Tidying up with Marie Kondo has been a worldwide success for Netflix. Picture: supplied
Tidying up with Marie Kondo has been a worldwide success for Netflix. Picture: supplied

'Marie Kondo ruined my home'

MARIE Kondo has ruined my home.

It's a big call to go up against the undisputed monarch of organisation, but there, I've said it.

Sure, she may bring calm and order to people around the world, but her fanciful ideas have actually wreaked havoc in my home.

Since the launch of Kondo's hit Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the Japanese organising consultant has become a household name.

Families across the world are frantically practising her folding techniques and scouring craft stores for little boxes to sort out their plugs, pegs and panties.

But, in our desperate efforts to declutter our lives, we seem to be making a bit of a mess of it.

 

MARIE KONDO-MANIA

The 34-year-old clutter guru has made millions spruiking her "KonMari" technique.

Basically, it teaches you to divide up your disgusting house into categories and sort through every piece of junk you own.

Her cleaning portfolio is extensive and, I imagine, colour coded and archived appropriately: She has authored four books about tidying up, and recently launched her hit Netflix series.

Kondo is everywhere and her aesthetic is instantly recognisable: Sensible white tops, sensible white cardigans and sensibly flawless hair.

She also has a husband and two kids who are, presumably, organised neatly on her shelf each night before she slides into her perfectly made bed.

 

Here she is, folding up her husband, Takumi Kawahara, after he spoke back to her once.
Here she is, folding up her husband, Takumi Kawahara, after he spoke back to her once.

But to get to where she is now, Kondo spent five years mastering her craft by cleaning a Shinto Buddhist temple and, as a child, would rifle through her parents possessions, chucking out items she deemed to be useless.

She even suffered a "nervous breakdown" during which she lost consciousness for two hours, and woke to voices in her head, imparting the secret of the ultimate organised space.

"I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying, telling me to look at my things more closely," she wrote in her first book.

 

Marie’s nervous breakdown was not at all creepy.
Marie’s nervous breakdown was not at all creepy.

 

THE CONS OF KONMARI

My first encounter with Marie Kondo was through her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, in 2015.

By the end of chapter one, I was convinced my life needed an immediate overhaul.

I spent the next few days in a blur, moving from room to room, clutching things to my chest and binning those that no longer made me ecstatic.

I was, officially, a Konvert.

But the experience sparked more exhaustion than joy and I soon found myself in an existential pickle, in which I questioned stupid things like, '"an a strapless bra, which serves a vital practical function, ever truly bring me joy?" And, "This shirt makes me happy, but it was made in Bangladesh, so does my happiness come at the expense of an underpaid factory worker?"

It all became a bit much, and I soon realised I wasn't cut out for the clean life.

About six months later, the house was back to its filthy self and my husband unearthed Marie's book, covered in a thick layer of dust beneath the bed.

Oops.

 

The not-so-ancient art of KonMari folding.
The not-so-ancient art of KonMari folding.

My second encounter with the KonMari queen was this month.

I watched an episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and decided to give the whole clean thing another go.

I dived headfirst into drawers, book shelves and racks of clothes I forgot existed.

Finally, my stuff was stripped back to the bare bones and all my joyless crud was bagged, tagged and piled beside the front door, ready to be disposed of.

Aaaannd that's where it has stayed for the past three weeks …

 

It’s getting pretty hard to open the door now.
It’s getting pretty hard to open the door now.

Everyday, I come home to the same pile of rubbish, sitting there, joylessly judging me for not taking it to a new home.

My cat has also repurposed this growing pile of junk as a new bed, and I've lost count of the number of times I've tripped over a bag loop or stubbed my toe on the stack of books.

Feeling guilty and definitely not clutter free, I did some investigating and soon found my problem is not an uncommon one.

Many people have gotten as far as the clearing out part, but for one reason or another, their journeys have stopped abruptly at their front door.

 

'IT'S BEEN SITTING THERE FOR TWO WEEKS'

Katie loved the KonMari technique so much she attacked her wardrobe two weeks ago.

Triumphantly, she stacked up her unwanted clothing in a washing basket, carried it to her bedroom door, and then stopped.

"It has been sitting there for about two weeks," Katie said.

"When I look at it I get disappointed that I forgot to take it with me when I left the house … again!"

Her valiant attempt at decluttering now sits on the carpet, taunting her daily.

"I wonder, when it finally makes it to the car … how long will I drive around with it in my boot?" she said.

"Most likely another 2 weeks."

 

Katie's Kondo Krap hasn't even made it into bags yet.
Katie's Kondo Krap hasn't even made it into bags yet.

 

'THERE IS SH*T ALL OVER THE HOUSE'

Moved to action by the Kondo Komandments, Ellie spent hours hugging her Birkenstocks and faded socks, thanking them for their service.

"I went into a cleaning frenzy and threw out pretty much all of my clothes," Ellie said.

Pretty soon, she was high on the power.

Like a Rugs A Million shipment, everything needed to go, and it needed to go now.

"It felt quite liberating, going through two cupboards of junk and my entire wardrobe," Ellie said.

"I even had to go back after a while and retrieve some things I hastily threw out in the rush to be clean."

Bagging everything up, Ellie dragged them out to her front door, grinning at the thought of how good she about to feel.

"But now there is crap all over my floor, and I'm too lazy to take it to vinnies," she said.

"Now I'm frustrated that I spent all that time cleaning, but it doesn't even feel like it because there is sh*t all over the house."

Preach, sister.

 

Ellie's front door looks like a garage sale.
Ellie's front door looks like a garage sale.

 

OVERWHELMED AND EMBARRASSED

Books, DVDs, decorations - Jessica went through it all in her pursuit of KonMari cleanliness.

It took this Konvert an entire day, and she reportedly loved her new neat shelves and was feeling much lighter for having made the "tough decisions" to part with her possessions.

But Lifeline is still waiting, because Jessica still hasn't carted any of her unwanted junk away.

"That mess is crowding the hallway and it's beyond a joke," she said.

"Also the longer it sits there the more I risk looking twice at something and deciding to salvage it."

Having just moved to a new apartment, Jessica was already in the decluttering mood, so joining the Marie Kondo bandwagon came pretty easily.

"There is nothing that makes you want to throw our half your stuff than watching friends and relatives struggle to move all your stuff," Jessica said.

"And nothing makes you feel so overwhelmed and embarrassed than seeing that junk sitting idle in your house."

 

Jessica’s pile of Kondo Krap stretches the length of her hallway.
Jessica’s pile of Kondo Krap stretches the length of her hallway.

 

Crap everywhere after your Kondo clean? I feel ya.
Crap everywhere after your Kondo clean? I feel ya.


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