The Marie Kondo fever, sparked by the eponymous Japanese organising consultant famous for her method of keeping only things that "spark joy", is a welcome addition to the Singapore scene. The organisational guru's Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, appears to have prompted many Singaporeans to declutter their homes and office spaces. But the acquisitive instinct that characterises consumerist societies such as in Singapore, where shopping is, arguably, a national past-time, also has a downside: that of making people habitually accumulate unnecessary possessions that take up valuable physical and emotional space. It would be good if the Marie Kondo spirit were to also translate into a reluctance to indulge in impulse buying. Such goods occupy space or lie unused because they may not have been needed in the first place, or because they get eclipsed by the next shopping must-buy.
Still, as one academic noted in this newspaper, the interest in decluttering does allow people to be more aware of their possessions, and how items should have a purposeful or functional benefit to their lives. In relieving themselves of products and possessions they no longer need, people actually also help make their ecological footprint lighter on a planet with finite resources.