The home organization expert tackles bigger messes in Netflix’s charming follow-up to Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo, the popular tidying-up expert, hit her mainstream stride back in 2019 with Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Millions discovered the gleeful Kondo as she exclaimed “I love mess” while teaching families her “KonMari” method of decluttering and organizing their homes. Kondo’s back with her new Netflix series Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo, applying her method not only in homes but also in businesses, relationships, and communities, charming us along the way.
The families and places in Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo are a diverse, entertaining mix of personalities in need of Kondo’s help. The first episode is Logan’s Gardens, a father/son plant nursery in need of organizing their plants, seeds, and a lot of random plant books father Jimmy has collected along the way. The second episode follows small business owner Joanna at her coffee shop The Palm, looking for organization at the shop and in her home office. The third episode drops Kondo in on single mom Lori, a woman looking for structure at home and at her church. As Kondo digs through the clutter, the families also end up working on themselves and their relationships – son Logan and father Jimmy are reconnecting after a period of estrangement, Joanna’s ADHD is amplified with her work office existing in a spare room in her house, and Lori’s trying to find her purpose after divorce, cancer, and a career change. As Kondo organizes their spaces, the families undergo not only physical changes but psychological as well, reconnecting and forging deeper connections with each other.
The star of the show, Kondo, is still as endearing as ever. Some of her methods, like greeting the space before she starts tidying, could cause skeptics to roll their eyes. And sure, one might laugh at people like gardeners Jimmy and Logan saying “Bye, potato” as a way of thanking the spirit of a rotten potato before it is discarded. There’s no denying her methods aren’t effective, as each family and space is transformed at the end of each episode. There are also lighthearted moments, like when Joanna keeps a pair of sweatpants, Kondo replies “It sparks joy to be lazy.” If Kondo wanted to add sweatpants with that quote to her apparel line, I’d bet she’d sell out in no time.
To balance out the episodes, we get to see Kondo behind the scenes in moments with her family. We see her teaching her daughters to organize. As Kondo mentions, she’s been tidying up since she was five years old, so kids are never too young to clean up their spaces. We also see her husband Takumi stopping by Logan’s Gardens with beverages to celebrate their new decluttered space. These moments are a nice peek into Kondo’s life outside of her business, showing how she applies her methods in her home, bringing the whole family along the way.
As with previous series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, there are also segments where Kondo breaks down her organization tips, like scheduling your day or setting up your workspace. These segments might feel simple, but when it comes to “scheduling joy,” how many of us put that in our planner? Kondo not only declutters our exteriors spaces but also removes excess from our interior spaces, getting us to look at what we really need in our everyday lives.
With three episodes, each clocking in at 40 minutes, Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo is easily bingeable during a weekend. The biggest complaint might be that the series is too short. You might do a double-take and refresh your Netflix to make sure you didn’t miss an episode. In a world where we’ve all spent over a year binging long series, our streaming lists are probably overstuffed as a result. Perhaps this short series is a way for Kondo to teach us to declutter our queues, thus sparking joy in our streaming habits.
Sparking Joy With Marie Kondo premieres on Netflix August 31st.