In light of her new show, “Sparking Joy,” let’s look back at Marie Kondo’s “long con”

In light of her new show, "Sparking Joy," let's look back at Marie Kondo's "long con"
(Image: KonMari)

If this enduring pandemic has gotten you obsessed with organizing your living space, then you’re going to want to watch this: Marie Kondo’s new show, Sparking Joy, is set to premiere on Netflix come the third quarter of the year. 

The new series gives the queen of the KonMari Method the tall task of tidying up an entire town and teaching its residents about the ripple effect that mindful organization has on our lives.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Marie Kondo, and it’s certainly a huge jump from de-cluttering a closet in Tidying Up to sorting out an entire city’s mess in Sparking Joy. But make no mistake — it’s not the “how” we’re curious about, it’s the “where,” as in where will all the cleared-out clutter will end up.

We have to ask, because we haven’t forgotten the ploy she pulled on all of us.

2019’s New Year’s Day saw the debut of the much-awaited reality series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It’s presumably a symbolic premiere: welcome the new year by shedding the anxiety of the past and getting rid of all the material sources of your inhibitions. Minimize your stuff methodically, and dispose of all your belongings that do not “spark joy” anymore. 

Basically, get rid of your sh** because your house is a mess.

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(Image: Netflix)

For a hot second, every household was hooked on the concept. As the tidying guru gave us tips on how to decide which stuff to dispose of, how to neaten up what’s left to save space, and how to make peace with our materialistic past. From Kondo, the concept sounds largely spiritual — hypnotic even. 

The process is supposed to combat the consumerist thrust that turned us into hoarding freaks with buyer’s remorse, and to clear our space so we can attain freedom… but also so she can sell us her stuff.

Suddenly, it’s about getting rid of your sh** so you can buy back her old sh**.

11 months after the premiere of her Emmy-nominated show, Marie Kondo launched an online shop teeming the most random domestic trinkets. Suddenly, the slogan built around “reducing” turned to “replacing.”

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And it opened at the best time too. As symbolic as the show’s arrival was on New Year’s Day to herald the need to purge ourselves, in came Kondo’s online shop to make a killing just in time for Christmas. 

There are more than a hundred items up for purchase on the site. Garden tools, wellness toiletries, kitchen devices, and even toddler kits — every aspect of living is materially represented and carefully curated in Kondo’s ironic enterprise. What better way to “spark joy” than buying a $220 steel wok, right?

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It’s hard to argue against any fan that felt “scammed” by this turn of events.

… But, to be also fair, Kondo never departed from her philosophy. Her Netflix show focused on achieving neatness by discarding things you don’t vibe with anymore, which is to say our “happiness” depends on how well our relationship with the stuff around our house is, not how much or how less we own.

Thus, technically, if crystals, woven containers, and zen garden rakes are your thing, then, by all means, check them out on her online store. Whether their steep price tag “sparks joy” is a different discussion, though.

(Screengrabs from KonMari)


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