THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Pretty Neat: Hit series proves that a tidy house really does equal a tidy mind

Pretty Neat: Hit series proves that a tidy house really does equal a tidy mind

I was a bit of a strange child. I used to, and still do, enjoy tidying; actively taking pleasure in it. During school holidays, I would, without prompt, take an entire day out to declutter, rearrange and clean my room then wait impatiently for my dad to return from work so I could show off the transformation. (Envious parents please note I was a little terror in other ways…)

World-EntertainmentLifestyle
By Amy Bryant

Sunday 3 February 2019, 11:00AM


Imagine my thrill, then, at discovering a TV show about tidying. Then discovering it’s not aired on an obscure channel in the middle of the day to be half-watched by housewives, it’s on Netflix. Then discovering it’s a huge hit. Hooray! Perhaps I’m not such a neurotic oddball after all.

The show I’m referring to is Tidying Up with Marie Kondo which sees the Japanese organising consultant and author help American families cull the clutter in their homes using her ‘KonMari’ method. In brief, families comb through their belongings room by room, keeping items that “spark joy” for them, and thanking then letting go of those that don’t.

Although a simple concept, it’s surprisingly difficult to define “spark joy” concisely. As the show demonstrates, it’s more of a sense, an intangible gut feeling that is individual and doesn’t necessarily appeal to any logic.

Marie encourages families to go through their items individually, hold each one firmly in both hands and observe their physical response. An item can be said to spark joy if it gives the person holding it a thrill. Marie offers a sort of euphoric squeal as her definition of this sensation. Feelings of heaviness, on the other hand, indicate that the item does not spark joy and does not have a place in the house.

What sparks joy for me, and has done for people seemingly the world over, is Marie herself. She is the very essence of kawaii, impossibly petite and pure. Despite the language barrier (Marie communicates with families using an interpreter; I’d like to be a fly on the wall at that television executive meeting…), she endears herself to families before she’s crossed the threshold. She is so delicate I flinch every time she nears a hard surface or sharp corner, anxious she might burst like a bubble.

Unlike brash, dramatic shows like Hoarders, where possessions graze the ceiling in each room and the floor is nowhere to be seen, there is no shock factor in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Marie doesn’t shame families for either the clutter they’ve accumulated or their inability to part with items for no discernible reason other than “because”. That faded, threadbare band T-shirt you bought 20 years ago is allowed to stay.

As a result, though, the before and after reveals are usually nothing to write home about, even with attempts to add drama by bathing the before shots in monochrome. However, it’s the human element that makes this show engaging. It’s seeing a couple, drifting apart with the pressures of full-time jobs and young children, opening a dusty box in the garage and re-discovering their wedding video. It’s the recent widow donating her late husband’s clothes to charity, gaining closure and seeing a clearer. optimistic future for herself. When I welled up it certainly wasn’t over the rows of identically folded socks (although they were beautiful in their own way).

Does the show have a second series in it? I’m not convinced. Each 35-minute episode is regimented in its format: organise clothing; then books, documents, kitchen and bathroom miscellany; and then sentimental items. Viewers may gleam the occasional “bonus tip” but there’s only so far that can carry the show forward.

This season should not be dismissed, though. Since it aired at the start of the year, the ‘Marie Kondo effect’ has seen charity/thrift shops fit to burst with donations and consumers thinking twice about their penchant for fast fashion. Not bad for a show that some critics have said is “just about tidying”.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
AoT confirms overcharging Phuket van driver not registered to pick up airport passengers, tout illegally roams terminal

This article shows clearly that the Phuket RTP is lying when they say that this affair was a misunde...(Read More)


Phuket airport van B3k fare ‘just a misunderstanding’, say police

Mr Prapai is lying, or softening this criminal behavior, or not knowing what he is talking about wit...(Read More)


Phuket airport van B3k fare ‘just a misunderstanding’, say police

'Overcharged a little bit'. A so called cheating little bit, yes? Shame, and the misundersta...(Read More)


Brit expat behind bars for attacking Phuket dog

Good news! I hope he get what he deserve. Dog fighting is not a human matter and pretend revenge bec...(Read More)


PM Prayut asks Thais to be patient

With 'sweeping powers' the thai people were promised: 'First reforms, than (s)election. ...(Read More)


Patong fire destroys 12 shops, causes more than B1mn in damage

In 1 week a student died, 1 in hospital after electrocution, shops burned down. 'Case closed...(Read More)


PM Prayut calls out Phuket van driver for overcharging Aussie tourists

Thai friends on Phuket in 'tourist jobs' are telling me that not many tourist come to Phuket...(Read More)


Searching for justice, nine years on

In regards to the Dependents of the 9 people that were killed & the 4 people that were injured: ...(Read More)


PM Prayut calls out Phuket van driver for overcharging Aussie tourists

Point of fact: in order to have "called out" the van driver the good general (oops, sorry,...(Read More)