A Guide on How to Marie Kondo Your Life
Marie Kondo—the modern-day Mary Poppins that has launched a thousand memes and cleaning sprees, turning mountains of mess into OCD-approved environments. The dainty Japanese fairy godmother has written books about her methods as early as 2011, but it wasn’t until Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (2019) that propelled her to Internet fame. In each episode, she visits an American household, sits in a seiza position on the floor, prays to the house and proceeds to organise everything.
While half of her practices compose of strategic folding, storage and organisational tricks, the Internet is fixated on the part where she gets homeowners to go through their belongings and see which items spark joy. Those that do are keepers. If not, #ThankYouNext.
Despite tackling only physical messes, this process has been touted as life-changing, so what if you actually applied them to other aspects of your life, too? Here’s what it would look like with a step-by-step guide.
19 Steps to “Marie Kondo-ing” Your Life
1. Be au fait with anything pertaining to Marie Kondo and her new show on social media. Succumb to the herd mentality; purchase a Netflix subscription and watch the first episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
2. Have an emotional reaction to the episode where the couple talks about how they’ve grown apart because of neglected household chores, or something to that effect.
3. Close your laptop and chuck it in a corner of your bedroom. Grab your phone, and text everyone about your newfound love for “that Japanese cleaning lady”. Briefly mention the Russian Doll series, You, the Gossip Girl-esque stalker drama, and the final season of Game of Thrones to fit in with the generation of Netflix-obsessed millennials.
4. Take every chance you get to preach about the metaphysical benefits of decluttering and how it’s “minimalism for the soul”.
5. Cull half, nay, three-quarters of your belongings, including that scratchy sweater from your grandmother. Take a whole hour to thank the sweater for its service. Ignore your guilt as you toss it into the trash can, fully missing the donation bin, because let’s face it, no one should endure rashes just to stay warm.
6. Take a selfie in your Kondo-fied apartment, which now looks closer to a newly bought BTO flat. Throw in a few words about how your folded jeans look like giant Swiss rolls. Contemplate cutting actual Swiss rolls (and other sugary foods) out of your life too.
7. Endeavour to one-up other KonMari enthusiasts. Rethink your entire life—or what’s left of it.
8. Start with your diet because you can’t stop thinking about Swiss rolls.
9. Compile a mental list of everything that you associate with the extra cushioning around your waist. Don’t forget anything that hurts the planet, animals, and innocent human beings.
10. Go through each item on your list to see if they spark joy. Skip chocolate because you already know chocolate is the root of all happiness. Come to a realisation that burgers, pizzas, fries, brownies, even Swiss rolls spark a truckload of joy. End up renouncing things like celery, bitter gourd, olives and spinach.
11. Attempt to apply the KonMari method to your exercise routine (or lack thereof). Struggle to decide whether what you’re feeling is delight or dread. Abs excite you, but the physical torture doesn’t. You’re stuck in limbo for this one.
12. Move on to your relationships. Make a point of meeting everyone you know, and I mean everyone, to hold them individually in your arms, as you close your eyes and wait for that magical spark of joy to light up your heart.
13. If you don’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling, release your grip, look them straight in the eyes in a slightly sympathetic manner, and thank them for all those backhanded compliments that taught you what a toxic friendship looks like.
14. Carry said friend to the nearest dumpster and lay them down politely. Don’t look back as you walk away.
15. Repeat the process for family members, both immediate and extended. Remind yourself it’s all in the name of self-love. Chinese New Year reunions have always felt like obligations anyway, and you’re sick of distributing money to people you hardly know.
16. Dump your balding, cantankerous leech of a spouse. You miss the single life. Thank God, you don’t have any children that you know of.
17. Reach the brink of quitting your job (because work is for suckers), before realising that you love getting a regular stream of pay cheques. Soak in the euphoria of financial freedom, while cruising in your new Cadillac towards The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Baby needs a new Patek Philippe heirloom.
18. Go to bed every day, cuddling your favourite designer possessions to maximise your joy quotient.
19. Talk to the two people left in your life about how happy you are and how it’s all because of “that Japanese cleaning lady”, even though you’ve completely lost sight of what she actually preaches.