Home Alchemy

Following on from the success of her 2014 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo founder of the KonMarie Method for tidying the home, is once again in the spotlight. This time, thanks to an eight-part Netflix part series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo where the decluttering queen facilitates a range of inspiring home makeovers.

Lauded by critics and fans alike, the show has been referred to as a cultural phenomenon, igniting decluttering frenzies around the world with charities reporting noticeable spikes in donations. In some countries, where donations have been down, these have been welcomed. Charities have reported receiving beautifully folded bags full of clothes clearly resulting from Kondo’s suggested protocol, which says that you should love every item you own and anything else should be respectfully folded, thanked and donated.

Sadly, the overall response in Australia has not been as positive. Many charities are reporting an increase in items being dumped in and around charity bins putting a strain on the organisations. And our bags are not full of beautifully clean and folded clothing ready for new homes, more often than not the items are not even suitable for resale so end up in landfill.

Did you know that Australian’s are the world’s second largest consumers of textiles? Each of us buys, on average, 27 kilograms of new clothing and textiles each year, of which around $500 million worth of clothing is sent to landfill.

Clearly, as a nation we need to be more mindful of where we are spending our money (fast fashion?) and what we are bringing into our homes in the first place. Ironically, this kind of forward thinking, introspection and mindfulness is at the very heart of Kondo’s mission. It is not so much about decluttering the house, as it is about encouraging lifestyle changes that cultivate gratitude, joy and simpler ways of being.

Love it or hate it, there is no denying the series takes you on an emotional journey. The families involved share vulnerable and relatable insights into how they got into such overwhelm.  They may have Kondo’s guidance but they do the actual work themselves (it’s no quick fix) and the transformations are extraordinary.  

It is definitely worth watching and my favourite part of each episode is when she arrives and first meets the families, she also takes a moment to silently greet the home. There are a few awkward eye rolls but the families are all genuinely moved after the process. Connecting with your home, even if it is just an exercise in your imagination might just spark some changes in your life also – why not give it a try?

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