Did you read the title of this post and become filled with the rage of a thousand burning suns? I wouldn’t blame you for that reaction; I know it’s an unpopular opinion to say that Tidying Up with Marie Kondo FUCKING SUCKS.
But for me, this is the reality.
I think it fucking sucks.
It gives me anxiety.
IT DOES NOT SPARK JOY.
Please note that I am saying the word “I” a lot. If you have enjoyed Tidying Up, I’m not here to take that away from you. In fact, you can stop reading right now! I don’t want to yuck your yum! (PS, I hate the phrase “don’t yuck my yum”!)
I realize I have the option to just not watch the show and move on with my life! But in the midst of all the KonMari mania, I’m curious to know if I am, in fact, the only person on the planet who feels this way.
You may be going, “How can you not like Marie Kondo, Megan?!?!?!”
I never said I don’t like Marie Kondo! I LOVE MARIE KONDO! MARIE KONDO IS NOT THE PROBLEM! (NOR IS THE KONMARI METHOD!)
The problem is that I do not like (or at least do not vibe with) anyone involved in Tidying Up WITH THE EXCEPTION of Marie Kondo. Everyone else makes me feel as though I am drowning in a sea of tension and despair, some because they are grating as hell, others because they just make me feel real REAL sad.
There is probably some level of psychological value behind featuring people who are, for lack of better words, kind of disastrous and/or depressing. Viewers can sit at home and say, “At least I’m not THAT guy!” or “If THEY can do it, I have no excuse!”
But the thing is, I don’t want to wade through other people’s shit (emotionally or physically) when I’m watching a show about (and literally titled) tidying up. Like, what is this? Soft core Hoarders? Yes, there is absolutely something to be said about our emotional and psychological connection to THINGS and STUFF, I just don’t personally want to watch it unfold as it applies to other people.
To put it lightly, watching this show weirdly feels (to me) not unlike wrestling an alligator into eventual submission. To be clear, I have never wrestled an alligator. But I have watched videos of other people doing it, and while the relief at the end is real, the stress and exhaustion is palpable. I do not want a show like Tidying Up to feel like that.
What I like about Marie Kondo is that she is SO INCREDIBLY GOOD AND LIGHT AND ZEN. (As is the KonMari Method!) But you’re going to go and take me down an eight episode long rabbit hole of some bad energy bullshit to demonstrate how I, too, can achieve tidiness? That’s a long-ass roller coaster of varying degrees of elevated blood pressure, and I DON’T NEED IT.
Now, if you’re the kind of person who likes that kind of drama…again, I’m not here to take it away from you. But it’s not for me. No thanks.
“Okay fine, great, whatever you say. I stopped paying attention to what you were saying like seventeen sentences ago after you typed the word ‘alligator’. But back to the things you don’t like. Surely you must be okay with the translator, Megan?!”
I am not. And I realize this is nitpicking, but I think some of the Marie Kondo magic is literally lost in translation. (I have the same issue with foreign movies and TV shows – ALWAYS sub, never dub.)
“How would the participants be able to communicate with Marie Kondo otherwise, Megan?!?!”
Yes, having a translator is indeed necessary. But couldn’t we put the translator off camera, and give the participants in-ear headsets, thus DE-CLUTTERING THE GODDAMN ROOM OF HUMANS?! AND THEN HAVE SUBTITLES FOR THE VIEWERS AT HOME?! Call me crazy, but this seems to work at the United Nations. JUST SAYING.
So I’ve done a good bit of complaining here. What do I propose instead? Well, you could always read Marie Kondo’s BOOKS. That’s 100% an option. But if we have deemed it essential to have the KonMari Method in TV format, then why can’t we just have Marie Kondo explain to us in her native tongue (with accompanying subtitles) all about her techniques? Or if we need to involve participants for those oh so satisfying before and after reveals, can we make the show a little more akin to Queer Eye? Like, can Marie Kondo team up with an actual licensed therapist to help these people tidy up not just physically, but emotionally? Because as it stands, Tidying Up feels simultaneously incomplete and too much. It needs to pick a lane, in my opinion.
Which brings me back to something I said pretty early on in this diatribe, aka that I can obviously just not watch it. That is my plan.
“But what will you do instead, Megan?”
Maybe some of you are new to the tidying/organization porn game, but it’s alive and well on YouTube. You will find instant gratification watching time lapse videos of people cleaning and de-cluttering various spaces. It’s incredibly satisfying, and as an added bonus, it doesn’t require a 30-40 minute investment in anyone else’s messy (in all the ways) existence. Here’s one example among millions:
If you’re looking to get into minimalism and/or zero waste, there are plenty of YouTube videos about that, too. I personally prefer to use those sorts of things to get my organization fix than what Tidying Up delivers, but I can only dictate what sparks joy in me, not in others. So YOU DO YOU, and I’LL DO ME, and we can at least agree that Marie Kondo is a good and magical human, and that the KonMari Method is creating a much-needed revolution!