Marie Kondo has taken over our TV sets in the biggest way. Her show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ hit our screens at the start of this year – perfect timing for everyone in the mood for a change. Out with 2018 – and the past in general – and in with the new for 2019! Households all over Australia are taking the on the challenge of creating homes that feel more open, spacious and comfortable, while keeping and caring for items which spark joy.
This is fantastic news for a country with a culture of buying things we don’t need (around AU$10.5 billion each year is spent on items that are seldom used!). Once purchased, items are thrown away – making us the 6th largest household waste discarders in the world on a per capita basis. Or for those of us with hoarder tendencies, items are hardly ever discarded. So instead of sending all our barely used junk to the landfill to create mountains of waste, we keep it in our homes creating mountains of stuff. We shove it into cupboards, we trip over it, and when we get so much that we simply can’t function anymore, we hire storage for it. Australia has a storage industry worth over AU$1.1 billion. Customers pay somewhere in the region of AU$250 a month to rent storage, and Mike Rosenbaum, the founder of storage company Spacer says that most units are hired for storage of household items.
The KonMari method created by Marie Kondo encourages us to work systematically through our possessions. Clothing is first, then books, paper and komono (bathroom, garage, kitchen and miscellaneous). Finally, sentimental items are tackled. Each item is held, and if it sparks joy it may stay, but if not it is thanked for serving its purpose and moved on. This last part has been especially popular with people looking for a side-hustle to bring in some extra cash for debt repayments or savings. Win-win!