The KonMari effect on consumers

Penny Flanagan has written a lighthearted piece about the Marie Kondo tidying craze. She raises legitimate concerns about responsible disposal and waste management (some charity shops are at full capacity due to donors generosity), but she also questions why we’re buying so much stuff in the first place. I’ve followed this tidying trend with much interest (and may have partaken in some mindful de-cluttering, myself) and I think Penny’s advice to apply the ‘spark joy’ principle at the time of purchase is very sensible. What are your thoughts on the Marie Kondo method? Have you been caught up in a tidying frenzy? Or, do you have any sensible shopping tips and ideas for disposing of unwanted items responsibly?


Read the book a year ago, and decided it was clutter, so got rid of it.


{I wrote the following bit without reading Penny Flanagan’s piece. In the first two paragraphs I think I am saying much the same thing as she is.}

Marie Kondo is a fad, like so many others I have seen come and go. Her philosophy is after the event, and is treating the symptoms not the cause. What needs to be addressed is the cause of people’s need to buy and buy and buy stuff.

What it comes down to I think is people need to stop being acquisitive. You don’t need the newest of everything technological. We don’t need to go out and buy the latest fashion items. We don’t need to shiniest toys. Be happy with what you have got.

If you really really really need something and can afford to buy it for cash, get it. If you can’t afford to pay cash for it, don’t get it. Using this approach, you don’t get into debt, and you don’t get too much clutter. (OK you do get a bit of clutter sometimes.)


I sort of get it.

However at the time of purchase we are often trapped in other ways.

Change is often thrust upon us. If you look at how technology is changing, often tech no longer works. Mobile phone tech put an end to my perfectly useful CDMA phone and wireless data device.

Many items have style or fashion clues. Clothing in particular. What is on trend today may not so easily mix and match with yesterday,

I feel there are many more examples others may find to support the notion participation is not always voluntary.

Paper books and magazines vs digital might be another. Library on a wall and floors vs one handheld cloud connected device. Note carefully the limited lifetime support before there are no more updates!


According the Mr Z, everything he has “sparks joy” for him, including other people’s junk they were trying to throw out, old cars that gave up years ago, old TVs, bits of old chipboard slowly turning to sawdust … He is asking if I can find $50k to build ANOTHER shed to store more of it. … :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I don’t need Marie Kondo to add to his argument to continue hoarding … :joy:


I started watching Marie Kondo and she just annoyed me. Too precious and cute for words. I like the idea of decluttering, god knows I need to do a TON of it. What I do, instead of sending to charity, is give away on gumtree or facebook, if the item is serviceable but no longer meaningful to me.

I have two 6ft bookcases full of books I will likely never read again, but I derive a lot of comfort from having them around. (I find that the arthritis and tendonitis in my hands prevents me from holding dead tree books for any length of time). I have 3 eink devices which I rarely use because in the end, I use my phone for reading 99% of the time. There are some great library apps, plus I have my own collection sorted in Calibre. I need to send the Kindle, Kobo and Sony reader to live with someone who will love them.

I have a real problem with gadgets. I love em. But then, they dont work as I expect and I have a gadget I dont bond with. The same does not apply to cameras. I have too many. But I use them all at various times for different reasons.

I guess I am a hoarder. Oops. Still cant get to grips with sugary sweet Marie.


I have a mate (really, not me!) that grabs whatever he sees might be good or salvageable off nature strips. He has refurbished much of his period house by restoring other people’s junk and done it well over decades.

But he is also resistant to letting go of anything that can be repaired or restored, no matter how unreasonable. Recently his 22 year old fridge lost its cool but instead of replacing it he spent about 1/3 the value of a new more efficient one getting it repaired - it was a dodgy fan; he is happy because the repair has a 2-year warranty so he expects the fridge to go at least that long an. That the warranty is on the new fan not the 22 year old compressor escapes him re the economics. The old fridge gives him no end of joy because he saved it from the tip. He has many similar things. I understand him.


That sounds like Mr Z - wanting to repair things that are not worth it. He took 8 u/s analogue TVs to our local shop and they refused to touch them, even if he paid up-front. I can understand that he is saving things from landfill, it might come in handy someday etc but with a very limited budget he wants to spend an inordinate amount of money to repair and store. His son also collects the likes of flood damaged gear that needs $1,000s spent and tends to load his father with it. It’s too easy to drop off useless gear at Dad’s than to pay the dump fees - old HWS, rusted trailers, fridges (he has kept his 1963 fridge going … with new motors), ant infested wood, car bodies, various machines (dozer, tractors, mowers, forklifts …) Once repaired he has formed an emotional attachment and can’t let it go. Besides that they are usually cobbled together and don’t work as a advertised.

I agree that we should make better buying decisions, that would reduce the consumer goods that need to be rehomed. Tip fees mean a lot of junk ends up dumped on charities (or saved by the likes of Mr Z), and Councils start passing by-laws about how many car bodies etc are allowed on a property.