At the beginning of 2019, Marie Kondo had the whole world spring cleaning from the palm of her hand.
Her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, forced us to take a look around our over-cluttered, under-organised living spaces and seriously reassess our choices. Suddenly, we were confronted by the fact that nothing in our lives sparked joy anymore, and so we collectively hauled all our possessions to the charity bin—causing an influx of donations so great, that some thrift stores had to publicly announce they could no longer accept any more of our joyless crap.
At first it felt invigorating, and Kondo’s message around sustainability vs. consumerism was a timely one. In both her best-selling novel, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her Netflix series, she stressed the importance of living with fewer possessions and only buying things you really need. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure no one really needs a $75 Rose Quartz Crystal & Tuning Fork. Alas, that is but one of many questionable products currently for sale on Kondo’s online store, KonMari.
In a bewildering off-brand career move, Kondo’s online retail shop also offers free holiday shipping, and a prompt to sign up for her newsletter to receive ‘life-changing magic for your inbox’, AKA junk for your email. Other questionable products on offer include a $145 ‘live edge bowl’ made out of cement, and a $45 ‘crumb brush’, the latter of which is a personal insult to both sustainable production and my two hands. But the one product that really gets my goat for its utter lack of usefulness is the $42 Flower Bouquet Tote. Who is packing a separate shopping bag shaped like a bouquet flute to carry home a single bunch of flowers? Come on, Kondo. The only thing sparking with joy right now is your wallet.
Anyway, the general consensus is pretty negative and wrought with suspicion. There’s even a conspiracy theory floating around that Kondo’s whole career has been building up to this moment, tricking us into throwing out all our shit to make way for hers. I don’t know about that, but it’s definitely a sad reminder that absolutely nobody is above selling out. Forever indebted for the sock-rolling tip, though. Absolute game-changer.