International Decluttering expert Marie Kondo's new online shop sparks confusion on social media

Decluttering expert Marie Kondo’s new online shop sparks confusion on social media

"Marie Kondo is selling things now and that does not spark joy in me," commented a Twitter user

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“Does it spark joy?” asks Marie Kondo on her Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, holding up a tea pot, a sweater or any sundry home item. If it doesn’t “spark joy” in you, Kondo is emphatic that you get rid of it.

When she was a mere student of 19, Marie Kondo launched her tidying consultancy in Tokyo, turning her passion into a thriving business. She is the author of the bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and has also written three other books on the subject.
The Japanese organising expert is synonymous with tidying and is globally renowned for the KonMari method, her particular decluttering technique that focuses on keeping only things that “spark joy” in one’s life, in order to make room for meaningful people, experiences and objects.
When Kondo launched an online store featuring a selection of home items as a part of her website, people were bewildered at the irony and took to social media to air their confusion and dismay.

“Marie Kondo is selling things now and that does not spark joy in me,” commented a Twitter user.

“Marie Kondo’s online shop is not ‘sparking joy’. Imagine how stressed you’d be sitting at home thinking ‘I just spent $75 on two pointless things that I could have got for a fiver if I’d wanted’. That’d surely bring much more stress than some jumpers folded the wrong way,” was another comment on Twitter.

The items in Kondo’s shop are arranged into seven different categories: decor and living, tidying and organisation, tabletop and entertaining, cooking and kitchen, bath essentials, aromatherapy, and books.

Kondo told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that the purpose of opening an online store was to share with people the items that “spark joy” in her life. She noted that she was not looking to advocate “over-purchasing anything” but that fans had asked her which objects she liked having in her own home.
The site, which currently on ships to the United States, showcases more than 100 products personally selected by Kondo.
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In terms of price, the least expensive product in Kondo’s store is a ceramic chopstick rest for US$8 (S$10). The chopsticks are priced separately at US$10 (S$14).

On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive item for sale is a US$275 (S$375) brass kitchen utensil holder conceptualised by Japanese designer Oji Masanori. Other specially-chosen items by Kondo include handcrafted leather slippers from Tokyo for US$206 (S$281), a decorative cement bowl for US$145 (S$197), an oil diffuser for US$119 (S$162) and a tuning fork (with accompanying crystal to strike) for US$75 (S$102).

The tidying guru said that she was not looking to promote consumerism, remarking that what is most important to her “is that you surround yourself with items that spark joy. If the bowl that you’re using currently sparks joy for you, I don’t encourage replacing it at all.”

On social media, people are wary of Kondo’s latest business move, sensing irony and contradiction everywhere.

“After telling you to get rid of stuff, Marie Kondo has opened a store to sell you other stuff,” said a Twitter user.

completely contradicts her own decluttering philosophy with launch of online shop! ,” was another comment.

“Presumably when people buy enough of your trinkets you show up at their house to help them declutter all the s*** they bought from you so you can sell it to the next customer?” someone wrote.

“She’s invented the perpetual motion machine of consumption. I thought this was impossible under the laws of physics,” remarked another.

Kondo’s future plans for the shop include putting up video footage of the objects for sale in the online store, with her explaining their uses and benefits. /TISG
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