch the same episode as everyone else? 

I have no issue with people who didn't like them, found them annoying, thought they were bound for divorce, etc. I'm just amazed at how different people perceive the same thing so differently. I guess we all see things through the prism of our own lives and experiences. 

Did anyone but me think they were a nice, loving family? 

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8 hours ago, Melina22 said:

Did anyone but me think they were a nice, loving family? 

To me, the only good thing about that episode was the daughter shouting over her shoulder on her way out of the room, “Daddy, you’re so cute, I love you!”

The “boobies” thing was weird to me, but not my kid and not my boobies so I don’t really give a shit. The “babe” thing and the butchered grammar were super annoying, but I did feel bad for Rachel having to go on film with those sores on her mouth.

They really should have started the series with the Mersier family, they sparked joy.

Edited by link417 · Reason: ‘Thing,’ not ‘thong’
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On 1/12/2019 at 11:58 PM, statsgirl said:

This method targets a specific group of people who just need a shove to to get rid of stuff and clean up.  It does nothing for those who grew up poor and for whom throwing something out means you may not be able to get another when you need it, or those who perceive objects differently.]

 

23 hours ago, hyacinth said:

I agree.   This is something that is not acknowledged enough in the shows and articles about discarding possessions.   You might not use a particular item often but when you need it you need it.   If your weight changes, it makes no sense to throw away the jeans that may fit again.   I think if you're on the fence about an item it should probably be kept not thrown, especially if budgeting is a priority.   And I also agree that I love some of my parents' stuff.     

The NY Times had an op-ed about this a couple years ago from a single working mother who argued that the minimalism movement was classist and privileged because poor people can't afford to throw things away i.e. they may need it later for whatever reason and they can't buy it as easily. I grew up in a poor household and my mother doesn't throw things away. She's given things to family once or twice but never to charities and she buys from garage sales all the time. I wish she would get rid of more stuff because one day I will have to deal with it.

While I try to be more minimal and am careful about what I buy now (especially clothing), I do see that aspects of the minimalist movement come from a place of privilege. I do have backups of kitchen things which make me feel better as I know things break down and don't want to spend more money on them. I agree with @ombelico that Marie Kondo's message is more about thoughtfulness on possessions rather than eliminating them outright. This is why I like her messages about tidying up and mindfulness more than achieving the white furnishings Instagram look.

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29 minutes ago, Athena said:

This is why I like her messages about tidying up and mindfulness more than achieving the white furnishings Instagram look.

I agree. I hate clutter. It makes me feel panicky and overwhelmed. But I also feel uncomfortable in stark, minimalist rooms. I love to have lots of interesting, beautiful (to me) objects in my home, to make it cozy and expressive of who I am. It's all about creating order out of chaos, really, and order can look very cozy. 

I don't know if I agree that Kondo-ing our possessions is privileged or classist. I've lived at both ends of the economic spectrum, and when it comes to valuing what you own, and keeping your possessions streamlined and in order, I just don't think it makes a difference. Where I live, between the thrift shops, yard sales and dollar stores, not to mention friends and family just giving you stuff, it's easy to become overwhelmed by possessions even if you're below the poverty line. (Speaking from past experience.) 

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To me, glorifying folding one's sweatshirts sideways and anthropomorphizing one's possessions is a fad, like pet rocks.   (haha, that aged me.  Okay, like Elf on a Shelf.)  

But the show is fun to watch.    

Edited by hyacinth
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12 minutes ago, Melina22 said:

I don't know if I agree that Kondo-ing our possessions is privileged or classist. I've lived at both ends of the economic spectrum, and when it comes to valuing what you own, and keeping your possessions streamlined and in order, I just don't think it makes a difference. Where I live, between the thrift shops, yard sales and dollar stores, not to mention friends and family just giving you stuff, it's easy to become overwhelmed by possessions even if you're below the poverty line. (Speaking from past experience.) 

I agree and this is why I have balanced approach to it as I am also someone who has been on both ends of the spectrum. However, I like Kondo's philosophy of tidying up more than the the wider mininalist movement as a whole in the west. There are those who encourage giving up a lot more and push for society to get rid 70-90% of the things they own. This movement was fuelled after the 2008 economic recession and has pushed the kind of minimal interior design we see today. While I like some aspects of it, I can also understand when people don't want to get rid of some things. I think Marie Kondo understands it as well or at least pretends to. She can live in a minimalist way but she remains fairly nonjudgmental about her clients and encourages the thoughtfulness aspect of tidying up.

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Just watched the whole series.  Overall impression...meh.  But I'm glad that the show is on, since they took away all the other organizing/de-cluttering shows, and I can't figure out why. It's not like it's a problem that America has lost interest in, and I'm pretty sure the ratings were decent.  Other shows may have gotten higher ratings, but there's no way these shows were bottom of the barrel in ratings.  Since HGTV will only add new looking for houses franchises or a Jonathan and Drew Scott-related show, maybe DYI will bring one back.

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As someone that has had to clean out three peoples belongings after death (one was my pack rat husband who died at age 40) I have decided that keeping a lot of stuff one has no use for and is just going to be left for some one else to clean out is the worst gift you can give someone. The funny part is I now live very minimal, like super minimal, but people who know me think I have a vast wardrobe and my house is beautiful. I think it’s just that most people have soooo much stuff, especially clothes and they aren’t organized so they never wear most of them so you wouldn’t know they own an entire retail store of clothing. Less is more. 

This show is not my favorite clean up show but it has its moments. I found myself oddly moved by her prayer at the start (or whatever she calls it) thanking the house for its protection, etc. We spoiled Americans often take our homes for granted and it isn’t until they burn down or are blown away that we acknowledge them. 

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A year after my dad's passing I'm still dealing with boxes and boxes of stuff from his home. It would actually be easier if it was junk, but none of it is. Marie Kondos lessons certainly helped me give away and sell an enormous amount of stuff, occasionally making it easier for myself by doing the thanking thing. What's left is mostly marked "memorabilia". Journals, research, family papers, and a huge amount of wall art. Some are valuable, some aren't, but so far no one wants them. Right now I'm giving myself a break and storing most of it in the basement or garage because I'm burned out. 

So I agree. Leaving your children money and/or a few precious keepsakes is lovely. Leaving them an entire lifetime's worth of your stuff to deal with is a great burden. 

Edited by Melina22
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Well, this is my true story that shows how she helped me to spark joy, and actually keep something I was going to toss. I bought a new black leather jacket (at a thrift store of course) and was going to toss my old, but still decent, bomber jacket, because that is what you should do, but know what, I picked up that old very groovy bomber jacket, and said to myself, ARE YOU KIDDING ME...this jacket totally sparks joy, it just makes me happy when I wear it. I'm keeping it! I'll toss something else! Thank you Marie! I may not fold my tee shirts, but she has helped me get rid of many things that really kinda bring me down. 

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On 1/14/2019 at 8:44 AM, hyacinth said:

To me, glorifying folding one's sweatshirts sideways and anthropomorphizing one's possessions is a fad, like pet rocks.   (haha, that aged me.  Okay, like Elf on a Shelf.)  

But the show is fun to watch.    

It's almost certainly a fad in the US; but the whole "greet the house" and  having gratitude for your things is a very Shinto-belief. I suspect, that her religion influences her method heavily.  Calling Shintoism a fad would be odd, certainly it has lasted much longer than pet rocks.  Marie doesn't have you thank things to anthropomorphize them elf on the shelf style; but because you should have gratitude for all the things in your life. By thanking them for serving you, you can then release them.

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I love Marie Kondo’s first tidying up book; it has helped me a lot with a clutter problem. I just watched the first episode of the show. The couple are at such polar opposite points on expectations, I thought it was tense. I found it hard to believe they paid someone to do their laundry. I’ve just never hated laundry so it was hard for me to fathom. 

 

Marie is a gem and I found the Shinto house blessing very moving. The show is a lot more gentle than the books. I’ll keep watching. I’m hoping they do some episodes without kids; I thought they were distracting. 

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They do have some without kids. I'm generally not a judgy person at all, but as someone who raised 4 pretty happy children, the bulk of whose toys fit into one large toy box and a bookshelf, I just can't fathom why so many people's homes are filled to bursting with massive amounts of toys, stuffed animals and kiddie furniture, sometimes for only one or two children under 5. There's just no possible way these toys all get played with. 

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I read Marie's book about three years ago. Getting rid of clothes was so overwhelming I didn't move to Phase 2 until several months later, and finished the whole process in a little over a year. I'm still surprised the entire process is done in a month or so.

Since then, I've become somewhat of a minimalist. I'm not sure if the KonMari method is rooted in minimalism, or if it's a gradual next step.

For example, EmptyNesterDad decluttered a lot of the baseball cards, but they were not presented in an organized way (5 boxes in a corner). Did he declutter most of them or simply organize them properly?

The show is good, but not nearly as good as the book. 

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I've resisted Netflix for ages. Don't know why. Old dog/new trick. Anyway, one thing I've noticed about binge-watching shows is that some things become very annoying and repetitive. I guess that's why they have a "skip intro" option. I wish I could skip all the coming to the door, greeting each other stuff. It feels like it takes up way too much of the show.

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I just did my books - woke them up and everything!  And found the book, "the life-changing magic of tidying up," lol.  Yes, I did know that I had it and I remember that true to form (my style), I started following her method and didn't stick with it.  I have to admit, I'm finding the folding a bit tedious.  Though everything in the drawers looks better that way.  And my walk in closet is divine now.  I actually pared down my books years ago (pre-Marie) when we downsized.  So the books were easy.  Komono and photos will be the toughest.  

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Just finished Ron and Wendy’s episode, the empty nesters. I think they have a really large house and they just sacrificed certain rooms to clutter. I was curious about what Ron did with his baseball cards... sell them, trade them? I can’t believe he threw them out. I enjoyed the Japanese vs Japanese-American interplay. It was fascinating to watch. The son seemed really affected. 

Having tackled somewhat similar projects on a smaller scale, this seemed really time compressed. I guess things take me longer because I work 60 hours a week, I think they are retired.

Edited by Quickbeam
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I also wonder about the fate of the items that are let go.  That collection of never-worn sneakers had to be worth a bundle.

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13 hours ago, tobeannounced said:

I've resisted Netflix for ages. Don't know why. Old dog/new trick. Anyway, one thing I've noticed about binge-watching shows is that some things become very annoying and repetitive. I guess that's why they have a "skip intro" option. I wish I could skip all the coming to the door, greeting each other stuff. It feels like it takes up way too much of the show.

This is exactly why I stopped binge reading book series. The author always repeats a bunch of stuff in every book & if you read them one after another, you just get sick of hearing it. I really appreciate the "skip into" thing.

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18 hours ago, tobeannounced said:

I wish I could skip all the coming to the door, greeting each other stuff. It feels like it takes up way too much of the show.

Totally agree - this was repetitive and took up far too much screen time. I would have liked to have seen more time spent on folding and storage techniques.

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I ignored the book phenomenon...the idea was okay but TBH I resist whatever the zeitgeist insists I participate in.  Didn't plan on watching the series either. I'm already on a huge decluttering kick, didn't really think I needed any more guidance.

But my BF is studying a lot these days and I have extra time on my hands so why not watch an episode? It was pleasant enough. The family didn't bug me much. Afterwards, I didn't feel particularly motivated to get up and change my life. I certainly had no intention of ever folding my clothes like that. EVER.

And then...I did! While I was putting away laundry I gave it a whirl. Did a drawer. Then another drawer. Then a third. (Then I was tired and abandoned ship, LOL.)

Holy crap. Not only is it absolutely delightful to open a drawer and see EVERYTHING at once, I'm shocked that more fits in the drawer this way. It motivated me to get rid of even more stuff. (Especially the second-string stuff I was tucking in the back, that's a big clue.) Will I keep it up? I don't know. The folding is tedious and I tend to try on 5 things before choosing an outfit, so it will be a daily chore. (Ha, who am I kidding? I don't put my clothes back away!) But it's such a different feeling and I like that.

I doubt I need to see many of these. But I'm glad I tuned into 1!

This is an interesting take: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/opinion/marie-kondo-japan.html 

Edited by snarktini
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Have watched most of the episodes, never read the books.

While I appreciate Marie Kondo's joy and gratitude message, I find her cutesy squeaky personality a bit much. Plus, if she lives in America and is the host of an American TV show, it seems she should be speaking English on the show. All those subtitles are excessive.

Agree with the opinions about the Babe family. Even if she doesn't like doing laundry, it's not like she has to scrub each item on a washboard in a steel tub. Throw it in a machine and push a button - what's to "do"? And when you pay someone to do your laundry, do they come to your house and do it there, or do they pick up a big basket of dirty laundry and return it clean and folded? If the second one, then you still have to put it away, which seems to be a main problem with Babe woman.

I don't understand why folding a tshirt is such a revelation. Isn't this a pretty basic skill? And if you don't fold them, what do you do with them, toss them in a drawer? Don't they get wrinkled?

The older couple with the massive amount of clutter made me twitchy. I have a LOT of Christmas stuff, but it's in bins and boxes. How is that new? The husband's baseball card collection might be valuable, but I don't understand having a collection of anything that sits in cardboard boxes. What it for? To enjoy? Then display it. To sell for its value? Then sell it. 

The downsizing family just needs a bigger place, and some dressers, which they got. They were fun.

Margie the widow was a lovely woman. I hope she moves forward after getting through this tough part of getting rid of her husband's things. 

Interesting comment upthread that the homes seemed dated after watching too much HGTV. Most people don't have the money to rip out perfectly good ten year old kitchens. I thought most of the homes were very ordinary. The Babe couple's home looked like a Wayfair catalogue, and Margies home was typical of a comfortable upper middle class family home that isn't swayed by the latest decor trends.

Quote

The mom who hated doing laundry ... did I miss something or did they never really get to the root cause of that? I'm pretty sure I saw at least 2 washers. 1 in the garage and 1 just beyond the kitchen.  I'd rather do the laundry and outsource true cleaning.  What exactly was dad doing? Does he understand how hard it is to be at home with 2 toddlers/pre-schoolers?

The same with the dishes. Did they have a dishwasher?  (I'm guessing no.) 

I wondered that, too, when I saw the sink filled with dishes and yes, they had one. I don't understand people who put dishes in the sink when they have a dishwasher. They're literally out of sight, and when it's full you just push a button. So easy, don't understand why people don't use them.

I enjoy the show, but I guess I don't see how folding clothes, getting rid of stuff you don't use, and putting things back in the cupboard is such a revelation.

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Well... i'm in the midst of Kondo-ing my house. My husband was out of town this past weekend so I did my entire closet and dresser. Dumped it ALL out. I've filled about 5 garbage bags with clothes and purses to donate. OMG. I don't feel like I have a lot of stuff, but seeing how much stuff I just never wore or held on to "in case it fits one day" was eye opening. And my closet feels positively empty. 

I also tackled our linen closet. Can I just say that clear containers are a miracle. I can see just when I'm low on toothpaste and now I realize that I probably won't have to buy lotion or shampoo for the next 5 years. I have so much of that stuff. It's so satisfying to see it all organized and tidy. 

When my husband got home he was so impressed that we cleaned out our office closet and our guest bedroom closet. Shredded a ton of stuff, consolidated books, blankets, and that kind of clutter that finds its way into extra closets, and even sold a few things on ebay and chegg. Made about $300 last night just from cleaning. :) 

I have one more closet to do and my crawl space (which is mostly holiday decor) and I'll have done my entire house. 

Cheers to Marie Kondo and her tidying method. I feel so energized and so pleased when I look around my house. 

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I just finished the season.  So much shrieking, but, she has some suggestions that could work for some people.  We liked Clean Sweep with Peter Walsh back in the day, but, same idea.  And today I folded some thick shirts in their drawer just to see and wow, I can see them all, and, there is more room in that drawer.  Don't know if I will do that with any more, but, it remains a possibility.  We moved to a new state a few years ago and had the big purge, so not much in the way of clutter now.  

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Hey, let's turn Tidying Up into a shopportunity (Refinery 29 via Apple News)!

BA230BD9-D155-44FC-8676-6059B1C3FECD.jpeg

Edited by kirklandia
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On 1/21/2019 at 10:48 PM, Shermie said:

Agree with the opinions about the Babe family. Even if she doesn't like doing laundry, it's not like she has to scrub each item on a washboard in a steel tub.

That was the exact analogy I used when raging out about it to my family.

On 1/21/2019 at 10:48 PM, Shermie said:

I enjoy the show, but I guess I don't see how folding clothes, getting rid of stuff you don't use, and putting things back in the cupboard is such a revelation.

It's not that it's such a revelation, but I think it's a combination of things: 1) right now I don't think there are any other organizing shows on any other channel, since the days of Clean Sweep and Clean House (and I guess Hoarders) are long gone 2) guilt about their mess is an impediment to some people, and she doesn't come off judgy, so she is an encouragement  3) many people have hang-ups about getting rid of certain things, and she is providing a different way to look at that, which can be freeing  4) some people just really don't have any concept of how to organize, so even her most basic suggestions (group like items together) are a help to them  5) she doesn't preach expensive organizing solutions, which some professionals do and it causes resistance, so she makes it seem cheaper and more achievable

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 12:34 PM, LuvMyShows said:

But I'm glad that the show is on, since they took away all the other organizing/de-cluttering shows, and I can't figure out why. It's not like it's a problem that America has lost interest in, and I'm pretty sure the ratings were decent. 

I don't think America has lost interest but I do think Hoarders, Hoarders:Buried Alive, Animal Cops (not technically a clean up show but often focused on animal hoards especially the Houston version) and sundry others just... exhausted us. My main takeaway from these shows was that hoarders were mentally ill but also just nasty people. I also think a lot of the less hoardy shows got lower ratings and probably had too many people who were hoarders or family and friends of hoarders applying

I kinda wonder how Marie would handle a hoarder, a real hoarder, but honestly I think she and her Japanese interpreter/companion/maybe lover would take one look at the bottles of human urine and the feces filled tub and be all "You know... this doesn't spark joy" and leave. 

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4 minutes ago, Rap541 said:

My main takeaway from these shows was that hoarders were mentally ill but also just nasty people.

Yikes, yes. Not all, but I was shocked at how many of them were really controlling, angry and mean. Sometimes it only came out when they were pushed to clear up their mess, other times it wasn't hidden at all. And certainly the majority were either mentally ill and/or had personality disorders. This happened a lot as well in the shows about extremely obese people. There were some exceptions, but not a lot. (One woman in particular was really kind and sweet).

And it's true. I got depressed and burned out on these shows and can't face watching them any more. 

Marie Kondo's show was like a breath of fresh air. 

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1 minute ago, Melina22 said:

Not all, but I was shocked at how many of them were really controlling, angry and mean. Sometimes it only came out when they were pushed to clear up their mess, other times it wasn't hidden at all. And certainly the majority were either mentally ill and/or had personality disorders. This happened a lot as well in the shows about extremely obese people. There were some exceptions, but not a lot. (One woman in particular was really kind and sweet).

Yeah and honestly as I watched the hoarders twist and cry and totally flip over throwing out a bottle cap, I just found myself thinking "if they have x,y and z home violations and three days to fix or else the guv'mint takes the home... maybe that's for the best". With rare exception I was also generally enraged that children weren't being taken from parents and how fucking rarely animal hoarders were ever jailed. Fuck that they are in their sixties, they learn they get away with it when they get a slap on the wrist for the 100 dead cats in the house and they WILL rehoard. 

The obesity shows just depressed me. I used to like getting drunk to Intervention and looking down on the heroin addict shooting up in the men's room with her three year old daughter watching but I admit to being an awful person.

I like Marie's show because it's nice to see normal people for the most part with messy houses. I also like that she seems very positive about how she is helping. If she seems a little um..., Sailor Moon giggly school girl, I think I lot of my surprise is that there are Japanese people who fit that stereotype. I do wish she spoke English better because I think her points would come across better if they weren't subtitled. I usually watch while doing something else so if I don't look up, I miss the subtitles.

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On 1/12/2019 at 10:45 AM, Kemper said:

I was so looking forward to watching this show; and thank you to whoever recognized the "babe" wife from The People's Couch.  I don't really think I can add all that much to what has already been said about the first episode.  I am not sure I will watch the rest.

Like many, I was the stay-at-home-mom with two small children, albeit in the early 70's.  What seemed to be the main problem with "Babe" couple, to me, was out-of-control kids, through no fault of their own.  I didn't realize that one of them had a disability.  It just seems that the mom made no effort to manage anything.  Kids, house, etc.  And I am not letting the dad off the hook; I wondered, also, how much time he actually spent with his kids of helping in the house.  

If the household had any structure, some of this stuff could have been fixed.  Hang up your clothes!  How hard is that?  Wipe off your kitchen counters!  Don't let food sit out on the counters unless you are going to pick it up and eat it within a reasonable amount of time.  Does the mom ever get a break from the kids....as in putting them down for quiet time or a nap?  How about not have them loudly participating in every single conversation that you might have?  Especially with other adults around.  

It was hard to work up any sympathy for this first couple.  There seemed to be so much hostility in their "babe" exchanges; I told Mr. Kemper that I give them five years, tops.  Like others, I wish this show had not gone the "reality" route.  Marie's folding techniques flashed on so fast that I couldn't concentrate enough to remember them.  I still can't manage a folded, fitted sheet and I have been married 49 years; but I always managed to crumple it up enough that I could get it into a closet. Underneath the top sheet and pillow cases so that it was squashed enough to fit in without scaring anyone if they opened the closet door.

I will try and find the folding techniques on You Tube.

;

If one of the children is special needs and needs more attention or is hard to control, maybe  this mother is depressed? Could that be it?  She has a job, is expected to take care of the kids 100%? of the time? 80%? And she has her husband piling up on her, being passively hostile and contemptuous on national t.v. Maybe she signed hehrself up for this show because it was a last ditch effort? Or she thought she might get a free home makeover  or whathaveyou.  Some people just dont know any better.

I still do not understand anyone's need to be on reality television, and I consider it a horrible flaw in a person, but you know, maybe we are being too harsh on the mom.

 And yeah, the MK part looks thrown in there as an afterthought. If her name's in the title, she should be the star of the show, and not the people she's helping, who treat her as if a fairy flew though their front door. You live in California. Youve never met a Japanese person??

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Let’s keep our thread nice and tidy by sticking to discussing what happened on the show. Also, please don’t try to moderate the thread; if you see a post with which you don’t agree, you can report it and have your moderator  (me) take a look. 

I have cleaned up some posts.

Thank you all!

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I binged watched all the shows recently.  And today I refolded the way she does, got rid of a few things (we have moved recently and then did a big purge but I still keep a bag available to add to to donate) and, wow. I have an entire big drawer empty!  I only got rid of a few things so I think this method conserved space plus I can see everything!  I don't think things will get as wrinkled shoved into a drawer even  folded the old way.  I grouped by type and color into each drawer.  I only did my things, not Mr. lookeyloo's.  He has a system in his closet that works for him and everything he owns is in drawers, shelves or hangers inside his closet.  I also rolled towels in the linen closet, doesn't take a lot of time and much more room.  Go figure.  Plus everything looks so nice.  Now have to tackle gym clothes drawer and bathing suit/beach wrap drawer.  I'm encouraged!

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On 1/21/2019 at 7:48 PM, Shermie said:

While I appreciate Marie Kondo's joy and gratitude message, I find her cutesy squeaky personality a bit much. Plus, if she lives in America and is the host of an American TV show, it seems she should be speaking English on the show. All those subtitles are excessive.

Wait, she lives in America??? I just assumed she lived in Japan because of the no English thing, how long has she lived in America? I agree about the "cutesy squeaky personality", it's annoying IMO.

I was watching E!News last night, & they had a story about how lots of people on Twitter apparently hate the "babe" (yep, that's what they're being called) couple. I bet nobody saw that one coming.

Edited by GaT
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2 hours ago, GaT said:

Wait, she lives in America??? I just assumed she lived in Japan because of the no English thing, how long has she lived in America? I agree about the "cutesy squeaky personality", it's annoying IMO.

I was watching E!News last night, & they had a story about how lots of people on Twitter apparently hate the "babe" (yep, that's what they're being called" couple. I bet nobody saw that one coming.

According to this article, she has lived in the United States since 2016.  It seems like she comprehends a good bit of things being spoken, but I can also understand her wanting to use an interpreter.    

 

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/marie-kondo-tidying-up-netflix-interview-spark-joy-america-1202036441/

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Quartz has an interview with Marie Iida, Marie Kondo's interpreter. They've worked together for the last three years.

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What’s the biggest misconception about Marie Kondo and her philosophy? Does she really want us to throw out books?

It’s easy to think that her method is about how much you can throw away or let go of, but actually the focus is on what you want to keep in your life.

For instance, I really love reading and books are very important to me. I’ve talked to Marie about that and she said, “If that’s your passion, you should keep what you love confidently in your home.” So yeah, I think people tend to tie her too closely to minimalism. But her message is very much about learning who you are and what you like.

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10 hours ago, Cheerwyn said:
12 hours ago, GaT said:

 

According to this article, she has lived in the United States since 2016.  

I'm so surprised by this information! Maybe because I think of her as a Japanese phenomenon, and also because of the translator, it never for one second occurred to me that she lives in North America. I kept thinking about how she felt being such a long commute from her family. Guess not! 

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She definitely has some English capability, but I appreciate the interpreter as it makes communication much faster. I imagine being in front of cameras and having to stick to a "script" of sorts would also fluster someone not speaking their native language. I don't mind the subtitles, and just because she is in America doesn't mean she's "American". Marie Iida was on Instagram the other day answering questions from fans, and Iida lived in both the US and Japan growing up, which is how she learned both languages. She seems really cool.

Re: the book issue. There was a lot of tweeting going on around and one of my favourite tweets was (paraphrased) "y'all acting like you have 1st edition tolstoys instead of The Internet for Dummies."

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I think the "book issue" has its roots in the rather prim view that it's very wrong to get rid of a book once its in your house. Look, I am NOT judging anyone - my plan for today is to "konmari" my biggest closet, already breaking a rule because I am going by a space and not by item, and there's books and I am *really* asking myself if I need text books from college from 20 years ago that I have not cracked open in a decade and are literally gathering dust.

I have NO intent on paring down to thirty books - I have a number that are fond mementos, but I will say, one thing I love about my kindle is that I finally have room for all the books I want.

Why am I konmaring my closet? Because the whole house needs it and I grew up in a cluttered home and realize I am just perpetrating the problem by holding on to everything because "we might need that" was my mom's excuse to fill every closet in our home with her things. When we did move, it was always my things that had to be thrown out to make room. And all that did to me was make me want to cling to every little thing I had all and maybe its time to be free of that mentality. 

I will update with how many bags of trash.

Edited by Rap541
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Walk in Closet KonMari session - There were eleven bags of trash. Including a vcr that I was holding onto because I might use it. And my karate gear that I had not used since 2002, and some gym gear that hadn't been used since 2007. My army boots that had not been worn since 1995 that I kept because what if the world ends in a zombie apocalypse? A lot of clothes that I no longer fit and would not wear if I did fit because styles change. I found some clothes that I had bought and still liked but hadn't been wearing because they got lost in the mess. I found some shirts from my old place of work that I promptly trashed.  I also found a few things that didn't spark joy but do require some more thought before they go somewhere. Old laptops mostly, and a ceramic knickknack my mom made me that I don't like but she just passed so I am not ok pitching it yet. There are also a few things that will go to Goodwill (the clothes were pitched as they *weren't* in reasonable shape) like a brand new board game I received as a gift but never played with. A few books did get pitched, old text books and some books I got from a history book club that I never read. Some toys are being donated as well after checking on ebay and seeing that holding on to them did not make them worth more. I ended up throwing out a lot of hangers.

It took three hours with copious breaks. I did start with clothes but I did not haul everything into a pile. I did thank things that I let go and that did make it easier. There were things that I kept because they reminded me of good times. Nothing left that I didn't decide to get rid of. One of my personal rules was "have I actually used this in the last year" and that helped a lot. Another rule was "are you holding on to it for a stupid reason?" - the army boots were still in good, wearable shape for example, but the reality of my feet is that I am a size and a half bigger now. 

I know Marie says to do it by category but honestly, if you don't have days to devote to it, pick an area at a time or else its going to be overwhelming.  One rule I am giving myself as I plan to konmari the entire bedroom is that nothing goes into the walk in closet that wasn't already there until I am done with the whole room. 

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Miss Rap: Good for you...It's hard, but you are getting there. I just redid my walkin closet so that it is color coordinated again and I don't think you need to take everything out either.....and let me tell you books  are really hard to get rid of...I did it years ago when I got into this 50's Zen look for my house, I am now down to 50 books from probably a couple of thousand, got rid of all my records as well, over a thousand, I wanted the wall space.  (but hey I am keeping my CD's, cause I'm old and don't understand this download thing) She inspires me, again , we are all just a couple of steps from becoming a hoarder after a certain age, and man, I never want to be that way. (I loved that show Hoarder's needless to say).  Now if someone would just get me to donate all my unworn semi high heels to some place. Anybody want some 4.5 vaneli's.  No one wears my size. 

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I just finished all but two of my dresser drawers and my walk in closet.  I got rid of two big bags of things that were hidden so I forgot about them.  I can see everything I own now.  Things take up much less room folded her way.  I can't figure it out.  I started on Mr. lookeyloo's closet but need to go to IKEA for some shallow long boxes for his every day short sleeve shirts.  They have been stacked on a shelf and when he wants one the others fall and he throws them back on the shelf.  Folded he will be able to see them all.  I'm skipping all our underwear because we each have one of those sets of mesh drawers from The Container Store inside our closets and things are sorted by what they are and seems to work well.  I don't thank anything.  I'm not looking for the spark of joy, but I get a big one when I look at everything all organized and nothing lost to me.  Fun project.

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On 1/24/2019 at 7:04 PM, Cheerwyn said:

According to this article, she has lived in the United States since 2016.  It seems like she comprehends a good bit of things being spoken, but I can also understand her wanting to use an interpreter.    

 

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/marie-kondo-tidying-up-netflix-interview-spark-joy-america-1202036441/

I have worked for many years with international colleagues, including those based in Japan, and it seems like despite having good English comprehension, my Japanese coworkers are much more comfortable when they are able to translate to their native language. One of them recently asked for something in advance so they would have time to translate it, because, "a Japanese person reading English is like riding a bicycle on the highway." I know that despite learning English in school, many Japanese are not confident in their English speaking skills, which is why there are so many opportunities for foreigners to work in Japan as an English teacher. So I was not surprised to see that she used an interpreter just to make sure she was understanding her clients correctly, and that her thoughts were clear to them. I hadn't realized she had lived here since 2016, but it could have been late 2016 and the show could have filmed in early 2018, so potentially she might have only been in the US for about a year. I'm sure her English skills will improve and probably already have, but it's kind of also part of her charm and mystique that she is speaking a different language, etc.

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I want to mention something in case it frees any of you to donate more.  My mother passed away in 2013, and I cleared out her house to sell it.  Fortunately for me, she had no clutter and it was just a matter of organizing her household items for an estate sale.  Because of that experience, I have been working on my own house -- clothes, household items, knick-knacks, papers, etc.  When my mom was alive, she loved to travel the world, and would sometimes bring back little knick-knack gifts from the places she went, which we had displayed on a shelf.  After we remodeled some rooms in our house, we had to take down all our pictures, and remove things from shelves so that new carpet and painting could occur.  That included the shelves where the knick-knacks from my mom's travels were. 

My husband and I are being very deliberate about what we display and keep as we put things back up, and we do now have some wonderful items of hers displayed and some nice items of hers that we use.  The travel knick-knacks don't spark joy for me, and are too fragile to serve as toys, and I don't want to just keep stuff from her in a box (that's not really a solution), but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them.  So they just stayed in a box that I agonized over whenever I saw the box.  But recently I made the very difficult decision to consign them (6 items total), hoping that at least a few of them would sell (and knowing that the rest would be donated), since I figured it's much better for the items to have the opportunity to spark joy in someone else.  Well, wouldn't you know, that all 6 of the items sold!!  When I found that out, I started crying, because it was so wonderful to know that the items had gone to homes where they were so desired that someone actually paid to bring them into their lives.

So...maybe this will encourage you to give some of your (sentimental) items the chance to spark joy for someone else!

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That's so nice, LuvMyShows!

I read the book a few years ago and am watching the shows now. Tonight I saw the family that had moved from the Midwest and downsized to a two-bedroom apartment. It was a good thing that they showed this one a few episodes in, because they had so many heart-to-heart interviews with the family that there were not many techniques shown at all. It looked like the kids took the DVDs out of their boxes and put them into albums, which is a trick I haven't seen before. I felt bad for the wife, apparently the one supporting the household (the husband said "she makes sure we get fed" and they were all calling her while she was at work) so I hope the rest of the family steps up. They all seemed very warm and loving to each other, though. 

Some of the Kondo book stuff seems goofy to me (don't walk on grass because you'll hurt it???) but although I don't say goodbye or thank my clothes, I do consider them when I'm bagging them up for donations. She's right that people keep things for the wrong reasons. I had a sweatshirt from 25 years ago that I got when my best friend and I were at a museum. I don't wear it and it definitely doesn't give me joy, but it was a fun day. Or I keep things because I love the person who gave them to me. Then I thought, "I wouldn't want someone dragging something around for 20 years *only* because they thought I'd be mad if they gave it away!" 

For the lady with all the Christmas ornaments, I wanted to tell her "Donate them to Goodwill, or go up and down the street and see if your neighbors want them; someone will get some Christmas joy who maybe could not have afforded to pay full price for those Nutcrackers." So I see where you're coming from with the consignment, LuvMyShows. We have the memory of our loved ones even when we don't have their belongings. 

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21 hours ago, lookeyloo said:

I'm not looking for the spark of joy, but I get a big one when I look at everything all organized and nothing lost to me.

I hate to admit that I have been periodically going to *look* at the walk in closet and noting the ten or so outfits, the shoes on a rack, spaces on the shelves and things I can actually reach and use easily... and yeah its nice. And relaxing.

Maybe I should meditate in my walk in closet. There's certainly room now.

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7 hours ago, Mystery said:

Some of the Kondo book stuff seems goofy to me (don't walk on grass because you'll hurt it???)

This is where the show really failed - there was never a good explanation that Kondo's methods and philosophy are rooted in Shinto. I'm not saying it should have been a show about her religion, but there likely would have been less mockery and confusion if it had been spelled out at the outset what her blessing of the house, the thanking of items, and such are based on. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/?icid=hjx004

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:48 AM, tobeannounced said:

Have to agree with this. Just this morning, I threw out a dress my daughter has had for a few years and is just worn out. It is so "her," and there are a lot of memories attached to it, but do I really need to keep it in my attic in a box for the next 50 years? No. So thanking it for its service and its memories made tossing it much easier.

Something else you can do is cut some pieces out of it (since you were throwing it away) and making a pillow or quilt or something like that some day. It doesn't have to be now; a few pieces of material aren't going to take up a lot of room. 

 

On 1/12/2019 at 7:45 AM, Kemper said:

I still can't manage a folded, fitted sheet and I have been married 49 years; but I always managed to crumple it up enough that I could get it into a closet. Underneath the top sheet and pillow cases so that it was squashed enough to fit in without scaring anyone if they opened the closet door.

I will try and find the folding techniques on You Tube.

Marie did a fitted sheet on, I'm pretty sure it was, the episode with the musical family in the two-bedroom apartment. 

 

On 1/12/2019 at 5:28 PM, MCMLXXVII said:

I think Margie (the widowed lady) should sell that house and downsize if she wants to travel more.

I wondered if that was one of the reasons behind her cleaning up. I just watched this episode, and the timing threw me off. She said her husband died 9 months ago, in June, and yet at least some of her episodes were in October as dated on her videos. I also wondered why the kids weren't helping; I assume she didn't want them to, but I would have liked to hear her say so if that was the case. 

I've seen so many house-selling shows that just about every scene made me think of how much she'd have to do to update that house to sell it. 

I agree that the toddler family was not the most sympathetic to start with, but at least they were so horrible that there weren't many interviews with them, so we got to see all of the techniques. I think that the show's producers really got into some families, and we got fewer techniques and more interviewers. 

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12 hours ago, Mystery said:

I also wondered why the kids weren't helping; I assume she didn't want them to, but I would have liked to hear her say so if that was the case. 

I wondered about that too. I could understand her not wanting Marie to help with the husband's stuff since Marie is a stranger, but I would think she wouldn't mind the kids helping. I started thinking about what if my mom had to clear out my dad's stuff by herself (they're both healthy - knock on wood - but it's still something I think about once in a while) and it made me angry at the kids. But like you said, maybe she didn't want them to and I'm being unfair to them.

 

A friend of a friend's dad passed away and she, and some friends who helped, had to clean out his house because he was unmarried. He had one ton of pornography in his home (they rented a two ton dumpster and the porn took up half the dumpster, so that's how they know). They think he was planning on selling it because I guess no one told him porn is free on the internet. I've already told my parents they better clear out any potentially embarrassing stuff before they die.

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