Your Netflix questions. My answers.

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The excitement over the new Netflix show has been nuts!

Every day I get texts and messages from friends showing off their newly folded drawers and transformed closets. I LOVE that the show has been a catalyst for so many people to begin simplifying their homes and their lives.

With all the buzz, I’m been getting lots of questions. In today’s blog, I’m answering your most pressing questions about the show and the method.

  • What’s the real order for the KonMari categories? It seems like they skip around a lot on the show.

There are five KonMari categories: Clothing, Books, Paper, Komono (miscellaneous) and Sentimental.

Typically, when we do a tidying “festival”, we do it in this order because it helps us to hone our senses of what sparks joy in our lives. For example, we often have a visceral reaction to Clothing. It sets the tone for how we start our day and for how comfortable and confident we feel. It’s often easier to understand which items of clothing spark joy, so we start there, so we can learn what “spark joy” feels like.

Alternatively, we do Sentimental items last. This is often the most difficult and emotionally-charged category, so you need to go through all of the other categories first so that you can really hone your sense of what sparks joy.

On the show, you might see them bounce from Clothing to Komono. What happened to Books and Paper? In these cases, the homeowners have likely done these categories, but for the purposes of production, they have edited these out.

I always recommend doing the categories in order, when possible. But, as I said on Instagram, there are no “tidying citations” and no wrong answers. As long as you commit to doing the work and to asking yourself “does it spark joy?”, the rest is pretty flexible.

  • It seems like Marie Kondo leaves people to their own devices. I don’t think I could do all that work on my own!

I had the same thought! I thought “Wait, where she is going?!? She just left them with a mound of stuff!”. This is another place where reality TV steps in and production takes priority over true reality. When Marie or a KonMari consultant is working with a client, we typically work side-by-side with them in 5-hour chunks of time. We help them work through each item, and we ask questions when they get stuck.

That said, my clients DO often have a decent amount of homework. They might tidy handbags, scarves and belts on their own, once they’ve gotten a hang of things. Or they might have to make a trip to the tailor to hem all those skirts they’ve been meaning to hem.

I also suspect that there were individuals on hand to support these families behind the scenes so that they could continue the work with some guidance, but without Marie and the cameras.

  • Will all this de-cluttering be bad for the environment?

This is SUCH an important question. If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know that I am passionate about simplifying our homes and our lives SO THAT we can consume and waste less, especially when it comes to our clothes. When I work with my clients, I’m working with them on two things.

First, I’m focused on helping them find good homes for their discards. We take old towels to the animal shelter. We take old laptops to a great non-profit that recycles old electronics while also providing employment opportunities to citizens returning from incarceration. We take half-empty notebooks to the local Free Store. We donate maternity clothes to the local women’s shelter. We even send old worn-out socks to be recycled at Goodwill. It’s important to know the donation options in your area so that you can make sure that your non-trash items can find a second life. Here are some of my favorites in my area.

Second, we’re working on buying LESS. This is major behavior change, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s SO important. I wrote a whole blog post on this topic, and you can see it here. To learn more about over-consumerism in our country, I also highly recommend the documentaries Minimalism and The True Cost on Netflix.

Have more burning questions? Send me an email or comment over on Instagram, and I’ll try to answer them.

Happy tidying, everyone!