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With the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a self-described "tidying expert," managed the impossible: convincing Americans that cleaning could "spark joy." Kondo, the series's star, radiates calmness. Her general thesis: with time, dedication and less junk, any home, and life, can be put in order.
But the launch of an e-commerce website, KonMari, the same name of Kondo's tidying up method, seems to run against everything she stands for. Why is the queen of tidying up trying to sell us more stuff?
Kate Lester, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, says that organization doesn't mean throwing things away; it means building a system to make life easier. “There are so many other things to stress about these days. Finding your keys shouldn’t be one of them,” Lester says. And organizational tools and storage solutions are key to keeping the chaos at bay.
Kondo agrees. “The aim of storage and organization tools is to give every item a home — a designated spot for it to rest and recharge when not in use,” Marie Kondo says. “Ensuring that each one of your belongings has its own spot is the only way to maintain a tidy and clutter-free home. Clutter has nothing to do with what or how much you own — it’s the failure to put things back where they belong.”
In January 2021, Kondo widened KonMari’s reach by collaborating with The Container Store. The collection of more than 100 pieces features wicker baskets, desk organizers and other miscellaneous storage options for every room, and corner, of the home.
“The way you store your items is an expression of gratitude for all the support they provide. Giving them a cozy spot to kick back and relax is the least you can do,” Kondo says. “This is why I recommend investing in storage and organization items that are both functional and joy-sparking.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, finding joy feels like striking gold. For Lester, organizing is a way to have power over something tangible. "This is a way for me to have some semblance of calm and control among the chaos,” she says. If you can’t control your emotions, the least you can do is control your clutter.
Lester’s own tidying method is a three-step process: sort, purge and regroup. She evaluates the items that survived the purge, figures out the best ways to store them, then shops the storage items that will grant her easiest access.
Organizing is having its big moment right now. The Container Store’s collection with Kondo is its second collaboration with a juggernaut organization brand. The Home Edit, made up of organizing duo Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, who have their own books and legion of decluttering-obsessed fans, launched a line with The Container Store in 2020. And people are buying. In the second quarter of 2020, The Container Store had its best second quarter sales in the company’s over-40-year history; in the third quarter of 2020, the company’s net sales were up over 20 percent and online sales nearly doubled compared to the same timeframe last year. year over year in the following quarter.
With Kondo helping The Container Store kick off its 2021 with a bang, there seems to be no slowing down in the push to get organized. Maybe it’s time to get the kids in on the fun, too. Kondo certainly has.
“As I tidy, I explain what I’m doing so [my daughters] can learn from me,” she says. “If children see their parents tidying regularly with a smile, they will think of tidying as a positive everyday activity."