9 Organizing Lessons We Learned From Marie Kondo's New Netflix Series "Sparking Joy"

Socks organized vertically in the konmari method

Laura Walter Photography / Courtesy of The Tidy Coo

More than a decade after Marie Kondo released her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the creator of the KonMari Method has launched her second series for Netflix. As a follow-up to the first series, Tidying Up, Sparking Joy follows Kondo as she motivates the masses by explaining how her methods aren’t just for tidying up—they can help us all lead happier, more well-balanced lives. 

We spoke with KonMari–certified experts who also happen to be fans of the show, and rounded up a few key lessons anyone can learn from the series.

Cleanse Your Home's Energy by Greeting Your Space

In the premiere episode, “The Joy of Family,” Kondo visits a LA-based father-son duo who own a garden center called Logan’s Gardens. At the start of the episode, Kondo greets her home, which she then does upon arrival at Logan’s Gardens.

Sue Spencer of A Life More Organised broke down the history of this process, explaining its value in day-to-day life. “The KonMari Method has its roots in Japanese culture and the Shinto religion,” she says. “Marie believes there can be a tense anticipation before tidying and feels that greeting the home calms this. Your home is the one place you should feel calm and relaxed, [and] recognizing this is a great start to your tidying journey.”

You Can Use Marie Kondo's Methods to Organize Your Day

In Sparking Joy, Kondo explains how using her KonMari Method helps her to organize everything—even her daily schedule. Katrina Hassan of Spark Joy London feels the same way. “Start with your reality,” she says. “Write down your schedule as it is now.”

From there, work to discover what it is you need in your day, and what you can remove. “Write down your ideal day that allows you to be joyful, productive, and present, allowing time for self-care,” Hassan says. “Rewiring your brain to reconnect to a schedule that sparks joy takes a lot of practice and time. Start small with simple activities and make sure that these activities are embedded into your day before incorporating the next change.”

If You Show Gratitude, You'll Find Contentment

Throughout the series, it's clear that Marie Kondo believes that gratitude is an important way to cleanse the energy of our spaces, an approach Dr. Aparna of Global Mindful Journey believes to be true.

“I teach my clients to show their thanks on a regular basis for their home and belongings that give them joy and comfort,” Dr. Aparna says. "This daily ritual [teaches us] to enjoy being mindful, content, and find joy with not only basic necessities but also with sentimental items they own.”

Tidying up Connects Us With the Past

In the first episode, there are a few touching moments where Jimmy Williams, owner of Logan’s Gardens, and his son, Logan, each find something of sentimental value. This is one of the pivotal reasons Kondo's method for tidying up can lead to a true spark of joy.

“The tidying journey is a steppingstone to self-discovery, introspection, gratitude, creativity, and above all, contentment,” says Dr. Aparna. “The Method hones our ability to embrace our past, helps us see them as learning experiences, and use the transformative discovery of ourselves to make permanent and positive changes in our lifestyles.”

Tidying up Clears Your Mind

“In the second episode, Marie helps a cafe owner who has ADHD,” says Rosie Barron of The Tidy Coo. “As a neurodiverse individual myself, I see how decluttering and getting organized impacts life far beyond having a tidy home. It really gives you the space in your brain to be more focused and more present.”

Jane Fern of Simply Tidy With Jane agrees: “[Sparking Joy showed me] how important it is to have an organized home life in order to have an organized business life, as your day starts and ends at home! The tools you learn from organizing your home will help you organize any workspace.”

Store Things Vertically to Maximize Space and Minimize Waste

On a more practical level, Kondo is a huge advocate for storing things vertically for space and efficiency. In the show, she guides her clients through a reorganization process that creates a more aesthetically pleasing space, while also making things easier to find. “Vertical stacking … helps to visualize, access, and put things away with ease,” says Dr. Aparna. “[It also] allows us to have a bird’s eye view of how much we own, thus preventing duplication and waste.”

“Instead of stacking papers in a pile on your desk, consider using a magazine holder to store your papers upright,” Hassan says. “Not only will you be able to flick through the papers quickly and identify what you're looking for, [but] the magazine holder also creates a limit on how much you can store there over time, prompting you into swift tidying action should the space become full!” 

Spencer told us it’s her favorite element of the KonMari method, too. “Storing clothes vertically means that you can see exactly what you have. It’s easy to grab what you need and therefore all your clothes are more likely to be worn.” The same goes for items in her fridge. “I firmly believe that if you can see it, it will be used—and nothing will end up forgotten and festering under a pile of other vegetables.”

Sort Things by Category and Material

Much like sorting things vertically, Kondo also encourages people to sort things by category and material. This is for aesthetics as much as logic.

“By keeping like things together, it makes it so much easier to find things or replace consumables,” Fern says. “I love how in office organization, Marie makes a distinction between office equipment and office supplies (consumables). Office equipment means things like staplers and hole punches that are not replaced very often, while office supplies are things like paper and paper clips that get used up. By storing consumables together, you can easily identify your stock.”

Barron agrees. “I really love to store like with like,” she says. “We saw this a lot in the show and I see it a lot in people's homes—things will be spread around, with one item in this box, and another similar item in another box. It's great to bring these things together into one place as it helps us to see how many of an item we have, and also to easily find them again.”

The Method Leaves Room for the Important Stuff

In the show, Kondo explains how tidying up isn’t just about creating space in your home—it also creates space in your day. Dr. Aparna, Hassan, and Spencer all felt this was one of the strongest lessons from the series.

“What I absolutely loved about Sparking Joy was how it took the KonMari method beyond the home and applied it to building relationships,” Dr. Aparna says. “THIS is what I advocate about tidying your home when I work with clients. Make room for what matters the most: your relationships with your families, friends, and loved ones (rather than just discarding things that you don't need at home).”

Hassan agrees: “I work with a lot of families and it was moving to see [in one episode] how a mum's effort to organize her work environment lead to her tidying her home space first, and how this had such a positive impact on the members of her family. I see this all the time in my own work with clients … I believe maintaining a tidy home is a joint effort; the KonMari Method provides the springboard and structure for everyone to work together as a team to achieve this.”

“One of my favorite parts was in episode two, when Joanna and Ben agree to go on date nights again [after] having been able to address the balance of work and home life,” Spencer says. “You witness them reconnecting and focusing on what’s important for them as a couple (and family).” 

Understanding What Sparks Joy Is Key

It’s clear in the series that the early days of using the method leads to a calmer, more mindful existence. But Spencer assures us that this is an effect that lasts with long-term use. 

“I’m a more conscious consumer, I’m more aware of what I bring into my home, making sure it’s something I need or something that sparks joy,” she says. “The practice of understanding what sparks joy and making positive decisions about what to keep and taking learnings from what you discard really sticks with you, a bit like practicing gratitude daily. I feel like I’ve trained my mind to look for the positives.”

For more KonMari Method–approved tips, you can find Dr. Aparna on Instagram at @globalmindfuljourney, Jane Fern at @simplytidywithjane, Katrina Hassan at @spark_joy_london/, Rosie Barron at @the_tidy_coo, and Sue Spencer at @alifemoreorganised. Sparking Joy is available to stream now on Netflix.