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Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ and its subsequent Netflix show have changed the face of cleaning as we know it. Since it landed back in 2019, her Netflix show, especially, has seen even those of us who haven’t seen it forever asking ‘does this bring me joy?’ in our quests to clear clutter and create a nicer living space

This is all great news for bringing cleaning into the mainstream and finally teaching us how to streamline our living spaces. But, already, trends are changing, and it’s becoming evident that the marvellous Ms Kondo’s method might not quite be the all-inclusive solution that we need. Most notably, while it undeniably teaches us a lot, the KonMarie method fails to mention these three ever-arising modern homeowner priorities.

Finding joy in imperfection

While most of us hadn’t heard of it until recently, wabi-sabi actually heralds from ancient Japanese tradition and involves quite simply embracing imperfection. Far from the KonMarie approach of ‘everything in its place,’ a wabi-sabi home incorporates well-loved, older pieces, and embraces mismatched stylings. While a simple and back-to-basics approach is inherent here, too, there’s far less getting rid, and far more making do and mending, which many millennials find suits their finances and priorities a whole lot better. 

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The need for a conscious approach

As environmental focuses heat up, conscious cleaning is quickly becoming an ever-more pressing focus, with more of us than ever reaching for organic cleaning products and positive habits. This is, unfortunately, something that Marie’s method has come under fire for, especially considering that she makes no real mention of what you should do with all those items that don’t bring you joy anymore. Of course, most of us are tuned-in enough to give things away rather than send them to landfill, but that’s not the point. Rather, eco-conscious homeowners are far more liable to embrace conscious focuses such as reusing, mending, and rehoming.

Getting to the root of the problem

While undeniably fantastic for clearing the cobwebs, Marie Kondo’s teachings also largely fail to address issues at their root. For instance, it’s worth noting that our impulse purchases are often the reasons that our homes become out of control in the first place. Rather than getting rid of that stuff and, as mentioned, damaging the environment, many of us should address our buying habits in the first place. For instance, limiting the retailers that you purchase from or even just making yourself wait a week to see if you still feel the same pressing need for that furniture piece can make a huge difference, keeping your home clear, your bank balance happy, and the environment a whole lot better off for it. 

So you see, even if the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up changed your life, it might be time to yet again change your cleaning habits to suit the times. You never know; pairing these new approaches with your tried and tested methods might just see you reaching new levels of cleaning clarity.

Aggie Aviso