One of the unexpected hits of 2019 so far has been Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”.

If you have (somehow) not seen any of the show – Marie Kondo helps people declutter their homes using her KonMari technique. A technique she wrote about in her international bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. The episodes range from a family of four who have relocated from a four-bedroom home to an apartment, a recently widowed woman grappling with how to let go of her late husband’s possessions to a couple of soon-to-be parents who want to get organised before their new arrival.

I first encountered the idea behind Marie Kondo indirectly through Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k. I love reading and will literally give anything a go – but put a swear word in the title and I’m sold. After a glimpse into what Marie Kondo is all about, I thought, may as well read that one too.

I can’t lie, I was sucked into trying to reinvent how I fold my socks and questioning if the dresses lurking at the back of the wardrobe ‘Spark Joy’. Despite a flurry of activity to begin with it never really stuck but since it is now THE thing to be doing, I feel compelled to try again.

The success of the show has caught everyone by surprise. Dropping on 1st January, it definitely got people at the start of their ‘New Year, New Me’ phase and my Instagram was suddenly filled with videos of people FOLDING – which as calming as they found it was a little infuriating. With tidying becoming part of the ever-growing awareness around wellness, people are asking what ‘Sparks Joy’ in all aspects of their life rather than just their possessions.

And this (in a roundabout way) leads to my point…with our social media feeds filled with gym goers, meal plans, tips to sleep better, meditation affirmations, what protein shakes to drink, what vegan skincare products to use and the Sweaty Betty outfits that will clearly make me run faster… Kondo-ing your life feels like another addition into the pressures that already come from the above – but is it actually beneficial?

Marie Kondo, with her 2.2m Instagram followers, isn’t alone – Mrs Hinch (a team favourite) has 1.7m followers watching her pour pine scented bleach into her toilet every day. Although it may seem a little strange, she is pretty funny, has a cute dog and recommends the best products – on top of that she does talk about her mental health and how cleaning helps her.

Don’t get me wrong, these ‘Cleanfluencers’ reach standards that regular people will probably never achieve, so there may be a negative effect from that. But overall, it’s a refreshing social media trend that can help people find a way to manage their mental health by forming a routine and something that can help with what’s going on in your head, all while getting tips on how to organise drawers and which cloth to use to scrub your bathroom (….its a Minky in case you don’t know).

Connected Podcast 62 – Ben Rickard, Chief Digital and Data Officer, MediaCom UK
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