Netflix's Tidying Up gave me an anxiety attack

I watched five minutes of Netflix's Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and promptly had an anxiety attack. My stomach cramped, my heart beat too fast and I felt scared and manic. I had to turn it off.

The original reality series features Marie Kondo who wrote the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing". The show triggers me because I'm a bit of a hoarder; not a full scale A&E-type hoarder but I do have low-scale-hoarder tendencies. For example I only recently threw out a bag of receipts from the nineties, hard copies of scripts I have archived online and flyers from shows I did ten years ago. I also got rid of all my old actor headshots which I'd been keeping in case I ever needed set dressing for a solo show called "Tania and her headshots".

In the first episode of the series viewers meet a married couple with two adorable children. The only person more adorable than the kids is Marie Kondo herself. She wears a white cardigan and tights, with a knee length skirt. She'd make the perfect pre-school teacher in a movie about pre-school teachers who are perfect.

Ms. Kondo speaks softly and is so joyful she makes me want to cry. I immediately want to please her at the same time that I know I never could. Her method of organization includes only keeping the things that "spark joy" and dumping all your clothes in a pile then weeding through what you want or don't in the span of a day. Just the thought of it makes my heart palpitate.

As with any life improvement method a crash course with a list of "shoulds" and "musts" often have the opposite affect. I'm pretty sure her technique would make me miserable.

Here's my method.

  • Think about getting organized. A lot.
  • Go around your home and realize the clutter or objects collecting dust actually belong to you and the only way they will get moved is if you move them. Don't move them.
  • Stare at an item, pick it up, realize you don't need it but you'd feel bad about it going to waste so put it back where it was.

This tip actually does work for me when I'm in an organizing state of my mind. Every time I leave a room I remove something from a surface and put it away or throw it away. It's a slower process than Kondo's but eventually a room tidies up and I don't get vertigo just thinking about the process.

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