Boy, we really know how to wreck a good thing. Japan sends us their charismatic organizational expert and what do we do? We ruin her by turning her into a verb.
Maybe she’s partly to blame. (we also like to blame everyone else.) We had already fallen in love with her KonMari method through her book. It was inspiring, this idea that we could simplify our life by purging an item that no longer sparked joy, even as we graciously thanked it for its service.
But our admiration turned into obsession when she dropped a full season of her TV show on us on January 1, the day in which we are the most vulnerable to any suggestion that we can set ourselves up for a good year. We binge-watched and then we dumped piles of clothing onto our beds. We hugged that old sweatshirt from college, took a long, deep breath and tried to feel our sweatshirt-related feelings. The year ahead depended on this!
We felt so victorious that we moved on to our books, our kitchen cabinets, even our basements and attics. By the time the local Vinnies began to buckle under the weight of our donations, we’d become addicted. We needed the next fix. We began to ask, “I wonder what else I could ‘Marie Kondo’?”
And that’s when things got bad.
We “Marie Kondo’d” everything from our money to our personal relationships. Sure, at some point, most of us have to end a friendship. But to study up on “How to Marie Kondo Your Friends” just seems... off.
Marie was no longer simply the guru who could help us tidy up and simplify our homes by purging clothing, books, papers, mementos and miscellaneous items. No, we dragged her into every aspect of our lives, demanding nothing less than pure, unadulterated joy everywhere: from our smartphone apps to our email inboxes.
But you absolutely cannot “Marie Kondo your LinkedIn network in 4 steps.” No matter how many steps you take, LinkedIn will never spark joy. If anything, it sparks rage. Don’t put that pressure on Marie. She’s done enough.
So let’s tidy up our language here. Let’s declutter our expectations. Let’s Marie Kondo the way we use “Marie Kondo.”