Tidying up with Marie Kondo/ Droppin’ Cash: Los Angeles – Netflix

I’m thinking I must have some deep repressed desire to be back at uni, as I find myself in my spare time writing this uni-essay-like ‘Compare and Contrast’ post; but after watching these two shows, literally one after the other, I can’t help but write about their startling similarities and differences.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo- 2019

If you’ve been living under a rock (or in a bomb-shelter) since the beginning of the new year, you may be forgiven for being clueless about Marie Kondo, and the only one who hasn’t tossed out half of their belongings! I remember around 2 years ago, my Mother-in-Law was telling us about how she was reading this book authored by a Japanese woman who advises in how to clean-up and declutter the home. At the time I probably just raised my eyebrows at my wife, and hinted that her mum had just fallen for another fad of hers and was getting a little obsessive again – so in short, we didn’t take much notice and of course we didn’t follow suit.

But here again displays the power of television! According to the internet, Marie has been advising the world of her KonMari method since 1997, and to more effect since 2011 when her first book was released in Japanese. But it wasn’t until Tidying Up With Marie Kondo was released on Netflix on 1 January 2019, did  everyone sit-up and take notice; schedule-in a spring clean for the following weekend; and from all accounts charity clothing bins are literally overflowing with pre-loved clothing stuffed into them!

But for that one person who might read this post and doesn’t know Marie and hasn’t watched Tidying Up, for you here is a short  synopsis on Marie and her show which is airing on Netflix. Marie is a diminutive Japanese woman who writes of her method of de-cluttering the home; through a process of sorting through all of your belongings and only keeping what ‘sparks joy’ for you, and discarding the rest. And what you end up keeping, is stored in designated spots (by category), in designated containers, and folded (what can be folded) in a way which saves room and looks really neat! Her Netflix show is six 40-minute episodes; at the beginning of each episode a household is introduced to the viewer (ranging from retirees to young families who are just setting out in life), and the commonality they have with each other (and why most viewers can relate to them) is the fact that their homes are cluttered with stuff! And who can’t relate to this? We all accumulate more stuff than our respective homes can possibly store, and the outcome is that there is just crap everywhere! (More than any magical ‘room of requirement’ can ever hold!)

And this is where Marie and her interpreter (Marie Iida) enters, after short introductions with the members of the household, M&M are taken on a tour of the cluttered place, before Marie does a nearly-religious ceremony to connect spiritually with the household and it’s stuff, before helping the individuals/families embark on their de-clutter journey. Each episode is filmed over a period of time (approximately a month) where Marie (x2) drops in on the household several times, to observe the gradual transformation and to dispense more of her wisdom to her cult followers……Oops, I mean, guests/hosts? And over that period of time, you can truly see the change in the home, the individuals’ relationships with each other,  and their relationship towards Marie as well (as the welcomes on the doorstep become warmer and warmer as the episode goes on).

The show is both educational for the viewer, and emotional (heart-warming/ tear-jerking) for us as well. These emotions are evoked when we see couples who had drifted over time, brought closer together through the process of de-cluttering and uncovering pieces which bring back fond memories for them both;  the closure for one individual who had been newly widowed, as she cleared out her deceased husband’s closet; and seeing young couples de-clutter their small homes, readying for the next stage in their families’ lives. It’s these glimpses into real peoples’ lives and emotions, which make this show so special! So if you haven’t already seen it, and if you have clutter and a beating heart, check-out Tidying Up With Marie Kondo – just search for it on your Netflix app! I guarantee that it’ll leave a lasting impact on you.

Okay, I’ll give you an insight into our viewing habits. You can say that we’re a little obsessive and narrow visioned – meaning that we start a TV series and we’ll only watch that until we finish said season, before we start watching anything else. So when we finished our time with Marie, and applied her tidying up tips to our own apartment, the next day by chance we move right onto our next show which was like night and day!

Droppin’ Cash: Los Angeles- 2018

Okay, I don’t expect anyone to immediately know this show, as the streets ain’t exactly talking all about it on social media or on the internet. But over 12 episodes (featuring 2 different people in each ep) we’re given an all-access pass into how the nouveau-riche and famous (or perhaps the not-so-famous) like to spend their new found wealth in Los Angeles. The guests featured in the show include Rappers, Singers, Producers, Actors, and Ballers from the Lakers;  what they have in common with each other is the fact that they’re all young, newly cashed-up, and all ready to exhibit to the public their new found fortunes by slapping it onto their wrists, and shoving it into others’ faces as tastelessly as possible!   Each episode opens with a short stop-off at their crib to chat about what they didn’t have and what they have now, before heading out on a pre-scripted shopping spree for jewellery, and/or clothing,  and/or musical hardware, and/or cars, and/or the list goes on and on! If you enjoy shows like West Coast Customs, Beverly Hills Pawn, Pimp My Ride, or other similar MTV shows (as I’m sure some of these purchases will eventually pass through one of these other shows), you’ll enjoy Droppin’ Cash! Just search for ‘Droppin’ Cash Los Angeles’ on your Netflix app!  And you too will find yourself saying ‘Droppin’ Cash’ every time you go shopping, even if it’s just to the grocers for milk and bread!

And now to compare and contrast the two shows…….

The similarities start with the fact that both shows were filmed in Los Angeles; they first aired on Netflix Australia within a week of each other; and both productions are sleek, and captures really well the essence of the individuals/families they’re featuring in a relatively short/succinct amount of air-time. However the similarities unfortunately end there. The differences between the shows are startling – almost on the opposite ends of the spectrum from each other!

Relatable Vs Unrelateable- Where you and I can relate to the families in ‘Tidying up’, as they’re so normal and their problems are just like yours and mine. Meanwhile, there is no way any of us can really relate to the ‘characters’ from ‘Droppin’, as they’re definitely a unique bunch! Not to mention marijuana isn’t legalised in Australia, so most of us ain’t waking-up in the mornings and smoking big fat blunts and allowing our day to go ‘down that road’.   

Decluttering Vs Accumulating-  In ‘Tidying up’, all the families start-off with all this STUFF! Like a room full of Christmas decorations; boxes of trading cards; a wall of sneakers; kids toys all over the floor; closets and piles of clothing around the place; all of which had accumulated over time, with the aims of the show to declutter and to rid themselves of all this excess baggage! When on the flip-side, over on ‘Droppin’, most of the guys came from an underprivileged upbringing and now that they have $$$ bills y’all, they’re getting out there and spending, and spending large!- with the aim to accumulate as much STUFF as they can by walking into a luxury/custom store and buying multitudes of stuff until the total adds up to 4 figures, 5 figures, 6 figures! Not exactly the same “Stuff” which the middle class back in ‘Tidying up’ were trying to get rid of, but stuff all the same at the end of the day when those luxury items no longer “spark joy”.

Helpful Vs Pointless- And where Marie is entering into people’s lives to help them painfully part with their life-long accumulation of stuff, which ultimately helps them live a more fulfilling life; over on ‘Droppin’ individuals are buying up more and more stuff, in attempts to create ‘more joy’ for themselves through self-prescription of retail therapy, which unfortunately is a little pointless as we all know the emptiness you feel when you finally get something you’ve been longing for and it doesn’t hit that spot which you thought it might? And is this a perfect example of  the collectivist and individualist mentality?(okay, I’ll stop dragging out all the uni terms that I can still remember)……but in the end, are these guys in ‘Droppin’ truly happy afterwards? With a mouthful of platinum and diamond teeth? With a bedazzled dinosaur tooth? With gold plated rims on their Rolls? I don’t know?  

Where one is about minimalism, the other is about extravagance! Where one is about closing the door on one chapter of life, the other is just getting started and prying open the doors of life! Where one is introspective, the other is brash and without thought!  The contrast is truly startling.

So in your relationship, where you might have an issue of clutter/hoarding, perhaps bringing this topic up with your partner in the past always results in a heated argument. Or perhaps you and your partner may not have developed a good habit of keeping a tidy home.  Sit down together and watch Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, as I’m confident the most hardened hoarder or individual stuck in their ways will be moved to take a long look at how they’re living, and I’m not surprised if the most obsessive hoarder would take steps to improve their home situation by decluttering…To the benefit of all who dwell in it!

While Droppin’ Cash can also serve a purpose…… I think we all aspire to be rich one day! So we can buy whatever we want, to our hearts content! However after seeing those guys,  spend their money on crap- gaudy ridiculously expensive impractical crap!- I think many will actually come to the same conclusion as I did, that it’s probably good not to be filthy rich like that. As if wealth can turn you into that? Then I think most people will be glad that they have what they have, and it’s all about learning how to be satisfied and joyful with what you do have.

So there are important lessons which can be gleaned from both shows, and you can tell how impactful ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ has been over the past weeks- my wife tells me that charities are asking people to stop donating their clothing as they are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have received. And we’ve witnessed this first hand, as at many community meeting places, a sign and a pile of ‘help yourself’ items have been popping-up, where people are trying to off-load their pre-loved goods free to a good home- I’m absolutely certain this is in direct response to ‘Tidying up’! (And those who are picking-up these freebies, I’m sure are those who haven’t watched it).  And if we all learn to live a more   minimalist lifestyle, and place a lesser strain on our environment by consuming less – pulling fewer resources out of the ground, and burying fewer things back into the ground through land-fills after we’ve tired of them – I think the world is better off, thanks to Marie Kondo! Someone give that woman a knighthood, a Nobel Peace Prize, or make her the next President of the United States! Haaha. BTW, fun fact, while I was fact-checking, I learnt that Iida, Marie’s interpreter, is actually one year older than Marie Kondo!  Now I didn’t see that coming.

Hit us up below if you’ve watched both shows, let me know how much stuff you’ve held close to your chest and thanked, before throwing them out. And let me know if my opinion of ‘Droppin’ Cash’ was a little harsh? Yeah?  

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