Is Black Friday feeling the life changing magic of tidying up the 21st century?

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 29, 2015

 marie kondoBlack Friday, the American day for big shopping (and deals to match) was relatively slow this year. Why? Those who search for answers to such questions attribute the shoppers’ retail calm to the effect of online deals. Online sales growth is outpacing that of overall retail, so that seems a good answer.

But is this the real reason? More inquiring minds suggest that a larger shift of values is underway. The really clever among us point out that for more than a year, Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a guide to de-cluttering one’s life, has sat on the New York Times best-seller list.

For those who do not know Ms Kondo, her book is an international bestseller, she has been the subject of a movie in Japan and the waiting list for her services is too long for anyone to reasonably expect to get a look in.

The philosophy she propounds is as follows:

** commune with your socks

** thank your shoes for their hard work

** bow (at least mentally) to your home in appreciation

Ms Kondon has said that it is “very natural” for her to say thank you to the goods that support us and this is what prompts her to suggest that all of us should lovingly connect with belongings that “spark joy” and bid a fond but firm farewell to the rest.

The “KonMarie method”, as she calls it, is supposed to be a dramatic and transformative one-time organising event. She says the results can be life changing and even encourages people to discard her book once it’s no longer needed.