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INDIEWATCH: Netflix's 'Tidying Up' is a holistic delight

"Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" is a new home organization show on Netflix. imdb.com.

Don't expect "Hoarders" with Netflix's "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

The author and Japanese organizing consultant visits seemingly OK spaces — they're well-decorated and lived in. But check out the closets, the dressers, the gaming rooms flooded with Christmas decorations.

Working with an interpreter, Kondo wafts into homes, her demeanor is light and fairy-like, and you might wonder about its sincerity. But the freedom about her is legit, and she means business.

She's not afraid to climb onto a carousel horse, lie across the carpet or jump into the abyss of packed closet space. Woman is hands-on.

Kondo is the author of 2012's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." (If you haven't read it, you probably know someone who has.) And everyone has drawers, so it's universally interesting learning her decluttering method that starts with piling all of your clothes, yes, all of them, on your bed.

She prompts each client to sorting through, consider each article, and question if it sparks joy.

Here's a tricky part for her clients, and maybe for you, too. In a time where sincerity can feel rare, it takes a moment.

But watching Kondo kneel, in a designer skirt, on the floors of her clients' homes, as a greeting and a thank-you to the space for protection, it feels like an invitation to learn more about whatever she's dishing. "The house is there to support you and help you," she says.

And while her tools are strict, i.e., sentimental items are sorted last because they're the most difficult, "Tidying Up" sidesteps the monotony of shows with methodical solutions like "Cesar 911." While the steps are the same, this one focuses on the people and what's changing for them internally — with a family downsizing from a home to an apartment, a widow ready to make space, a couple wanting to add to the fam.

And Kondo has a magic about her, guiding clients with well-executed, non-threatening questions through an interpreter. You wonder if the language barrier / delay helps her working with people taking sensitive steps.

"Tidying allows you to create a space that suits your ideal self," she says.

Each episode has segments about how to store ties, seasonal belongings, photos.

Humor comes through the lens and post-production, capturing clients tripping over their stuff, and at one point, a cat jumps out and surprises Kondo. The charming background music stops as the hostess and client get back on track.

In a time of makeover shows and HGTV, it's refreshing to see one about the home that involves time, teamwork and donating overflow. And with each item that's discarded, Kondo asks clients to offer it gratitude during the sorting process.

It's easy to grasp her message, do a mental scan of your own home, to reflect and to want to take notes on how to fold a fitted sheet. Seriously.

This one's easily binge-able.

Grade: A

"Tidying Up with Marie Kondo"

Starring: Marie Kondo

Time: Episodes run 35-47 minutes long

Rating: TV-PG

Available: Netflix

Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 723-5346
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