Professional Organizers’ inboxes are flooded these days with articles on Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show. All that I’ve read are glowing, and deservedly so, but one article a client texted to me this week suggested such an enticing layer to its popularity. ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ is Inadvertently About Women’s Invisible Labor sounded like it could have been written by Tiffany Dufu, author of the book Drop the Ball. (It wasn’t.) Drop the Ball though sheds light on a struggle as old as humanity itself: the visible AND invisible workloads women carry at home. I was so fortunate to have read it the same year I got married.
More than a couple of times, close friends of mine have griped to me about the lopsided division of labor at home. I always point them to Dufu’s book, this article, and this cartoon to give them language to constructively talk about this with their husbands without the edge of resentment that is always a conversation killer. But now, we also have Kondo’s show that so elegantly address the same issue. In Vice’s ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ is Inadvertently About Women’s Invisible Labor, writer Nicole Clark reflects on an episode with the Mercier family:
"As the Merciers navigate KonMari-ing their home, Douglas begins to participate more actively in housework, like sorting and folding the laundry. By the end he admits, 'I didn’t realize the pressure of having to do everything until I actually did it. So now I do want to help with that a lot more.' In these moments, the KonMari method began to feel extremely, seductively useful. It was abundantly clear these men were not participating in homemaking tasks or taking responsibility for their children, because they never really had been expected to. In a single ‘tidy,' men and children were gaining insight into the emotional labor of housekeeping.”
And here’s why Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” might just be the Trojan horse women need to break the ice at home on this topic:
"Incidentally, Marie Kondo doesn’t appear to be purposefully advocating for greater balance between men and women in household labor.” - Nicole Clark
Click to read Clark’s ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ is Inadvertently About Women’s Invisible Labor at Vice.com.