We need to talk about Marie Kondo.
I don’t know about you, but I was one of those people who lapped up her guide to home organisation, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. I folded my clothes into small rectangles. I discarded piles of what she calls komono, random bits and bobs that every individual seems to accumulate at some point in their life. I held items in my hands and attempted to commune with them.
It wasn’t a perfect process, but at the end of it I had a cleaner house to show for it. More importantly, I had – along with millions of fans all over the world – fully embraced Marie’s philosophy: keep only the items that spark joy.
So imagine my surprise when I heard that the KonMari brand had a store. One that doesn’t sell containers or organisation tools, but little bits and bobs — the very komono she advises us to throw out. They cost a pretty penny, too. I mean, $75 for a rose quartz crystal and tuning fork?
It was like the end of a love affair, when you discover your partner isn’t really who you thought they were. And it came complete with all five stages of grief. After realising that it wasn’t in fact an elaborate joke, I was angry. The eyebrow-raising prices, not to mention the superfluous nature of the products ($42 “flower bouquet tote”, anyone?) felt not only hypocritical, but also like the brand was trying to make a quick buck off its faithful followers.
And then came the bargaining: maybe this isn’t Marie’s idea, maybe she’s been kidnapped by a bunch of capitalists who forced her to use her brand to sell stuff. Maybe she has to do this for money.
Or maybe, just maybe, the KonMari way of life we all love has gone the way of so many other followings, and succumbed to the appeal of monetisation.
Right now? I’m just disappointed, as are legions of followers. It seems that everything that Marie had promised and stood for – a clean, zen existence free of material wants – has been shattered by this new development. It’s a sobering reminder to all of us that when a brand’s popularity overrides principle and common sense, it’s time to step back and reassess our relationship with that brand.
Regardless, we can still hold on to the ethos that Marie has taught us. I will, for one, continue to embrace the philosophy of minimalism , even if I don’t quite agree with the direction that the Konmari brand is headed in now. If nothing else, we still have our neatly-folded rectangles as a reminder of the life-changing magic that once was.