Let’s be honest — usually, Netflix is a huge time-waster. You turn it on when you feel like doing nothing but veg. Then four hours later the screen is asking if you’re still there, and you have nothing to show for it but a deeper butt groove on the couch.
Except sometimes, there comes along a show or documentary that inspires you to jump off the couch and do something other than binge-watch the next series.
“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is the latest title to rouse people out of their mid-binge daze. The show follows organizing consultant Marie Kondo to American homes, where she helps them let go of material items to get their living spaces in order.
The effects of clearing out the detritus of modern life has more than just an impact on your home. If you follow the KonMari method, you could see changes in your finances, too!
What is KonMari?
At the center of Netflix’s show, and every one of Kondo’s best-selling books, is a personal brand of tidying up. The KonMari method is unique in two ways.
- The way you organize. While traditional organization tips will tell you to go through your house room by room, Marie Kondo suggest you tidy by category. Under this rule, you would focus on tidying all the clothes in your house at once, rather than only the clothes in your bedroom. This way, you’ll see just how much clothes you have in total—from off-season storage in the basement and the outerwear in your front hall, as well as your everyday stuff in your bedroom closet.
- How you discard items. KonMari suggests you go through your belongings carefully and ask yourself how your feel about each item. Kondo encourages people to keep only those items that “spark joy”. In other words, you should throw away those old t-shirts you keep “just in case” you might need them one day, but keep your collection of whacky socks that make you smile in the morning.
How will it make you money?
On to the more important questions: how will KonMari improve your finances?
Just as Kondo’s method has two unique features, it has two applications to your bank account. Let’s go over them to see how you can start spending less and saving more right away.
- Sell that which does not “spark joy”
Although it may be cathartic to pitch all your joyless items as soon as you realize they’re of no use anymore, you may want to hold on to them — only as long as it takes you to sell them. You may be able to earn a pretty penny for any clothes, books, or collectibles if they’re in good shape.
Check to see if your neighborhood has a second-hand store or consignment shop that pays for items in good repair. Otherwise, setting up an ad on Craigslist or eBay is simple enough, but it may take a while to entice a buyer.
If you don’t have a lot of time, these apps could help you find a buyer faster. They facilitate transactions between users, making it easy to buy and sell second-hand items.
Depending on the app, you may be able to sell your items for straight-up cash or exchange it for credit to purchase other used items—helping you avoid spending more money on other items you need to buy.
- Stop indulging in impulsive shopping
In all likelihood, that “need” to purchase new clothes and other items will wane after you’ve committed to KonMari — especially if you ask yourself if a potential purchase “sparks joy” before you reach the till.
This is a critical feature of responsible money management. Most financial advisors suggest people looking to save more money should trim the fat from their budgets. Once you start buying fewer things, you’ll save more of your paycheck to go towards the things that do fill your heart with joy — like a relaxing holiday or the security of an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is an important aspect of balanced finances. It helps people take on life’s biggest purchases (like homes or cars) as well as unexpected expenses (like medical bills and repairs).
There are personal loans of all shapes and sizes to help with these purchases—from mortgages and auto loans to installment loans and personal lines of credit. But as you learn about installment loans and other borrowing options, you’ll realize they won’t replace the satisfaction you’ll feel covering your responsibilities on your own.
Buying less is just the first step—the next step to good money management will involve intentional spending. You’ll need to look over your budget to see if there are any other areas you can eliminate unnecessary spending that doesn’t “spark joy”.
Eventually, you’ll arrive at a budget, and home, that’s clutter free. With the potential for a tidier house and a flush wallet, what’s not to love in binging “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”? Finally — an excuse to watch Netflix that holds water!