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Style Inspiration

Why I Love Marie Kondo’s New Show on Netflix

I know I know, I should have been the first one in line to watch the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.  As usual, if it involves recreation, I am a little late to the game. And then of course I realized within 2 minutes that the show was so applicable to my job as a personal stylist that it could be considered homework!

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The premise of the show is that Marie Kondo and her translator make weekly visits to the family they are working with, leaving the family to do most of the actual decluttering work themselves in between. Marie Kondo is the spiritual guide, giving detailed practical instructions, but also reminding people that they deserve the joy and extra family time that comes with a less cluttered home and life.There is no magic team leading the family through a process they will never be able to recreate themselves. The subject family has to make all the decisions and do all of the physical labor themselves, which of course helps them realize “the weight” of their previous purchasing decisions or hoarding tendencies.

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The best part for me? Marie Kondo always starts with clothes! The order of clutter-clearing is very prescribed and the first step in each episode I watched was for the woman to put every single piece of their clothing on their bed. You should see the look on the peoples’ faces when Marie Kondo tell them this. Hysterical. Marie Kondo feels that only by seeing how much total clothing you have, can you be shocked enough to let go of what you don’t need, editing your wardrobe down to only what you wear and need. The woman in episode 2 had been using retail as therapy for way too long. It took an hour just to bring all of her clothes into one room. I loved it when Marie Kondo told the woman it is the biggest pile of clothes she’s ever seen.

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Most people probably think first of the money this woman spent on clothing over the years, and the months of vacation in Hawaii it could have funded. However, when she talked about her love of clothing, and the craft room she wanted to make space to create, I was thinking of what happens when people don’t follow their true calling. This woman was really creative and fashionable, and probably should have had a career in fashion. Instead, her love of clothing had spiraled into something unhealthy that prevented her from enjoying her home in retirement. Ironically, getting rid of all the clothes that didn’t serve her would now enable her to follow her passion for fashion.

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But I digress. After the bed piling exercise, Marie Kondo tells the woman (the husband usually goes second) to put each piece of clothing in her hands and feel if it sparks joy when deciding to keep it or not. If not, they are to say thank you before letting it go. It sounds crazy till you try it. I did this with my last bin of pre-baby clothing and it really worked to lessen the emotional blow. And as we always tell our clients when putting all of their hanging clothes onto our rolling rack, clothes seem different when they come out of the closet and into the light of your room.

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Marie Kondo showed the couple in episode 1, harried parents of small children,  how they are free to work on their relationship and enjoy each others company now that they aren’t always fighting about stuff. It really worked! She showed the recently retired couple of episode 2 that they would now be free to enjoy their home, each other’s company, and their passion projects.

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I’m hoping that a few more episodes will give me the motivation to start the process of going through my own house. We aren’t crazy overcrowded relative to some people with children, but I love the idea of seeing space where something could be, but is not. I literally dream of clear surfaces….What about you? Have you Marie Kondo’d your house? Have you read the book or watched the show?

Happy Decluttering!

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas. Are you looking for professional training to become a personal stylist? Learn how you can train with Lani at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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