I'd like to tell you about the life-changing magic of not getting rid of things -- and keeping them in the cloud. Marie Kondo has inspired many of us to unstuff closets and discard piles of belongings banished to basements. But there's a part of her decluttering process that feels out of sync with 21st-century tidying up. In her hit Netflix show, Kondo instructs people to sort through old photos and papers, and throw away the ones that don't "spark joy." "By keeping less -- documents, folders, files, emails, etc. -- you create more space in your life," Kondo told me. "Though digital clutter is not tangible like clutter in your home, I believe it carries the same weight."
If you've been watching Marie Kondo's Netflix show, Tidying Up, you've no doubt caught the cleaning bug. Her mission is to "spark joy in the world through cleaning," by throwing out anything that doesn't make you happy. But while Kondo's method may help keep your closets and cupboards clean, what about your phone? With six-inch screens and storage both on and off your device, it's easy to fill up every digital nook and cranny with things you don't need, don't use, and just plain don't remember. If you transfer Kondo's concepts to an Android phone and think of clothing as apps, books as downloaded videos and songs, and so on, you can begin to apply her wisdom to your mobile life.
If you haven't heard of Marie Kondo yet, it won't be long before you do. Thanks to her new Netflix programme, the Japanese tidying guru has become January's "It girl". Chance is, you already know someone who is using her "KonMari" method, which promises not only a de-cluttered house, but also a clean mind. "When you put your house in order, you put your affairs, and your past in order, too," Kondo explains in her 2014 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. "As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need and what you don't, and what you should and shouldn't do."
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. Lately it seems like everyone and their cousin has been decluttering their homes thanks to Marie Kondo, author of the New York Times best-selling novel, The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up and now star to the Netflix binge-worthy series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. So don't be alarmed if you walk in on your Aunt Sue holding up an old sweatshirt from the '90s, asking herself if it "sparks joy." She's not crazy; she's simply caught on to the "KonMari" method.
If you're planning to watch Marie Kondo's new Netflix show so that you can gawk in horror at the unmanageable messes of others, you'd be better served tuning in to Hoarders instead. Kondo, the Japanese organization consultant who has transformed decluttering into something of a religion with her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is now converting hapless Americans to her minimalist lifestyle in front of a camera. But the very first family she visits on Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has a living room so spotless that your mother would be proud to let company sit there, and it's furnished like an Ikea showroom, right down to the inspirational décor reminding guests to "Imagine" and "Believe." Are these people really in need of Kondo's magic? Kevin and Rachel Friend have two toddlers, which means, as you might expect, they're battling quite a bit of mess in the other, less public parts of their home.