Marie Kondo: Keeping the good and chucking the bad

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You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo.

If not, she’s a four-foot-seven, Japanese, tidying powerhouse, whose decluttering methods have become so popular that she’s now a best-selling author with her own TV series.

We’ve been so influenced by her that UK charity shops have reported a 50% increase in January donations.

Something about her is appealing to us.

What Marie’s got right

Marie’s process creates order and structure. She’s shown around chaotic homes, then applies one key idea - everything should have a place where it belongs.

In this, Marie reflects the God who made her. He first created order, structure and spaces for things to belong (Genesis 1:9). He created us to be like him (Genesis 1:27), which involves maintaining and honouring what he has organised (Genesis 1:28).

Marie’s approach also taps in to Jesus’ teaching that life isn’t found in owning lots of stuff (Luke 12:15). Her war against clutter can help us who are prone to believing that things will satisfy our hearts.

What Marie’s got wrong

However, outside of knowing God, Marie’s methods will be limited in their wisdom.

Marie believes that the possessions you really love will themselves ‘spark joy’, bringing you the ‘ideal life’. But God’s people are called to a radically different view of our material wealth:

‘For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.’ 1 Timothy 6:7-8

So – be tidy! Pursue order. Don’t keep a bunch of stuff you don’t use, but use it to bless others.

But don’t worship your order, or your things. Jesus says our treasure is best stored not in our fleeting homes, but in our forever one (Matthew 6:19-20).