Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix on New Year’s Day, just in time to help you with any resolutions about decluttering or getting organized. The series follows Marie Kondo — author of the bestselling books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (published in 2014 in the U.S.) and Spark Joy (2016) — as she and her Japanese-to-English translator help families pare down their cluttered houses to only the objects that “spark joy” for them.
It’s called the KonMari method, and it’s sparked plenty of jokes. Some of the jokes make hay of the repeated phrase “spark joy”:
Other jokes poke fun at Kondo serenely cradling and thanking an object before discarding it. To be fair, this is a reflection of Shinto religious beliefs — thanking an object for its usefulness. And even if you aren’t religious, you may still want to thank that shirt you’re throwing out because, in Kondo’s words, “the shirt taught you that you do not like to wear shirts like this.”
But perhaps the advice of Kondo’s that has been least understood and most groused about is when she said she only has 30 books. Some people seemed to have thought she was recommending everyone throw out all but 30 of their books, which isn’t the case. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she wrote, “Keep only the books that will make you happy just to see them on the shelves, the ones that you really love.” For her, that’s 30 books. For you, it may be more. For me, it’s all of the books. ALL OF THEM.
The misunderstanding led to a viral tweet telling people not to listen to Marie Kondo’s advice about books. The author of that tweet then had to set her Twitter account to private as a flamewar ensued between people mad about the idea of getting rid of books and people making fun of people who are mad about getting rid of books and this Twitter ouroboros will never stop devouring itself; it loves the taste too much.
But it wasn’t just the bibliophiles who were resistant to winnowing down their stuff:
Others were quickly won over:
Soon people were looking for other parts of their life to KonMari:
Others just enjoyed Kondo’s energy:
Some took it too far:
Then some took it even further:
People pitched new show ideas for Marie Kondo’s next venture:
Conspiracy theories were hatched:
And people looked forward to the future:
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is currently streaming on Netflix.