Tidying Up with Marie Kondo will convince the most cynical among us that it’s reasonable to derive joy from every single thing in your house, and that anything you’re hanging onto that doesn’t provoke a joy reaction should be seriously held to account. ... What’s interesting about Tidying Up is that it isn’t especially voyeuristic--and that seems to be what makes it work.
There’s something about the way in which Kondo explains the goals of her exercises that gets her clients to open up. This is the key difference between Tidying Up and most other reality shows: There’s no sense of competition, and the ostensible makeover at the heart of every episode simply involves regular people becoming happier and more at ease in their own home.
Happily for those spending their New Year’s Day seeking a bit of uplift for the year ahead, Kondo makes decluttering seem within reach, and appealing, too. Better still for all television fans, she’s an amiable presence.
It may not provide much in terms of tips or motivation (watching Netflix kinda implies that the viewer is chillin', by definition) but it does spark a glimmer of inspiration and yes, some joy, much like its happy and gay counterpart Queer Eye.
The show is decent company if you’re just sitting there folding the laundry, and you will be folding it with unprecedented panache--conveying “love to your clothes from the palms of your hands,” Kondo says--if you follow her teachings. Tidying Up is mindless television on the topic of mindful domesticity.
Kondo is not a fraud – she’s genuinely good at tidying and she does have other tips – but it is hard to see the life-changing magic in, for example, reorganising a drawer by placing smaller shallow boxes inside it. The best moments in the show happen between the reconnecting householders in Kondo’s absence. ... There’s a bit of Netflix bloat, too, with the opening episode running well over the typical half-hour limit.