Bean was invited to go to church with a friend of my family, so Avon and I thought we would take advantage of the opportunity and give our apartment a thorough cleaning. What that really mean is we sat on the couch mindlessly searching for something to watch. I suggested we finally give Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the new Netflix show featuring author and organizing expert, Marie Kondo. We attempted to watch it when it premiered on New Year’s Day, but could hardly keep our eyes open long enough to watch a full episode. That’s the same way I felt when I attempted to read her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a few years ago. To help keep our interest, we browsed the available episodes for a story we could relate to. The last episode of the season titled “When Two (Messes) Become One”, piqued our interest and with one click, we were brought into Angela and Alishia’s cluttered condo.
It wasn’t long before I asked Avon to pause the show. Not because my eyelids were getting heavy, but because I was absolutely bursting with insights! When Angela and Alishia shared the tension they experienced as a result of their clutter, Avon and I finally discussed our own tension around tidying. Like the couple, who had been avoiding their growing pile of clutter behind closed doors, we were also avoiding talking about our feelings. We used our brief intermission from the show to talk openly and honestly about our frustrations, challenges, expectations and everything in between. Acknowledging the tension also alleviated it and we resumed the show hopeful for more gems of wisdom we could apply to our relationship and our home.
Another powerful moment was when Marie introduced herself to their house and invited the couple to join her. She instructed Angela and Alishia to share their intentions for their home, which we thought was incredibly special and something we want to do together as a family too.
After spending a day with Marie, the couple set to work applying her KonMari method to their home. They assess their individual belongings separately, which prompted another request to pause the show for a heart to heart. I shared with Avon that a lot of my stress around cleaning came from feeling a sense of responsibility for keeping his belongings organized too. Taking care of my own belongings can be hard enough. Add Bean’s belongings and it becomes a challenge. Throw Avon’s belongings on top and now I’m completely overwhelmed. I was surprised to hear Avon say that he felt the same way. We agreed to be more diligent about cleaning up after ourselves and to teach Bean learn how to properly clean up after himself. That way, we’re all sharing the responsibility of cleaning. I felt so inspired, I almost wanted to hop off the couch and start cleaning myself! Instead, we resumed the show.
Avon, however, was so inspired after watching Marie’s first folding demonstration that he grabbed his own clothes and started folding too. I was far too mesmerized by her technique to join him (though, I did eventually try my hand at KonMari folding).
We continued watching the show in awe while discussing how our collective clutter impacted our relationship and what we planned to do about it. We still have yet to give our apartment the KonMari treatment, but hey. We all have to start somewhere and talking it out is as good a place to start as any.
Have you watched Tidying Up With Marie Kondo? Share what you’ve learned from the show with me below!